Tireless volunteer to carry Olympic Torch on TuesdayBy Jon Nurse
July 06, 2012
A tireless volunteer who has served across the borough for four decades will carry the Olympic torch in Surrey next week.
Christine Callaghan, of Chatsworth Avenue, Winnersh, was nominated for the honour by her husband of 42 years, Brian, for her years of work serving charities in Wokingham.
“I found out and thought surely not me,” the grandmother said. “People have been chosen who have fought all sorts of wonderful battles. I’m just somebody doing everyday things – I’m very humbled.” Mrs Callaghan started volunteering for the Red Cross in 1972 as a maternity and geriatric ward volunteer at Upton Park Hospital in Slough.
The mum-of-four is on the fundraising committee of the NSPCC in Wokingham, volunteers at Wokingham Hospital’s Women’s Royal Volunteer Service (WRVS) coffee shop and has served as a driver for Wokingham Volunteer Bureau for eight months, taking residents to hospital and doctors’ appointments.
“I just like helping people,” she said. “I’m very comfortable meeting people and I like to help those who are not so able in my spare time.”
Mrs Callaghan will carry the torch through Egham on Tuesday.
The 63-year-old was paired with a family in Ruscombe for five years through the Home Start scheme, and the mum will be having caesarean the same day Mrs Callaghan carries the torch.
Husband Brian, 71, said: “She’s very deserving. She’s never short in coming forward when people need help.
“I thought if they were looking for people who do good deeds and make a difference in people’s lives then she fitted the bill. All the family will be there cheering on Tuesday and we’ll have a big celebratory meal afterwards.”
The grandmother will be a Games Maker at the ExCeL centre at the London Games, one of 70,000 volunteers serving this summer.
“I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the world,” she said. “When you go to the training they get you really fired up. It’s a once in a lifetime event having the Olympics here and it’s going to create such a legacy.”