Honour for exceptional charity service

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Audrey Rose with Helena Wallis, chief executive of Heart of England Mencap, and Glen Von Malachowski, chairman. (Submitted photo)

A REMARKABLE contribution to a local charity that spans almost four decades has been recognised with a special award and honorary role.

Audrey Rose will retire as a trustee of Heart of England Mencap next year, having held the position since the mid-1980s.

Back then the charity, previously known as Stratford and District Mencap, supported around 20 local people with learning disabilities.

Today it supports around 200 across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Audrey’s daughter, Janet, was born with learning disabilities and when the family moved back to the UK in the early 80s, having lived all over the world, she was invited to join Mencap.

She said: “When my daughter was younger, despite having lived in France, she wasn’t allowed to take French lessons. Things have changed enormously; people are now given an opportunity to develop their potential.

“There is still a way to go of course, particularly when it comes to people with learning disabilities being accepted in social situations. I would like to see that change. I also think the vulnerability of people with learning disabilities needs to be recognised more.”

In recognition of her extraordinary service, Audrey has been presented with a long service award and will be made Honorary Vice-President.

Helena Wallis, chief executive of Heart of England Mencap, said: “Audrey’s involvement and commitment is a reflection of her remarkable passion and personal values. “Whilst Audrey doesn’t see anything special in this, we absolutely do.”