Long-standing volunteer receives Hidden Hero Award

Derek has dedicated time and effort to the volunteering services offered by Help & Care since 2007

One of Help & Care's long-standing volunteers, Derek Baker, has been presented with a Hidden Hero Award by the national organisation Room to Reward. The company provides short breaks to members of the community who may be overlooked but who are making sacrifices to care for their community.

Derek has volunteered for Help & Care since October 2007 and has been described as an asset to both the charity and his local community.

Derek became interested in volunteering after retiring from working as an optician which also included an element of lecturing and teaching abroad. Derek chose Help & Care when he saw one of charity's Volunteer Recruitment Posters in his local library in Christchurch.

Derek has demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteering. Not only has he helped so many individual members of his community but he has also been instrumental in bringing two charities together to open a charity shop and to share training and resources.

Heather Martin, Senior Volunteer Co-ordinator

Since 2007, Derek has made a hude difference to people's lives in Dorset. Here are some of his contributions:

  • Derek has carried out over 2,000 calls to isolated older people as part of our Telephone Befriending Service
  • Every two weeks for the last 5 years Derek has collected a group of older people and driven them to an allocated meeting point to enable them to join in with others to participate on a ‘Supported Wellbeing Walking Group’. Many members of the group either have a sensory impairment or some mobility problems requiring the use of a mobility aid.
  • Derek has escorted hundreds of older people to urgent and essential hospital and Gp appointments throughout Dorset through our Help & Care Volunteer Service.
  • Derek is one of our most passionate supporters of Help & Care Volunteer Services and it is because of his wish to publicise, promote and fund our work that he put us in touch with Oakhaven Hospice who are experts in raising funds through charity shops. As a result Help & Care opened its first Charity Shop in partnership with Oakhaven in November 2014.

Derek Baker has now booked a three-day break at a luxury hotel in Devon with his wife.