Mum would be proud of Red Cross honour

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Derry Red Cross volunteer Liz Thompson says her late mother, who passed away at Christmas three years ago, would be so proud of her receiving the society’s ‘Badge of Honour for Devoted Service.”

The Killymallaght woman, who has been volunteering at the Red Cross store in The Diamond since 2014, was shocked when a visitor from head office surprised her with the award on Friday.

“I’m delighted,” said Liz. “I can’t believe it. I hadn’t an inkling about the award.”

“I’d just really like to thank all the staff, Tracy, Amanda and Paula. They make you feel so welcome,” she said.

Liz has been volunteering at the shop since August 2014, which was an emotional time, in that she had only recently lost her mother.

Elizabeth Walsh had passed away, aged 92, on the day before Christmas Eve in 2013 having suffered from dementia in the last years of her life. Liz was her carer.

“I was the only girl in the house with four brothers and I was more of a sister to her,” said Liz.

“I find it very hard now. She would have loved coming in and looking at the clothes. “She was very independent.

“My mother would have been ever so proud of me getting this. I think it’s the first in Northern Ireland actually. My mother would have been proud,”

Liz, who worked for decades as a telephonist with Robert Keys, followed by stints in catering, said she loves volunteering and believes she’s finally found her true vocation.

“I was never in retail in my life but if I was sixteen again I would definitely go for retail.

“You get a buzz.

“I never worked a till until I came in here. I was 60 years of age when I played for the job and I’d never worked a till before in my life.”

Well done Liz.