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Jackie Cooper receives a British Citizen Award

Dolphin Ladies Swimming Club / Blog  / Jackie Cooper receives a British Citizen Award

Jackie Cooper receives a British Citizen Award

Jackie Cooper, our Treasurer, has received this award for her volunteering and charity work. We all know that she is a Trustee of Harambee for Kenya and articles about her work with them have been included in newsletters. She is a Director of Sussex Clubs for Young People and also works for Katy Bourne (Police & Crime Commissioner) as an Independent Custody Visitor (ICV). She has been an ICV for 25 years and is now lead co-ordinator in Brighton, which is the busiest custody suite in Sussex. She visits the custody suite, any time, unannounced 24/7, to check on the welfare of detainees and ensures they been given their rights and entitlements and are being treated with respect and dignity in accordance with the Human Rights Act and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. When she visits, she speaks with the detainees and checks on their welfare and the conditions that they are being held in.

Jackie went to the House of Lords on January 23rd to receive her medal. It is inscribed “For the Good of the Country”. On behalf of all the members of the club “Congratulations” Jackie on a richly deserved recognition of your charity work.

From Jackie: People who volunteer do not volunteer with the expectation of being ‘rewarded’ so to be awarded a British Citizen Award for volunteering was to say the least a surprise and the day itself a little overwhelming.

Medallists and their nominators were invited to afternoon tea on the terrace at the House of Lords.  The tea was hosted by Lord Dholakia, whose wife Anne, whom long standing members of DLSC will remember as one of our teachers. During the tea we were presented with our medals by Michael Underwood and someone from one of the sponsoring organisations.  Each medallist was accompanied by a specially chosen piece of music which reflected some part of their life or volunteering.

As the invitations to the House of Lords were limited, family and friends were invited to join us for an open top bus lap of honour around the sights of the city before going to Church House for an evening reception where our certificates were presented and we got to hear about all the wonderful things people had done or achieved.  I met the first Asian woman to swim the English Channel, a man whose campaign to have the law changed following the murder of his daughter and many people who just go about doing their ‘bit of volunteering’ in their local community.  The evening was just like one of those flashy awards ceremonies we see on TV.  It began with the Hakka delivered by three west London New Zealanders who explained that the Hakka is meant to pull us all together, which is what volunteering does, brings us together for the greater good.  The ceremony finished with a performance by the London International Gospel Choir.

It was a wonderful day and I will continue to do my bit whether it be visiting Brighton Custody Suite, running a youth group, checking on those ex-street boys in Kenya or collecting your subs.