A COUPLE from Watermoor in Cirencester who have been helping as volunteers at a care home for the elderly every day for the past ten years have been presented with an award for their dedication.

Daphne and Arthur Smith have been carrying out activities such as gardening and knitting, fundraising and chatting to residents of Paternoster House every day since March 2004 and staff at the home say they do not know what they would do without them.

“They are absolutely amazing,” said Paternoster House manager Joy Warren. “Daphne is the driving force but Arthur supports her all the way and they are invaluable.”

The couple were invited to a volunteers’ day at Gloucester Guildhall last week by the Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) which runs Paternoster House and other care homes in the county.

Lindsey Buckenham, of OSJCT, said the trust could not be more grateful to their great volunteers and the important role they played in the lives of the residents.

“People like Mr and Mrs Smith, who have spent thousands of hours at our homes, provide our residents with the most meaningful and priceless gift all – their time and compassion,” she said.

“We started because Arthur’s mother was a patient here,” said Daphne. “We just started by playing dominoes and other games with them and it’s built up over the years. They all become friends and are always pleased to see us.”

Now activities include everything from gardening sessions, to bingo afternoons or helping with day trips.

Joy added: “Daphne is happy to do anything and just gets on with it, with Arthur helping and supporting her. They are brilliant and the residents love them.”