Volunteer named Citizen of the Year for Merseyside town
published on 14 Oct 2022
Food bank volunteer named Prescot Citizen of the Year
A Salvation Army food bank volunteer has been named Prescot Citizen of the Year for 2022 thanks to the support she provides to the town’s community.
Dorothy Krelle, 69, from Prescot, was awarded the accolade following over 12 years of giving up her time to volunteer for The Salvation Army, amongst other things, which includes supporting the Trussell Trust food bank within The Big Help Project that runs from the charity’s church and community centre, located on Warrington Road.
The retired mother of one, who had a long career with the Tate & Lyle Sugars brand at its factory in Liverpool, volunteers at the Christian church and charity three days a week, working in the food bank, collecting donations, sorting through and packing food parcels and even delivering to people’s houses. Dorothy said: “It’s a privilege to have even been nominated, let alone actually given this award, it’s very emotional. I feel fortunate that I am able to do the work I do. I try and do what I can, and The Salvation Army allows me to do that and the fact that as a church and charity they are extremely close to my heart, makes it feel very rewarding.
“You never do things for recognition, I just like to help people, I always have and it is important for me to not see people go without, so volunteering at the food bank is a good fit for me, and something that I enjoy.”
The food bank has operated out of The Salvation Army in Prescot for over 12 years and supports members of the community with food parcels on Wednesdays from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm, working with referrals to the Big Help Project, Knowsley from organisations including schools, doctors and citizens advice. Dorothy continued: “It’s hard to see people in certain situations, but being able to help and put a smile on faces feels good.
“It's heart-breaking to see people needing to use the food bank, seeing what individuals and families are going through. But it is so rewarding to see how happy we can make people, they are always so grateful and that makes all the time I give up to do it, worthwhile.”
The Salvation Army’s church leader of the Prescot corps (church), corps officer Major Bryn Hargreaves, was one of the people that nominated Dorothy for the award. He said: “We’re thrilled that Dorothy’s tireless work within the community has been recognised with such a prestigious award as ‘Prescot Citizen of the Year’. As a member of the corps, she helps out at the food bank each week and endeavours to help those in need within our community. Dorothy is always on the go, collecting from various sources and delivering help and assistance wherever she can. She is a valued member of our Corps and the community in which she serves and thoroughly deserves this recognition.”
Many of The Salvation Army churches and community centres around Merseyside are seeing increased demand and added pressure as the rise in the cost-of-living rages on and the Prescot corps is no different with the food bank having seen a steady increase in referrals. Dorothy reflected: “Things are getting busier, and we are now seeing such a mix of people attend. Families, young couples, pensioners, refugees and asylum seekers, people who are working but on a low wage; there is no typical food bank user.
“It is a horrendous situation to see; people having to choose between paying for their energy costs to run their household or paying for food, to feed themselves to keep alive; and the scary thing is that anyone could be at risk. So many are living month to month that you just don’t know what is around the corner and that is why food banks now play such an important role in communities; it’s important to keep these facilities running otherwise how are people going to manage?”
Dorothy was presented with the Prescot Citizen of the Year award by the current Mayoress of Prescot, Councillor Joanne Burke. A representative for Prescot Town Council said: “Prescot Town Council are very pleased to award Dorothy with the Prescot Citizen of the Year for 2022 and recognise the positive contribution she makes to the lives of others within her community.”