A CHARITY volunteer has told of her delight after being recognized for her work in the community.

Norma Bain, 80, a volunteer with Darlington Samaritans, was one of 80 people to be named a diamond champion for their outstanding contribution to charities.

She was nominated by Darlington Samaritans director Liz McAllister and was presented with a diamond pin, at Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland.

Not only does Norma give many hours of her time every month to support people going through a tough time, she also recruits and trains new volunteers.

The diamond champion scheme, supported by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall recognises the contribution that people over the age of 60 make to volunteering to improve the lives of others around them.

Norma and other diamond champions from around the country also met the royal couple in an event at St James’ Palace, in London, last month.

She said: “It was a huge surprise to receive the diamond pin and an honour to then meet the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

“It was also lovely to meet Denise Robertson who presented me with my pin.

“I hope this gives Samaritans the boost in public awareness it deserves, both locally and nationally.”

Ms McAllister said: “Norma is an outstanding volunteer.

“When she gives recruitment talks, her down-to-earth demeanour helps give potential volunteers the feeling that becoming a Samaritan is well within their capabilities.

“Her sheer enthusiasm shines out. She is a wonderful advocate for our work in the local community and a true diamond Samaritan.”