December 2009: Pat Brooks from Bengeo was presented with a long-term service award at the Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service (HHAS) office on 2 December.
Pat started volunteering for the hearing loss charity only three years after it started in 1981, and has continued for the last 25 years.
She finds time every month to help local people with their hearing aid, despite her family commitments - she looks after her 97 year old mother, and has 2 children, 6 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild!
"Because I have hearing loss myself, I appreciate the help that people need. I enjoy visiting people and hearing about their lives," said Pat. "The NHS services are good, but you are one patient in hundreds. I think the personal touch helps - people sometimes need some extra support and encouragement."
Philip Linnegar, chief executive of HHAS, said: "Pat has tirelessly helped people with hearing loss for 25 years. We would like to thank her on behalf of the charity and the many, many people she has helped."
Pat, who has lived in Bengeo for over 35 years, says volunteering for the charity has helped her get to know people locally.
"As I'm working in a small area, I have got to know many people and their friends through the volunteer work. It's lovely to feel part of the community," said Pat.
Despite her 25 years service, Pat has no intention of giving up her volunteer work. "I shouldn't think I'll stop volunteering any time soon - while I can still walk to places I'll carry on," she said.
HHAS urgently needs more volunteers in East Hertfordshire to help local people suffering from hearing loss. Of the 27 care homes in East Hertfordshire, only 18 are currently being visited by an HHAS volunteer.
To find out more about volunteering for the charity, contact Gary Appleby, the charity's volunteer coordinator on 01707 324 582 or email@example.com.