The Mothers Union receives an award from the High Sherriff for work in providing the cafeteria at SalisburyHigh Court.

THE others' Union volunteers who make life a little brighter for people attending court have been honoured by outgoing Wiltshire High Sheriff Lady Penny Marland.

She presented the team from the Salisbury Court Café with a High Sheriff Award to mark the end of her year in office. The volunteer chaplaincy service at the court was also given an award.

Lady Marland presented the café’s award to volunteer leader Joanna Woodd [C]. The café, which is run by the Mothers’ Union has been running at the court for two years. It is staffed by a team of 20 volunteers and is open every day the court is in session.

Mrs Woodd said the award is a testament to the hard work of the volunteer team: “It’s the team who are the workers, without them there would be no café” she said, “they are all very dedicated. We also get a lot of support from everyone here at the court, including the security lads and admin staff. Occasionally, we see some rather stressed barristers and magistrates, besides the many witnesses both for the defence and prosecution who have to attend court. They are the important people we have come to serve, as courts are strange and alien places, which most of us would not choose to visit.”

Lady Marland said of the café workers: “They provide a wonderful service. And when they see someone in distress they can alert the chaplaincy team to help them. They do an excellent job.”

Mothers’ Union Diocesan President for Dorset and Wiltshire, Rosie Stiven, said: “The men and women provide a wonderful service. They give everyone a Christian welcome and provide them with a cup of love.”

The presentation, together with a number of others to different organisations, took place in Court Two of the courthouse in the presence of His Honour Judge Andrew Barnett. He paid tribute to Lady Marland’s year in office, saying she had been dedicated in visiting so many groups.

He added: “I am delighted to see all the award recipients here today. I am full of admiration for the work they do. People will wonder how they can work among bad people but the truth is that they see the good in the people they help.”