5th Dec, 2016

Dedication to others lands Stratford woman top award

Stratford Editorial 5th Jul, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

BARBARA Craig’s dedication to helping others will be recognised at the House of Lords this week

The Stratford resident and philanthropist’s involvement and support for local health initiatives won her one of the country’s highest accolades – a British Citizen Award (BCA).

Launched in 2015, the BCA, in association with InMoment, recognises extraordinary achievements by everyday people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Barabra will receive her BCA Medal from InMoment’s president Lonnie Mayne at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday, after devoting her time to creating social activities for elderly people.

Having been involved in a local health initiative called Prime75+, Barbara quickly recognised loneliness and social isolation were commonly faced problems among the ageing population after caring for her father.

It was after this that Barbara, who has been actively volunteering for community initiatives since 2006, decided to set up social group ‘Nosh and Natter’.

Barbara said: ‘I was absolutely stunned when they told me that I was being awarded the BCA for doing something that has given me so much joy over the years.

“After my husband and father died I moved to Warwickshire and found it harder to get involved in volunteering, so I started my own initiatives, including Nosh and Natter.”

Aware of the devastating impact that social difficulties can have on an individual’s health and well-being, Barbara decided to combine her caring work with her degree in nutrition and volunteer for Age Concern as well as supporting dieticians at a hospital in Suffolk where she was then living.

Following the untimely death of her husband and father, Barbara relocated to Warwickshire where she set up Nosh and Natter, a social group which enables local people who may be feeling lonely and isolated to make friends and spend time with one and other.

Barbara added: ‘Although I am extremely proud of everything that we’ve achieved, there is still work to be done. Unfortunately there are still many people that suffer as a result of being isolated and lonely and we’re committed to continuing our work to support them. I’m motivated by the happiness that we see in those that benefit from our work and it keeps us going.’

Nosh and Natter has grown into a monthly meeting attended by around 80 people.

Keen to do more, Barbara also set up Trips for You – a local project which provides the opportunity for people too enjoy a break who would not otherwise be able to. It now arranges holidays for groups of up to 30 people each year.

Visit britishcitizenawards.co.uk to find out more about the British Citizen Youth Awards.