Mrs Eurwen Edwards MBE – A #DenbighshireVolunteers Inspiration
When I first joined DVSC as its new Chief Executive in May last year, I had the pleasure to meet Mrs Eurwen Edwards MBE again.
I was already acquainted with the legendary Mrs Edwards through my work at WCVA and her involvement as one of its trustees. Her reputation came before her. She played a key role in encouraging, supporting and enabling WCVA to take over Morfa Hall offices in Rhyl many years ago. She was also known as a strong advocate for community led local third sector action, and a powerful advocate for North Wales in Cardiff. Her voluntary work has also been acknowledged with a Masters of the British Empire.
Mrs Edwards is one of DVSC’s longest serving Board members which explains her position as our Honorary President. She was originally appointed as a trustee of the charity on the 28 November 1996 and finally retired on the 31 March 2017, at the tender age of 97, after over two decades of service to DVSC.
She’s a genuine #DenbighshireVolunteers inspiration – wise with years, and young at heart with a playful nature.
Mrs Edwards’ volunteer contribution to Denbighshire’s civic society does not end with DVSC. She is deeply embedded in the lifeblood of the North Wales voluntary sector. She has been the President of Pennaf Housing Association, and a trustee, retiring from these roles relatively recently. She also helped set up the Welsh Royal Women’s Centre.
When Damon, our Membership and Business Support Administrator, was asked to chat with Mrs Edwards recently to get more of her volunteering backstory as part of research for this article, he asked about her main motivation for volunteering.
Her comments were illuminating. She told Damon that her main motivation was to help the disabled and those that needed a helping hand; people for whom life was challenging.
What I would like to add to this based on my experience of working with her this last year is that she is passionate about the elderly, tackling loneliness, and social isolation and is equally as passionate about the role the sector can plan in tackling these issues working in partnership with – as well as on occasion challenging – our public partners. She is also a strong advocate for our Welsh language and culture making her a woman ahead of her time, as well as of her time.
It goes without saying that Mrs Edwards has been a committed Board member for DVSC and a champion of the organisation’s role as the membership body and local infrastructure organisation for volunteers, voluntary and community groups
and the third sector in Denbighshire. After all, she has contributed over two decades of service to the organisation. She has played an instrumental role as a Board member and as our President, and will be deeply missed by Board and team members.