Chatton woman wins award for charity work
Rotarian Joy Palmer Cooper has been honoured with Rotary International's Champions of Change award for her outstanding work in helping the community.
Joy, from Chatton, was chosen to receive the award after founding the charity Project Sri Lanka, whose initiatives provide long-term community development for areas hit by the 2004 tsunami.
Its work includes the ongoing provision and maintenance of educational and community buildings, funding agro-drinking wells and sanitation facilities and providing emergency and ongoing treatment to those who are sick and injured.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick, accompanied Joy when she joined 11 other previously unsung Rotary heroes to receive her award at a ceremony hosted by Baron Inglewood at the House of Lords.
Baron Inglewood, who is an honorary member of Penrith Rotary Club, described the event as a “great initiative in promoting the values of Rotary not only among our Lords and leaders but also within the Rotary world.”
Mrs Trevelyan said: “It was an honour to hear more about Joy’s incredible work, and I’m pleased she has been recognised by Rotary for her dedication and commitment.
“I really enjoyed meeting Joy and celebrating with her and the other recipients.”
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson presented the awards after he demonstrated keen personal and professional interest in encouraging people to engage in social action, volunteering and the Big Society Initiative, a key principle of Rotary. The minister said he was “humbled” by the projects recognised and believed “we need more organisations like Rotary driving change and reform.”
Nominations for the awards were in two categories — domestic and international — and were invited from across Rotary’s 26 districts, which take in 1,800 clubs and 50,000 members. Winners’ projects ranged from work tackling the problem of human trafficking in India to raising money and awareness for families affected by domestic violence here in the UK.
Peter Davey, president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, commented: “We are celebrating the achievements of our 12 awardees, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Joy’s work is invaluable in helping those who continue to be affected by the Tsunami and she is a very worthwhile recipient of one of this year’s awards.”