TWELVE volunteers from Wiltshire have attended a prestigious awards ceremony at the House of Lords, where they were commended by Sir Michael Parkinson for their work towards improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers.

Esther Saunders from Tisbury, Janek Pawinski from Salisbury and ten volunteers from Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain group in Tisbury were among 27 volunteers to be commended.

Mr Pawinski, who began volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Society in Salisbury just over a year ago, at first volunteered as a driver taking people with dementia and their carers to the local Singing for the Brain service, and then at the singing sessions themselves.

He said: “It’s a great pleasure knowing the people I help appreciate what I do for them. “I would like to say a big thank you to our local dementia support manager, Julia Burton, and to everyone who nominated me for the award.”

TV Personality and Alzheimer’s Society supporter, Sir Michael said he was “delighted” to congratulate the Wiltshire volunteers for their “exceptional contribution” towards improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers.

He said: “The number of people living with dementia in the UK is set to rise, making the support of volunteers more vital for Alzheimer’s Society than ever before.

“As well as celebrating some outstanding achievements and inspiring a new wave of volunteers, the William Brooks Awards help to raise awareness and keep the conversation about dementia alive.”

The William Brooks Awards are presented annually to exceptional Alzheimer's Society volunteers. Winners are nominated by fellow volunteers, staff or members of the public.