Veteran Bedford volunteers honoured with award from the Queen

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A caring couple with a combined age of 167 helped a Bedford charity win the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

David and Marjorie Coleman, aged 86 and 81 respectively, have been volunteering at Emmaus Village in Carlton since it was established in 2002.

They went to Buckingham Palace to represent all the Emmaus volunteers who helped scoop the QAVS.

The highest award given to voluntary groups across the UK, it has a similar status to an MBE.

Emmaus supports 35 formerly homeless people by giving them a home and meaningful work in a social enterprise . It sells furniture, clothing and upcycled goods and runs the popular Em’s Bistro.

Marjorie said: “Volunteering has made a tremendous difference to my life, and I am forever being told I don’t look my age. It’s given me the company I needed and kept me on the go.

“I am much more active now, and it has also kept my brain ticking over. I find I get as much out of it as I give.”

David told the T&C: “Volunteering helps keep my mind active and for me it’s the friendship I get from companions, colleagues, volunteers and staff.”

He added: “When I get up in the morning I think, oh I am going to do something I like doing today. Emmaus has kept my hobby alive, the work is enjoyable and there is plenty of laughter throughout the day. I am also able to pass on my knowledge to other people and they also teach me new things too, it’s great”.

The couple praised their fellow volunteers for their “fantastic work” .

For more details about Emmaus visit www.emmaus.org.uk/village_carlton