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Volunteer wins coveted award

Terry Gilbert who won the Sense awards Volunteer of the Year ANL-141215-092347001
Terry Gilbert who won the Sense awards Volunteer of the Year ANL-141215-092347001

A 30-year-old man has overcome his impairments to be crowned Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Sense Awards.

Terry Gilbert was awarded the title after five years of volunteering with deaf and blind charity Sense.

Terry, who is profoundly deaf, visually impaired and has a learning difficulty, volunteers at Sense holidays and events, as well as supporting the East Anglia branch.

He first came into contact with the charity when he was a holidaymaker himself.

His mother, Sue, of Belle Vue Road, Sudbury, said he particularly enjoys being part of a team.

“The volunteering has given him more opportunities,” she said.

“The people that are holidaymakers can relate to him because of his communication needs.”

He volunteers at different Sense holiday venues across the country which allow those with sensory impairments the chance to get away and enjoy a break.

Sense commended Terry for his expert skills in navigating the minibus, making others feel welcome and helping groups of holidaymakers to bond.

He was described as a “dream volunteer” who is upbeat and cheerful with an infectious positive outlook.

Terry and Sue attended the award ceremony in London last week, when Terry discovered he had beaten the other nominees to win the award.

He was presented with a certificate and glass trophy by Dr Dawn Harper, from Channel Four’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Sue said he was delighted to find out he had won.

“It was really interesting to see the achievements in all the different areas of Sense,” she said.

“I was so very excited that his commitment had been recognised.”

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