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Your Champions 2012: Volunteer supports victims of domestic abuse

A VOLUNTEER who has given more than 1,000 hours of her time to help victims of domestic abuse has been nominated for a Your Champions award.

Margaret Murray, who lives in Saltney, is a volunteer mentor with the Deeside-based Domestic Abuse Safety Unit.

She has been put forward in the volunteer category of the Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions awards by the organisation’s mentor co-ordinator Suzanne Iuppa.

Suzanne told the Chronicle: “Margaret has embraced her training and role with relish, going on to help many people make positive life changes after deciding they will not live with domestic abuse.

“As a DASU mentor Margaret has given over 1,000 hours of her own time to help others in Flintshire feel confident and plan for a fulfilling future.

“Margaret is a previous service-user of the charity. She became a mentor in December 2011 and has helped deliver the Freedom Programme in 2012 to over 20 women in the county, supporting them to recognise abuse and develop skills to foster healthy relationships for themselves and their families.

“She has also worked one-to-one with women to help them overcome anxiety, feel comfortable in public and using public transport, become more physically active, develop new social links and their innate talents.”

She added: “Margaret is also a great organiser and has kick-started two new volunteer efforts at the centre, Steel Magnolias, where she led a group of mentees and mentors to transform the back yard of the DASU into a haven of flowers and comfy seating, and Coffee Plus, a co-operative coffee afternoon featuring crafting and socialising.

“Margaret has a way of getting everyone together without it feeling forced and keeps everyone’s welfare uppermost in her mind when they work on projects. Margaret truly is a great role model for others and an inspiration to the DASU team. She deserves to be recognised as a Flintshire volunteer community champion!”

Margaret said she was ‘surprised’ but ‘honoured’ to be nominated for the award.

She said: “I’m just one of many volunteers, we all do what we can. I get so much from it. It is an honour to be nominated.”