Volunteers mark 20-year milestone with British Heart Foundation in Bedford

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Two volunteers from Bedford have been recognised for their dedication to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) with long service awards.

Maureen Boston, 79, and Avis Bennet, 84, scooped up the accolade from their area manager after volunteering with the BHF shop in Thurlow Street, Bedford for 22 and 21 years respectively.

Maureen said: “I started volunteering at the BHF with my husband 22 years ago. We decided to volunteer as he had previously undergone heart surgery. Sadly when he required another heart bypass, he didn’t make it through the surgery.

“This reinforced my belief in the importance of volunteering for the BHF and the fantastic work they do in helping people with coronary heart disease. I have loved my time at the BHF shop and made some great friends. The shop gives me energy and keeps me active. It’s a fantastic thing to do and you know you’re helping a worthwhile cause.”

Avis added: “I really enjoy my time at the shop as it gets me out of the house and I am able to meet lots of new people. The BHF have been really good to me, especially the team here at Bedford. They’re all so supportive and we’re always having a laugh. It has been lovely to have my work recognised and I hope to keep volunteering for as long as I can.”

Jenny Kennedy, manager at the Bedford shop said: “Avis and Maureen have been here since the shop opened and I truly admire the hard work that they continue to put into the shop. Both of them really welcome change, are always willing to learn and even help train the new volunteers. Maureen and Avis still have the same commitment and belief in the BHF that they had twenty years ago. Congratulations to them both”

The years that Maureen and Avis have put towards the fight against heart disease is helping to fund scientists in research labs. The BHF currently provide the funding for around 500 post-doctoral scientists who work in research team’s right across the UK on projects to better understand how to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure heart disease.

Volunteers play a vital role in the work of the BHF. Every pound raised, minute of time and donation to BHF shops helps to make a difference to people’s lives.

For more information about volunteering for the heart charity visit bhf.org.uk/volunteer or contact Jacqui Whitehall on whitehallj@bhf.org.uk or call 01234 215218.