A devoted Lancashire Samaritan who has dedicated 25 years to helping others has been rewarded with a national honour.
Stella Hayes, 70, has been visiting prisons to help inmates deal with issues such as self-harm and substance abuse, and has now received a British Citizen Award (BCA) for her services to volunteering and charitable giving.
The awards recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise everyday people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.
When Stella, from Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, began as a Samaritan 25 years ago, the team believed that prisoners should have the opportunity to talk to a Samaritan and receive support, just the same as the general public.
On winning the award, Stella said: “I didn’t expect to win anything, I just do what I do. I’m still in shock, I felt important for 10 minutes and I’m just coming back down to earth. It was a great evening.”