Comet Community Awards: Caring mum ‘gobsmacked’ with nomination for Hitchin Volunteer Army service

Lorna Hemmings with her son Dylan, who wasn't so happy about his mum's nomination.

Lorna Hemmings with her son Dylan, who wasn't so happy about his mum's nomination. - Credit: Archant

A caring mum who took over the running of a volunteer service for people who want to give something back to their community has been nominated as a valiant volunteer in the Comet’s Community Awards scheme.

Hitchin Volunteer Army’s Lorna Hemmings helps collect food, clothes and furniture donations for needy families and rallies volunteers for charity projects – all the time working with relevant agencies such as North Herts Homes.

Mum Lorna – who was put forward by Nicola Price of the housing group – sounded shocked when the Comet told her she had been nominated, saying: “I can’t believe it. I’m gobsmacked. It’s very nice to be recognised in this way. I actually talked to Nicola only the other day and she didn’t say a word about it!

“I don’t see myself as a hero in any way. I worked in the charity sector before I became a mother, and I’ve always been passionate about helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves – because it could happen to anyone.

“We’d planned to distribute Christmas hampers to five needy families, but through everyone’s generosity we made it 12. The look on the faces of the families when we handed them their goodies was brilliant.

“Voluntering is so rewarding. I love what I do, after all it’s not every day you get hugs from people you’ve helped – the hugs alone make it worthwhile!

“My two-year-old son Dylan will be pleased his mum’s been put forward – although he’s a keen volunteer too, and sometimes comes with me when we distribute items.

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“I’d also like to thank Hitchin Tilehouse Rotary Club and Hitchin Round Table for their help, too.”

Nicola said: “Lorna runs the HVA entirely off her own back through a Facebook site, and asking for donations of unwanted items.

“It’s an unpaid job which she fits around looking after her son. She’s helped hundreds of people over the last year – people who would otherwise be existing without basic essentials.

“She works hard in her own time to make a real difference to her community.”

Find out more by searching for hitchinparentsvolunteerarmy on Facebook.