Red Cross volunteer recognised in New Year’s Honours

Award for Sutton Coldfield volunteer who has dedicated seventy years to the British Red Cross.

Margaret ‘Enid’ Dickson, a British Red Cross volunteer from Streetly, Sutton Coldfield has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours List 2019.

Enid, 88, who began volunteering with the Red Cross in 1948, currently supports the Red Cross mobility aids loan centre in Streetly where she organises a team of volunteers and works directly with people in need of short-term wheelchair loans, many of whom would be isolated or immobile without one. Enid often works late into the evenings to make sure people who can’t collect a wheelchair during the day can still be helped by the centre.

Although formally volunteering since 1948, Enid recalls that her association with the Red Cross actually began earlier than that. “I was just 12 years old when I volunteered to fold bandages at West Bromwich Hospital during World War II,” she explains.

“Over the years I have helped to run a home for elderly people in Streetly and when I was younger I did first aid training and workshops locally.”

This New Year Honour is the latest in a long line of acknowledgement for Enid’s work supporting the Red Cross. She has been awarded the Red Cross Badge of Honour, the Certificate of Commendation and the Voluntary Medical Service medal. Yet she remains modest and humble about her achievements.

“I was so shocked when I got the letter about the New Year Honours,” she says. “I don’t think I do anything special, it’s team work. I’ve been volunteering for so long now that it’s just become a way of life. I’ve made lifelong friends and I love being able to help people in my community. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I wasn’t volunteering”

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “Enid is a shining example of the exemplary volunteers we are lucky to have supporting the vital work of the Red Cross. She has dedicated much of her life to first aid, helping to train others and supporting her local community.

“I would like to pass on my congratulations to Enid on this well-deserved honour and thank her for the continued passion she has for helping to make a difference across the West Midlands and beyond.

“We couldn’t do our work without the dedication of volunteers like Enid, supporting people to prepare and respond to crises in their community.”