Charity worker through to Britain’s Best Volunteer final.

Liz Glenister
Liz Glenister

A charity founder from East Grinstead has been chosen as one of five finalists for the Britain’s Best Volunteer award.

Liz Glenister, 61, began Hypopara UK in July 2005 after her experience of living with undiagnosed brittle hypoparathyroidism following surgery for thyroid cancer in 1992.

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition where a reduced concentration of parathyroid hormone causes deficiencies in calcium and phosphorus, which can lead to muscular spasms, kidney problems and diabetes.

She was prompted to do something after discovering that there was very little information available to those diagnosed with the condition.

After receiving a £300 start-up loan from the Hypopara Association in the US, she grew the online forum to 200 members in a short space of time and started building a team of highly-regarded specialists.

Since then, Liz has produced numerous information leaflets for health organisations, set up two telephone helplines for sufferers, assisted other hypopara charities around the world - most recently in Australia - and contributed to the BTA Thyroid Cancer guidelines, all whilst raising a family and managing her own hypoparathyroidism condition.

The Britain’s Best Volunteer competition has attracted hundreds of nominations for charity workers from across Britain, volunteering for a wide range of organisations including community projects, fundraising groups and support charities.

The award, a partnership between specialist charity insurer Markel UK and Small Charities Coalition, the support organisation for small charities, rewards those who volunteer their time to help local charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations.

The winner of the award will receive £1,250 for the charity or charities of their choice, and a personal prize of a holiday voucher worth £1,000. The four runner-up finalists will receive £250 for a charity of their choice and a personal prize of an Apple Watch.

Judith Miller, trustee of the Small Charities Coalition and one of the judges of the award, said: “Whittling the nominations down to only five finalists was incredibly difficult as it was clear that every volunteer made a vital contribution to their charity. We wish the five finalists the best of luck for the public vote stage.”

Andy Partington, director of Markel UK, and also a judge added: “The standard of nominations was incredibly high and each of the five finalists has shown extraordinary dedication, initiative and commitment to their cause. We look forward to seeing who the public will choose as Britain’s Best Volunteer.”

The public can now vote for the finalist they think most deserves to win the award, through which will remain open until March 18.

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