Apr 19 2011 By Siba Matti
Lindsey Gregory, of Fairacres, Ruislip, has been put forward for the Star Carer category of the annual Local Heroes Awards
A WARM-HEARTED woman who willingly gives up her free time to work with disabled children has been hailed a Hillingdon Hero.
Lindsey Gregory, of Fairacres, Ruislip, has been put forward for the Star Carer category of the annual Local Heroes Awards, run jointly by the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader Series, and Uxbridge College.
The person crowned the Hero of Hillingdon will take home an amazing £500, with £200 and a trophy awarded to the winner of each of the five categories, including Outstanding Young Person; Community Champion; Courageous Citizen and Fabulous Fundraiser.
Ms Gregory, 41, was nominated by her very proud sister, Su, 46, who also lives in Fairacres.
Su said: "Lin devotes so much of her time and puts so much effort in to help others. She works longer hours four days a week so she can keep Friday free to volunteer at Grangewood School for children with severe learning disabilities, in Fore Street, Eastcote.
"She is also heavily involved in Orchyd, a charity based in Ruislip which offers disabled children the holiday of a lifetime. She actually takes time off work to help out, as well as going there during evenings and weekends. I think it takes a really special person as a lot of people might not be willing to work with disabled children or be able to build a rapport with them."
Lin also devotes a huge amount of time to Girl Guides and runs her own unit at St Martin's Church in Ruislip, plus she has also been district commissioner and camp adviser.
"She puts so much time and effort into providing a fun and enjoyable time for the young girls that attend, and her unit is very popular," Su added. "She also helped out with a street collection in Ruislip for Marie Curie Cancer Care on Daffodil Day (March 12). I think she is brilliant and it would be great for her to get some recognition for all she does to help others."
Lin, a bank worker, told the Gazette: "I've volunteered at Grangewood for three years and the children are so lovely. Many of them can't do basic things that lots of other children take for granted, such as feeding themselves, going to the toilet or even blowing out a candle.
"I think the staff who work there are amazing – they always come up with interactive activities including telling stories, and the children have a wonderful time. The same applies for Orchyd, which I have spent about six years volunteering for.
"We take about 20 children aged from eight to 13 on a 10-day holiday and we raise the money for that throughout the year. Last year we went to Grangewood School and we take absolutely everything we need including beds and fridge freezers.
"There are about 150 people involved from people who go on outings to cooks, cleaners, nurses and guards, and we all work together to make sure the children have a fantastic time."
Lin, who also has a younger sister, Laura, 17, is a former St Martin's Girl Guide herself so she has strong ties to the church.
"Being a Guide provides young girls with so many life skills, including team work and survival techniques. We do different activities including going on weekends away to destinations including the New Forest and Switzerland for guide camp, and supporting the church on Mother's Day and at Christmas.
"I guess the main reason I volunteer for these organisations is because it really is so rewarding. Having a positive influence in these children's lives and seeing them smile gives me such a sense of satisfaction.
"One of my friends who worked at Grangewood told about how much the children have to offer and how much fun it is supporting them, and she was right. I have also made some fantastic friends for life."
On the subject of being hailed a hero, a modest Lin added: "I do think there are so many more people out there who do more than me so it's absolutely lovely to be nominated. If I did win, I would probably give the prize money to Grangewood School as we are currently fundraising to have the spa pool redone, although I think all three organisations are extremely worthy."
Who is your Local Hero? Nominate them by filling in the nomination form on this page or online at www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/heroes. Alternatively email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at email@example.com