Jewish Women’s Aid is delighted to announce that Iris Taylor, its longest standing volunteer, who is 81 years old has been shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award at this year’s Third Sector Awards. These awards, taking place in September, recognise the best achievements of individuals at charities and voluntary organisations, celebrating work that makes a huge difference to society.

Iris has been a loyal, committed and inspirational volunteer for thirty years. She is responsible for coordinating the volunteer rota for our helpline for women experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence. Iris provides a kind, gentle and patient approach and she is in regular contact with all 40 of our helpline volunteers to arrange the rota, troubleshoot and offer them motivation and reassurance. 

Jewish Women’s Aid’s helpline supports women experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence. Not only does it provide the caller with someone to speak to but often acts as the gateway to access all of JWA’s services, enabling them to make decisions about their lives

Together with the organisation’s webchat service, launched during the pandemic the helpline service received 196 calls, equivalent to at least one contact every day that the services are open (Monday to Thursday) in the first half of 2022. These avenues of support are a core feature of what we offer Jewish women: a confidential space to tell us what’s happening to them and be heard. 

The awards ceremony will be held in September and will be attended by Iris and some representatives from Jewish Women’s Aid. 

Judy Roth, Jewish Women’s Aid’s Volunteers Coordinator said, ‘Iris is a truly inspirational volunteer, who has worked tirelessly to support our organisation. The shortlist for the Unsung Hero award recognises her outstanding achievement over three decades. Congratulations and Mazal Tov’.

Iris Taylor said ‘I feel that this is an important volunteering role and I believe it is a mitzvah to do this role. I am delighted and so excited to be shortlisted for the award- thank you.’

Naomi Dickson, JWA’s CEO said ‘We are absolutely delighted that Iris is getting this wonderful recognition after an unbelievable 30 years of volunteering for Jewish Women’s Aid.  Iris has seen the service grow and develop and has been absolutely core to the smooth running of our helpline.  With her help, we have supported thousands of Jewish women.  We are so proud that Iris has been shortlisted for this prestigious award – mazal tov.’