Dancing charity worker lands top volunteers award

A DANCING pensioner who dedicates her time to helping out in a charity shop has received a prestigious award from the Lord Provost.

Thursday, 8th June 2017, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 1:18 pm
Volunteer Lily Cook with Edward Hibbert (a trustee at Volunteer Edinburgh), left, and Lord Provost Frank Ross. Picture: Greg Macvean
Volunteer Lily Cook with Edward Hibbert (a trustee at Volunteer Edinburgh), left, and Lord Provost Frank Ross. Picture: Greg Macvean

Lily Cook, 84, who has been working for Save the Children on Dalry Road for more than 30 years, was presented with the Lord Provost’s Inspiring Volunteer of the Year Award 2017 last night at a glittering ceremony in the City Chambers.

The shopworker, from Holyrood, said she enjoys putting on music to keep her customers entertained.

She said: “It was a surprise to even be nominated for such an award. I’ve been working at the shop for quite a while and I really enjoy it. I like talking to all the customers and hearing their stories.”

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The Edinburgh’s Inspiring Volunteer Awards aims to reflect the huge range of organisations and individuals who give their time freely to work with the city’s vibrant charity and non-profit sectors. Other awardees included a keen knitter who runs Knit and Natter sessions, a kennel volunteer, an IT instructor, a befriender providing care and support to the elderly, a group of secondary pupils with a mission to raise awareness of equality issues and an actor with a social cause.

Susie Dunstan, manager at the Save the Children shop, said: “Lily regularly volunteers three days a week and has done so since she started, roughly 30 years ago.

“Lily has had a huge impact on the local community in Dalry Road, many of the customers have grown up knowing Lily all their lives and she is hugely respected and loved.

“She is well known for her generosity, wise advice, sense of humour and great taste in music. Lily can often be found dancing in the shop, encouraging more sales for Save the Children.

“She makes customers feel welcome and is often able to tell them about the history of Edinburgh – it’s a truly wonderful experience to be a customer when Lily is on the till.

“She has always been welcoming to others in the team, helping to train and make 
people feel comfortable in their role. She is also known for repairing and mending items, using her previous experience as a furrier, in order to make the most money possible for Save the Children.”

This year’s award ceremony was been organised by Volunteer Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Compact Partnership.

Edward Hibbert, Trustee of Volunteer Edinburgh, said: “These awards are a way to celebrate the wide range of people who volunteer and the positive difference volunteering makes across the city every day.”

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “Lily Cook certainly is an Inspiring Volunteer and worthy of the 2017 Award.

“Her first-hand experience of customer service has proved invaluable to the Save the Children charity shop on Dalry Road. I am delighted to present these awards and to add Lily’s name to the volunteering honour board in Edinburgh’s City Chambers.”