Volunteer gardener Marilyn Bowles has been recognised for her dedication in transforming the grounds at Leicester’s MHA Aigburth care home.

Marilyn has been named Supporter of the Year in the Methodist Homes' (MHA) Outstanding Service Contribution and Recognition (OSCAR) Awards which recognise the hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers at the charity’s services across Britain.

She was nominated for the award by staff at the home, which is based in Oadby. Her nomination talked about how she puts all her time in to running the gardening needs of the home, regardless of the weather, raising funds for new plants and starting a gardening club for residents.

Among those nominating Marilyn was home manager Salome Mapfeka, who said: “If there was a superhero whose power was gardening it would be Marilyn. She has transformed our gardens from a sad and sorry weed jungle to our very own bit of paradise.

“The garden is so important for residents’ spiritual wellbeing and now residents enjoy it with their families and colleagues’ spirits are lifted.”

Marilyn was presented with her award by MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan, Chair of the Board of Trustees John Robinson CBE and Steve Kirkland from award sponsor J Tomlinson.

She said: “It is an honour to have been nominated for and won this award. I help out in the garden because I want to make sure our residents have an outdoor area they can enjoy, no matter what the weather and their reactions make the hard work worthwhile.”

MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan said: “We recognise that what makes our services to older people so good is primarily the quality of our staff and the dedication of our volunteers.

"The winners of our Oscar awards clearly demonstrate the best of what we hope all our colleagues will uphold as they go about making sure they enable people to live later life well. They all deserve their accolades.”

Has Marilyn's story inspired you? Why not find out how you can volunteer for MHA too.

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