July 25 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 15, 2014
A 91-year-old volunteer and inventor from Sprowston has been officially recognised by the prime minister for his “outstanding contribution” to helping others.
Eric Bambridge, who lives off Sprowston Road, is one of the longest-serving volunteers for charity Voluntary Norfolk and has been given a Point of Light award by David Cameron.
Mr Cameron said: “As well as giving up his free time to visit vulnerable people, Eric used his creative skills to help them live more independently.
“This is why I am recognising Eric as a Point of Light, to congratulate him for his inspirational service to his community and going the extra mile to help others.”
An “excited” Mr Bambridge said: “I never expected anything like this.
“I get a good feeling helping people. It is a good feeling to think that you’ve done some good. You can’t buy that satisfaction you get from helping.”
After his wife died 20 years ago, Mr Bambridge began volunteering as he was keen to stay busy and do something positive with his experience of caring for her.
A keen inventor, he is always looking for practical solutions to everyday care problems and has made a range of inventions to help the people he has visited over the years as befriender.
Mr Bambridge now volunteers as a special guest speaker and attends a monthly talk to promote volunteering.
Volunteering manager, Andrew Morter, said: “It is appropriate that Eric has been given a Point of Light Award because he is an absolute star and a shining example of the kind of contribution that volunteers can make. He certainly deserves the recognition that this award brings.
“Eric is an excellent ambassador for volunteering and demonstrates that at whatever stage you are in life, there is always something you can do to help in your community.”
Mr Bambridge first showed his inventions to Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, who described him as an “inspiration”. She added: “We are incredibly lucky to have him in Norwich, making others happy in so many everyday ways. This is a richly deserved honour for Eric and I wish him all happiness in receiving it.”
The award was developed in partnership with the Points of Light programme in America, established by president George Bush.
• Have you received a special award? Ring reporter Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 693892 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.