A DEDICATED volunteer has helped a charity win the royal seal of approval for reaching out to isolated people all over Inverclyde.

Jan Mulholland has been volunteering with Compassionate Inverclyde since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The organisation, which is supported by Ardgowan Hospice, recently received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

As an integral member of the team, Jan received a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service special recognition badge and a thank-you letter from Compassionate Inverclyde's Alison Bunce.

Jan hadn't been involved in volunteering until the coronavirus pandemic hit and her involvement with CI came from her friendship with Alison, who runs the support organisation.

Jan, 58, said: "I've been living in England for years and was working in a high powered job in logistics.

"I left the job just before Covid kicked in.

"I know Alison so I phoned her and asked her what I could do to help."

Jan learned that Alison needed someone to make phone calls to people in Inverclyde who were isolated and needed someone to chat to.

Over the last nearly two years, she's built up fantastic friendships with the people through the weekly chinwags.

Jan said: "I can't tell you how much I enjoy it.

"They're such lovely people and chatting to them is an utter joy.

"We have such a laugh and I wind them up all the time.

"I came back to Inverclyde for a visit in September last year and everyone was desperate to meet me

"They're my best pals now."

Jan's award arrived through the post in the form of a certificate, a badge and letter from Alison.

The kind-hearted volunteer says it brought home just how much her calls have helped people through a difficult time.

Jan added: "I cried and cried when I read the letter.

"It's just amazing knowing that we're making life better for people."