A MAN from Worcester has been presented with a special award for his volunteer work in the city.

Ray, who lives at the Lifeways supported living service in Worcester, received his award from Mark Jackson OBE, high sheriff of Worcestershire, in recognition of his work helping with the Monday Night Club, which supports adults with autism or similar learning disability.

Ray, who lives with a learning disability and autism, has been a regular member of the club for the last four years and a volunteer for the last two.

Having picked up his award, he said: "I am very surprised and honoured to receive this award from the High Sheriff.

"If it wasn’t for the Monday Night Club I would not be the person I am today."

Helen Gill, Monday Night Club CEO, said: "Ray is always dependable, cheerful, helpful and, during this last very difficult year for our club, a great support for other members.

"His authenticity and genuine caring always shine through."

Ray received the award along with Laura and Tom, two other club volunteers.

While the club stopped its weekly disco and club meetings when the pandemic began, Ray organised small group meetings online.

He plays a leading role in the club’s ‘Happy Confident Me’ sessions, which help members manage their anxiety and difficult feelings.

To help his work at the club, Ray also achieved a ‘First Aid at Work’ qualification earlier this year.

Due to current restrictions, the three winners received their awards separately, outdoors.

The High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Mark Jackson OBE, said: “The three awards I give today to Laura, Tom and Ray are typical examples of that generosity and good citizenship that we see every day across our county.”

In January, Ray, who’s in his twenties, moved into Bedwardine Court, a Lifeways’ supported living service in Worcestershire, made up of 20 self-contained supported living apartments.

Ray had been unhappy at a shared house at a previous service, and was delighted to finally have his own place – and his independence.

For more information about Lifeways, go to www.lifeways.co.uk