Our finest Aussies honoured

Lismores Young Citizen of the Year Lucy Andrews with Australia Day ambassador, Paralympian Ben Austin, and Citizen of the Year Helen Bryant.

Helen Bryant may not have any children, but she has put her heart and soul into helping kids for more than half a century.

On Saturday Helen was named Lismores Citizen of the Year at the annual Australia Day awards ceremony for her role volunteering with CASPA, formerly known as the North Coast Childrens Home.

She has been quietly raising funds for more than 50 years to help abused and neglected children who can no longer live at home. A humble woman, Helen said she was embarrassed by the award as there are so many worthy people who volunteer in the community.

Helen said she loves staying active, and is also president of the Lismore Base Hospital Auxiliary, has supported the North Coast National Show, Quota and View Clubs, and is secretary/treasurer of the Lismore Square Tuesday Club.

Volunteering keeps me young my mind alert and my hands busy, said Helen. I like helping people other than myself and so many groups are crying out for volunteers. We really need young, fresh blood and new ideas to keep these community organisations going.

Helen would no doubt be very proud of Lismores Young Citizen of the Year, Lucy Andrews, who is one young person that has taken up the volunteering baton.

A student at Trinity Catholic College, Lucy is involved with the Student Representative Council, St Vincent de Paul, has helped with an appeal for Southern Cross LADS and a Girls Night In to raise money for the Cancer Council. She has also collected for the Rescue Helicopter and Red Cross during their annual doorknock appeals, and spends time visiting aged care homes, all whilst holding down a casual job.

It was an incredible thrill I didnt expect it, said Lucy after receiving her award. It was really inspiring to see all the other people who are contributing and making a difference in Lismore, especially the young people because they are the future.

At my school they give us so many opportunities to help in the community. Sometimes you can be too self-conscious or not confident enough to go out and get involved, but if you can do it with your friends and theres support from the school, then it motivates you to go for it. Its not a boring job you get to meet people and its extremely rewarding.

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