A group of workers in Lynn have banded together to celebrate the dedicated volunteer work of one of their colleagues who is retiring.
Margaret Miles, 82 and from Swaffham, has devoted 18 years of her life the witness service in Lynn and Wisbech, but after she had a stroke three years ago, she is now moving to Scotland to be closer to her son.
Other members of the legal profession wanted to honour Margaret’s work over the years and held a surprise party at Marriott’s Warehouse on Thursday to show her how much she means to them.
Margaret said: “I’ve loved every minute of it. Sometimes when I wake up at 6.30am I think what am I doing but when I get here I’m quite happy. I think it’s kept me well over the years.”
She added that she enjoyed the way in which the service worked together as a team.
Olga Filatova, team leader at the witness service, said: “She is very special to us, so we had to arrange something extremely special for her.
“She has enjoyed working for us so much – she just loves helping people.”
Witness service volunteers provide free and independent support for both prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
As one such volunteer, Margaret has given up her free time five days a week while she worked with the service to make sure that witnesses feel comfortable and confident in giving evidence to criminal trials.
“It’s quite a responsible job for a volunteer,” said fellow worker John Weatherhead.
“Margaret has devoted quite a lot of time to this,” he added.
Before Margaret took on her unpaid role in witness service, she had been involved with the army, the ambulance service, the police force and citizen’s advice.
She is now looking forward to her retirement in Scotland and, unusually, the weather there too.
“One of my children lives in Spain but I couldn’t move there because it’s too hot, so I decided that I’d move to Scotland as I don’t mind the rain,” she said.
Margaret officially leaves the witness service in October and the Citizens Advice programme is always looking to recruit new volunteers to help look after and support witnesses in court.
If you would like to follow in Margaret’s footsteps and work for the witness service as a court-based or outreach volunteer, then send an email to: email@example.com