An inspirational charity worker has been acknowledged for her hard work and commitment to supporting local people with multiple sclerosis (MS), by reaching the finals of the prestigious MS Society Awards 2013.
Val Woods, manager of the MS Therapy Centre in Bedford, has been shortlisted in the MS Professional of the Year category, sponsored by Novartis UK Limited.
She WAS due to attend the awards ceremony alongside two other finalists in the same category on Thursday.
The centre, based in Barkers Lane, is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
In 1983 Val and her husband Rex, who has MS, set up the centre in a small industrial unit with the purpose of providing therapy and support to local people with MS.
In the 30 years since its inception, Val has steered the centre and watched it grow into a successful million pound purpose-built centre providing a wealth of free services, including professional therapy and support, to over 1,000 people in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.
Val is instrumental at all levels, ensuring the smooth running of the centre, controlling the budget, being involved in fundraising and awareness, inducting new members and helping the centre grow to become the vital lifeline to local people that it is today.
One of Val’s nominators, Kay Taylor, said: “Val is so much more than a manager; her passion and commitment are always evident and she is a very important part of everything that goes on at the centre.
“This year the centre celebrates 30 years since it started in a basic industrial unit providing only hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
“Today it offers numerous therapies provided by highly qualified staff in a purpose-built building.
“None of this would have been possible without Val’s vision and dogged determination against all the odds.
“Val isn’t just the centre’s manager; she has been at the heart of this venture from day one and we believe that such long term dedication and success makes her a more than worthy recipient of an MS Society Award.”
The MS Society Awards 2013 at The Dorchester Hotel in London.
For more information about the MS Society visit www.mssociety.org.uk