Congratulations to Thomas Pocklington Trust volunteer Helen Tran who has won a Community Action Award at the Team London Awards.

Helen, who is visually impaired, has been recognised for her volunteer work as a Telephone Befriender with Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT).

Our Telephone Befrienders phone blind or partially sighted service users, who are isolated and struggle to get out on their own, weekly to provide them with regular, friendly contact.

Helen has been a volunteer with TPT since 2012 in a variety of roles and a Telephone Befriender since 2014.

“It really makes me happy volunteering as a Telephone Befriender. Being blind myself, it makes me feel good to know I’m helping others,” Helen said.

“I can understand how difficult it is to get that social interaction sometimes. A voice really does make a difference to how they’re feeling and just coping in general with their every day life.”

“Over time you build a good partnership with your service user and get to know them. If the service user isn’t feeling good you try and help turn things around a bit. Helping them realise that there is more to life and there’s a lot of things out there.”

Helen said she was shocked to win the award. “I wasn’t expecting it. It was a real shock. It made me feel so honoured. Being nominated was pretty awesome already,” she said.

Kirsty Palmer, TPT Development Manager for Volunteering, said: “Congratulations to Helen Tran for winning the Community Action Award in the under 25’s category at the Team London awards ceremony that took place last night at City Hall.

“Helen volunteers as a Telephone Befriender supporting very socially isolated individuals with sight loss and has demonstrated enormous dedication and commitment to her role and the people she supports. People like Helen really make a difference to the lives of people with sight loss and we are thrilled that Helen has been recognised for her achievements,” Kirsty said.

The Team London Awards are one of the ways the Mayor recognises some of those volunteers who go above and beyond to create better local communities.

To find out how you can volunteer with us, visit our Volunteering Page.