Margaret honoured for 25 years of dedication

Margaret Robinson, a community volunteer in Drylaw, has been presented with the Thomas Tierney Award for Good Citizenship in recognition of her work.

The 85-year-old has been volunteering at Drylaw's Rainbow Club Day Centre, which helps older people and those with dementia, since its inception in 1985. The award came as she retired from the role.

Despite being older than many of those who use the centre, Mrs Robinson said there was always someone who was worse off than her, and she felt the need to help them.

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Born on 9 March 1925 in Stockbridge, Mrs Robinson was educated at Flora Stevenson School before joining the civil service.

She left her post there when she married and moved into her current house at Easter Drylaw Bank in 1953.

Mrs Robinson said that as most of her friends and neighbours were getting involved with volunteering through the local church, there was a real social element to the work.

But after dedicating 25 years of her time to helping those in need, Mrs Robinson said she'd finally had enough.

"I was getting over-tired and my daughter kept telling me that I should stop," she said. "I was getting to the stage where I felt like I was not so able myself. I think I made the right decision though, because I can now spend time doing other things that I love – gardening and country dancing."

Mrs Robinson's award was established by the Drylaw Telford Community Council as an annual commemoration of a local activist, Thomas Tierney, who died in 1999.

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The Rainbow Centre's day care coordinator, Jackie Brown, was one of the people who nominated Mrs Robinson for the award.

"She was one of those people who would just come in and get the job done. Every week she turned up to wash dishes, do the church flowers and even took care of the accounts," she said.

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Ms Brown, who is also a Drylaw Telford community councillor, said while the centre had paid staff to undertake the personal care work, the centre couldn't survive without volunteers to do all the extra jobs.

"We have noticed an increase in demand for our services," she said. "We recently boosted the number of spaces we have available for daycare services from 60 to 75 to meet that demand".

Mrs Robinson said she still expected to be involved with the Rainbow Centre, and looked forward to any concerts that may be held there.

"One thing I will be sad to miss out on, though, is the centre's 25th anniversary celebrations later this month, as I'll be in Wales on holiday."

She said while she was very surprised to receive the award, she has treasured her time as a volunteer.

"It's a very worthwhile job. It feels like you're helping somebody and that helps you."