Every Tuesday Shona Bramley heads to St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Hamilton for a bit of light exercise and to catch up with friends.
At 81, she says, there's no point sitting around at home while she can help someone out.
It's that attitude that saw her recognised last night with the top accolade at the Waikato volunteer excellence awards.
"I'm still alive and while I am alive and can get around I may as well do something," Mrs Bramley said. The Fairview Downs resident has an impressive list of community involvement.
She organises a weekly get-together at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, which includes exercise sessions and guest speakers, for members of the Hamilton chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) support group, a service offered by Asthma and Respiratory Services (Waikato), which nominated her for the award.
A long-time asthma sufferer, Mrs Bramley decided she wanted to volunteer for the incorporated society after her children left home and she had retired.
For more than 20 years Mrs Bramley has worked tirelessly for the group on its board of trustees, organising its biennial golf tournament and on the asthma fundraiser, National Balloon Day.
She also volunteers at the Hamilton Gardens in the information centre.
The awards, held at Waikato Stadium, coincide with volunteer awareness week, which runs until Saturday.
Frankie Letford was the runner-up in the excellence section, while Friends of True Colours co-ordinator Diane O'Sullivan and Red Cross worker at Five Cross Roads Ruth Cameron received special commendations.
Refugee Services Aotearoa New Zealand took out the volunteer team excellence award and Family Op Shop Team-Whitianga Community Services Trust was runner-up.
LifeLine Waikato received a special commendation in the team section.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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