AWARD WINNER: Sylvia Haigh (centre) with Andrew Fraser and Cheryl Nolan.
AWARD WINNER: Sylvia Haigh (centre) with Andrew Fraser and Cheryl Nolan. Jasmine Minhas

Charity 'mum' recognised with Premier's Award

LOCAL volunteer, Sylvia Haigh, has been recognised for her hard work in helping migrants and refugees settle on the North Coast over the past decade.

Ms. Haigh has been volunteering for five days a week at St Vincent de Paul's North Coast Settlement Service, and she has allegedly never had a day off.

She was awarded with the Premier's Volunteer Recognition Program Certificate by Andrew Fraser MP on Monday.

"It's nice to know that people appreciate you", Ms. Haigh said.

Cheryl Nolan, manager of the North Coast Settlement Service, says the service would not be running without Ms. Haigh.

"She does everything - sees clients, does the budgeting and accounts and all of our statistics, and never has a day off even when I tell her to", she said.

Ms. Haigh, who is known as "mum" amongst the clients, says the most rewarding part of her work is seeing how her clients develop as individuals in the Australian community.

"We have a bit of a joke with the clients. Some are independent of the service but they always come back to say hello - I have one client who always calls me 'mum' so I always call him 'son'", she said.

Ms. Haigh herself moved to Australia from England when she was only 17, and says it was the best decision she has ever made.