Rhyl family pays tribute to mother after being named volunteers of the year


Staff reporter (Rhyl Journal)

A RHYL family has paid tribute to their inspirational mother after being named as a charity’s fundraising volunteers of the year.

There generations of the Steele family have been honoured by British Heart Foundation Cymru after more than 20 years of volunteering.

Family members have dedicated the award to Lil Steele, who died on February, 14, 2013, after a battle with cancer, who was the driving force behind the fundraising.

Her daughter Gail Hargreaves, said: “My father Walter had a heart attack at 39 and needed a triple bypass. My mother decided she wanted to help raise some money as a way of saying thanks.”

Lil, 74, who along with her husband of 53 years, ran Key taxis and volunteered at the Glan Clwyd  Hospital Fundraising Branch helping to raise more than £20,000.
She organised and took part in as many events as she could, managed the hospital stall and served as branch treasurer, a role her son Mark, 49, has taken over.

Walter, 77, said: “We are delighted to have been given such a prestigious title as there are so many worthy volunteers who give their time to the BHF.

“We couldn’t have done anything without the rest of the amazing team at the branch. It has been rewarding work and we all have enjoyed our time working with the BHF.

“We have made some wonderful friends and have so many lovely memories. I would encourage anyone to volunteer for the BHF as it is such a rewarding experience and lots of fun.”

Mark’s children Ben, 12, Emily, 14 and Joseph, six, have been involved in fundraising through bike rides, organising driveway sales, pancake races as well as making cards and jewellery to sell on the Glan Clwyd stall.

Mrs Hargreaves, who fits her volunteering in around her role at Sainsbury’s Rhyl, said: “We are very proud of the award as a family. Our mother started us off and we got the award for her.

“She got us involved, she was passionate about it.

“And with Mark’s three children it is now going on to a new generation.”
Paying tribute to her mother she added: “She was a very caring person, she was always there to help others.”

Sion Edwards, fundraising volunteer manager for the BHF, said: “I am delighted we can recognise the family’s amazing commitment to the BHF. They are always at the forefront of our fundraising activity and seem to effortlessly juggle numerous tasks at one time to help bring in as much money as possible.”

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