586. Dorothy Cooper
Dorothy Cooper, is Northern Ireland's leading Samaritan volunteer.
She escaped Hitler’s regime to make a new home in Belfast and has dedicated 40 years of her life to the charity and local people in need of a listening ear. She has taken more than 6000 calls, trained 1600 new members of staff and raised over £20,000 for her Belfast branch.
In a personal letter to Dorothy, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Over the past 40 years you have provided comfort to so many callers to the Belfast Samaritans. Despite experiencing the trauma of being forced to flee your own country, you have dedicated thousands of hours to supporting others in their time of need.”
“I’m shocked to be recognised with this award because I love what I do. Being part of the Samaritans enables me to help others, be among the community and ultimately makes me feel alive!”
Robert Bell, Director of Belfast Samaritans said:
”Dorothy is a genuine inspiration to our volunteers. This is not just for her dedication to helping those who come to us at times of great distress in their lives. She also shows in so many very practical and creative ways the importance of everyone rolling up their sleeves and doing the many necessary things in the background that keep a complex and dynamic organisation ticking over every day.”