Thorpe St Andrew woman honoured for her work with the Alzheimer’s Society

A Norwich volunteer has received a special award for her dedication to helping people affected by Alzheimer's.

Audrey Welch, from Thorpe St Andrew, was presented with a William Brooks Award at Buckingham Palace where she was commended by Princess Alexandra, the royal patron of the Alzheimer's Society.

She was also congratulated by TV presenter Sir Michael Parkinson.

Mrs Welch, 71, has spent the past five years helping people with dementia and their carers.

As well as being a volunteer driver, Mrs Welch is a support service volunteer and is also involved in informal lunch groups, including a group for bereaved carers.

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Paul Dunnery, from the Alzheimer's Society, said: 'Audrey truly deserves this award. All of our volunteers are committed to improving the lives of people living with dementia and their carers, and Audrey is a wonderful ambassador of that work.'

Mrs Welch first became involved with the Alzheimer's Society when her husband Fred was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

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She said: 'I lost him three years ago but I just love helping; I love helping other people. I didn't even know they did an award – I'm just overwhelmed. Everybody in the society has been so supportive and tells me I deserve it. It just makes me feel that all I'm doing is worthwhile.'

The William Brooks Awards are presented annually to 10 exceptional Alzheimer's Society volunteers. There are 12,000 people living with dementia in Norfolk and this is set to rise to 17,000 in 10 years.

Do you know somebody who has been honoured with an award? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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