A local Asda colleague from Washington is being congratulated, after receiving the British Empire Medal following her recognition earlier in the year as part of the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Maureen Wallwork, community champion at the Asda Washington store, earned the prestigious award through her outstanding commitment and extensive work with charities in her local community.
In addition to volunteering at the local food bank’s community kitchen, helping to serve meals to the needy and vulnerable, the incredible 66-year-old regularly helps out with her local Age UK group, serving refreshments to elderly guests and acting as compere to host entertainment for them.
A familiar and friendly face with so many in the area, she volunteers with local schools, and is also well-known for her fundraising with the Royal British Legion and Friends of Sulgrave Manor –  just a fraction of all the good causes she works with day-to-day.
Maureen said: “It was an absolutely fabulous moment receiving the award; the whole event was a blur really!
“I’m proud to receive it on behalf of myself, my family, my friends and the community and I was delighted some of the charities were able to join me when I received it.
“My role is all about going out into the community and showing people that you care. I love my job and I love everybody I work with.
“My colleagues in the store are so supportive of me – without that support I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do.”
The British Empire Medal is awarded for meritorious civil or military service, and it was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Susan Whitfield OBE, in the Mayor’s Parlour at Sunderland Civic Centre.
Councillor Doris MacKnight, Mayor of Sunderland, said: “Maureen is a great example for us all, and a credit to the people of her local community and the city of Sunderland.
“She’s a great ambassador for volunteers and the voluntary sector. Without people like Maureen life would not be the same for so many people who need our help and support.”
After receiving her medal, the grandmother of four was congratulated at the store by colleagues and some of those she helps as part of her role at Asda and within her spare time.
Paul Brayson, deputy store manager at Asda Washington, said: “All of the colleagues are really proud of her.
“She does a fantastic job in her role as community champion and does an awful lot of community work in her spare time too.
“She helps such a wide range of people – the young, the elderly and the needy; she is truly a shining example in our community.
“On the behalf of everyone here at Asda, I’d like to congratulate Maureen on this amazing achievement and thank her for all the hard work and commitment she has shown to date.”