Meet the Oldham volunteer who has helped good causes for over 60 years

Barbara started volunteering in her teens and has supported various organisations over the past 60 years - now she's received a royal award

A Greater Manchester volunteer who has given her time and skills to good causes for more than 60 years has received a Platinum Champions Award by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).

Barbara Heywood from Grotton, Oldham has been given a RVS Platinum Champions Award for her volunteering excellence.

Barbara volunteers each week at homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley in Tameside, a charity which supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home, work, companionship and individual support.

“This award was a lovely surprise and really, I receive it on behalf of all the dedicated volunteers who see a job and get it done,” said Barbara.

“I don’t think I’m exceptional and know a lot of other people who do amazing work for good causes.

“I get as much from volunteering at Emmaus than I give, if not more.

“It’s my happy place!”

The Platinum Champion Awards were launched by the Royal Voluntary Service, in honour of their Patron, Her Majesty The Queen.

In partnership with The Big Jubilee Lunch, the awards are an official Jubilee project to celebrate outstanding volunteers across the country who are making a difference every day.

Thousands of people aged from 16 to 101 from all over the UK who volunteer for a range of causes were nominated for the RVS Platinum Champions award.

From these nominations, 490 volunteers were hand-picked by a judging panel presided over by The Duchess of Cornwall, and crowned Platinum Champions.

Barbara started volunteering in her teens and has supported various organisations over the past 60 years, including as a guide commissioner with the Girl Guides and a Duke of Edinburgh Award officer for North West England and at Oldham LEA. 

Alongside volunteering at Emmaus Mossley, Barbara also currently volunteers at Oldham Baptist Church as a church deacon.

“The Platinum Champions Awards have given us the opportunity to celebrate the remarkable contribution of all volunteers, who truly are the backbone of our country,” said RVS President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

“Congratulations to all our Platinum Champions – and my heartfelt thanks to you and to the millions of volunteers across the UK who give their time and talents so generously.” 

Barbara and all RVS Platinum Champions Award winners received a specially designed pin and a signed certificate from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. 

To learn more about volunteering and the Royal Voluntary Service visit To find out more about Emmaus Mossley, visit


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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