A Salford teenage volunteer has been honoured for her inspirational work helping others.
Demi-Leigh Harrison, 15, was given a special recognition certificate by Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett and Salford CVS as part of the Heart of Salford awards after years of volunteering at the Lifecentre based in Salford.
And now she has also been put forward for the Young Volunteer of the Year award.
Demi-Leigh had a personal visit from Mr Dennett, to hand over her nomination. In a tweet, the mayor said: “Lovely to meet Demi-Leigh Harrison who is such an inspirational young leader in our city.”
Lovely to meet Demi-Leigh Harrison @demi32633187 who is such an inspirational young leader in our City, volunteering since the age of 11, currently supporting the @_Lifecentre’s MakeLunch holiday club & Good Thoughts Bags initiative over past 3 years. Thank You! #SpiritOfSalford pic.twitter.com/Sw0FziXMUh
— SalfordMayor (@salford_mayor) December 5, 2020
Demi-Leigh was surprised to hear that she had been nominated. She said: “I honestly don’t know why. The Lifecentre nominated me but I have no idea why I specifically was picked.”
The award comes from the Heart of Salford Awards 2020, an annual event that gives special recognition to volunteering and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Salford.
The Lifecentre is a Christian charity closely working with Langworthy Community Church which supports families.
Demi-Leigh, who has been volunteering since she was 11, works with children in the clubs offered by Lifecentre, running activities and events with them.
She added: “We do creative stuff, making things. Last summer we did little fish you had to make, drawing on scales and colouring them.”
The Lifecentre runs a Make Lunch during the summer for children who would normally have free school lunches.
However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it cannot operate.
Demi-Leigh said: “Because we couldn’t do the club, we’ve been doing these bags with cereals and stuff in.
“I helped out by packing the bags and then, at one point, I went down to the Lifecentre and helped deliver them.”
The Make Lunch Club runs three days a week for two hours at lunchtime during school holidays and provides children with a free meal that they are missing from school.
Lifecentre has connections with Citywide Catering Services, Salford Community Leisure, Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Cadishead Rhinos, Kelloggs, NHS CCG Salford, Greggs as well as many local community groups.
So exciting to give these @MeaningfulChoc Real Advent Calendars to the Breakfast Group children this morning, with a Christmas story booklet to keep too. Chocolate for breakfast, what could possibly go wrong???
(Thanks to our lovely @Traidcraft ambassador @Hillywigs 🙂) pic.twitter.com/Eux1zUlQjs
— Lifecentre Salford (@_Lifecentre) December 1, 2020
With GCSEs around the corner and four years of volunteering under her belt already, she has no plans to slow down any time soon.
She said: “I’m going to college next year and I know that will be a lot of work.
“But I’m hoping to do more with Lifecentre and other charities. I’m happy to help with any charity, anyone who needs helps really.”