Recognition for volunteer who helped domestic violence victims

A woman has made it  through to the final round of the PCC's Outstanding Citizen Awards after spending a decade volunteering to help  victims of domestic violence.   

Margaret O'Reilly from Druids Heath  is a  Senior  Family  Support  Worker, but in 2008 decided there weren't enough hours in her working day  to help all the vulnerable women that needed support in her area.     


(Pic: Margaret O'Reilly)

As a solution,  Margaret and a small number of others  set up a  voluntary group to  address the issue.   

Her team of volunteers  were largely made up of  students from the  University of Birmingham who were already studying social work and were keen to gain vital experience.   

Margaret made sure victims had food and shelter. She also ensured they had access to counselling, anger management, personal development and legal support.     

Some of the women Margaret has helped have gone on to  study at  university become midwives and teaching assistants. Their lives transformed by her voluntary  work. 

Margaret's volunteering has drawn praise from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner - David Jamieson - who personally  shortlisted her for the  Outstanding Citizens Award.     

Mr Jamieson said: "Margaret  goes above and beyond every day. For ten years  she has worked tirelessly to support  vulnerable  women in Druids Heath. She has enabled many of those women to put their past behind them, discover a new confidence and  achieve some incredible things." 

  Margaret O'Reilly said: "When I saw that I had been shortlisted  for an Outstanding Citizen Award I couldn't believe my eyes.   

"I had no idea I had been nominated, let alone selected by the PCC as one of the front runners.   

"It is lovely to be recognised in this way, but I am rewarded  every  day for the work I do when I see the women recover from the abuse they have suffered." 

The Outstanding Citizens Awards take place on  5th July.