A DEDICATED Redditch woman is celebrating after being named a cancer charity’s volunteer of the year.

Wen Stone, aged 31, who was raised in the town and went to the RSA Academy Arrow Vale school, has been honoured by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

She was presented with the trust’s Luke Gilbert Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of the difference she has made to the lives of young people living with cancer. The charity aims to inspire young people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future through sailing and outdoor activity.

Wen herself was diagnosed with very severe aplastic anaemia – or bone marrow failure - in 2010. Within two weeks she had a bone marrow transplant and in five years had 148 blood transfusions.

During her recovery, Wen, who now lives in Hereford, sailed with the trust for the first time and for the past eight years has volunteered on trips across the country.

She said: “It still seems a bit surreal winning the award. I’m massively grateful and humbled by it especially when there are so many incredible volunteers at the Trust. With the past year looking and feeling so different, I was just doing what I always do, using my experiences to help make others’ experience that bit easier.

"Because I spent so much of the past year shielding, I knew what it was like, I knew the challenges faced when the rest of the world began to open and ease while for us it was still a strict no go. I knew the ups and downs that came with being high risk for Covid. Being able to still volunteer and bring some fun to those stuck inside brought me as much joy as I hope it did for them.”