Each year during the first week of June we celebrate Volunteers' Week and take the time to recognise the amazing contributions Re-engage volunteers make.

To celebrate Volunteers' Week, we team up with ‘Room to Reward’  to say thank you to the ‘Hidden Heroes’ – inspirational volunteers who give up their time to make a difference to people aged 75 and over who are experiencing loneliness or social isolation.

‘Hidden Heroes’ are ordinary people doing extraordinary things while asking for nothing in return. We reward volunteer winners with a one or two night bed-and-breakfast stay for two people at a choice of more than 500 hotels in locations all over the UK.

2024 Re-engage award winners

Paula Mullooly

Paula had an incredible ten nominations for her 2024 Re-engage volunteer of the year award. She was described as friendly, caring, always smiling and even ‘an angel in disguise.’

Paula helped set-up the Thurrock 6 tea party group in Essex seven years ago, first starting as a driver and now coordinating the group, supported by eight other volunteers, for 11 older people. As well as organising the tea parties, she also produces a quarterly newsletter for the eight Re-engage groups in Thurrock.

Lorraine, the West Lothian area organiser, is beloved by the tea party guests in her groups – Almond Valley, Whitburn, Bathgate and Armadale. She started with the charity as a volunteer driver and host more than 20 years ago and has helped tea party groups thrive.

Her award nominations highlighted her ‘inspiration and dedication’, praising her tireless efforts in preparing soups, desserts, haggis, neeps and tatties for the monthly social events. Lorraine has also delighted guests and volunteers by organising canal boat trips, steam train rides, Christmas pantos, Burns Night suppers, games and quizzes. Additionally, she volunteers as a driver for the Kirkcaldy group.

Throughout her many years of running these groups, Lorraine has missed just two tea parties and is fondly described as ‘the glue that holds our Re-engage community together.’

Annette began her volunteering journey with Re-engage in 2012 as a volunteer driver for the Wolverhampton 1 tea party group, and she became the group coordinator a few years later. Despite the challenges posed by Covid, Annette maintained contact with her group and by the time lockdown had ended all of her guests returned.

In 2024, Annette was honoured as one of the winners of Re-engage's volunteer awards for exemplifying our value of ‘innovation’. She creatively hosts tea parties at various venues, regularly bringing her nine guests to a care home, garden centre, church hall and a local Sikh temple with a community area.

She was recommended by one of her group who said: “The guests love her kindness.”

Stewart has been volunteering for Re-engage for 40 years, ever since he and his wife, Pam, responded to a TV advert seeking volunteers in 1984. Sadly, Pam passed away last year, and Stewart briefly considered stepping down as the group coordinator of the Bexleyheath 69a tea party group. However, knowing Pam would have wanted him to continue, he decided to carry on and will do so for as long as he can.

His nomination described him as: ‘Quite simply a great guy who would do anything for anyone. He always goes the extra mile to ensure things run smoothly but is never looking for any thanks. He’s basically the head of a big family.’

Louisa has been calling her call companion, Margaret, weekly since January 2022. Despite having a very busy job in Oncology at London’s Cromwell Hospital and in the Health and Life Sciences Team at digital transformation company, Atos, Louisa finds time to volunteer for two charities. The calls Louisa makes have improved Margaret’s quality of life immensely.

A big thank you to everyone who made a nomination and huge congratulations to all the volunteers recognised. We wish you could all be winners. Our next volunteer awards will be held later this year, and nearer the time, we’ll provide details in Re-engage Matters and on social media about how you can make nominations.

Contact us

We have teams across the UK.


7 Bell Yard


0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630