MORE than 30 years of dedication to supporting disabled young people has earned a volunteer a trip to New York.
Sue Knight started running a Friday night club for Havant District Mencap back in the 1970s which her disabled sister Christine Holden attended.
Christine died aged 17 but Sue, now 53, continued volunteering and her selflessness has been recognised by her employer, Estee Lauder.
Last month she was one of just 14 employees worldwide who whisked off to the company’s headquarters in New York to meet Leonard A Lauder, the chairman of the family business.
The mother of one, of Sunnymead Drive, Waterlooville, said: ‘The Lauder family were amazing. I was really nervous about meeting them but they were so friendly and welcoming that they made you feel there was nothing to be nervous about.
‘We got up really early in the morning for a make-up session and had a celebratory breakfast and then a photoshoot. They gave us a certificate and Tiffany engraved crystal but, more important than that, they gave us each a cheque for $2,500 to the charities we volunteer for.
‘For us that’s two-and-a-half years fundraising. We don’t get any help from Mencap and have to fundraise ourselves. In this day and age that’s not easy.
‘So that was what I was most pleased about.’
Sue, who works at the Kites Croft base of the company, near Fareham, was joined on the trip by husband Barry and daughter Chloe.
And her friends at Havant District Mencap could not be more pleased for her.
Paul Read, the chairman of the branch, said: ‘She not only runs the Friday social club but is a great volunteer in fundraising, a member of the board of trustees and currently our secretary. On top of that she counsels our members.
‘Every member of our organisation is truly thankful to Sue and if this award can inspire more volunteers to come forward it truly is recognition at its best.’
The Friday social club is at Anders Hall, Jubilee Park, off Milton Road, Waterlooville.
To volunteer or find out more go to havant-district-mencap-club.co.uk or call (023) 9225 6014.