Coronation community champion near Banbury celebrated for 15 years of volunteering

A local hero from near Banbury was celebrated as a Coronation community champion for over 15 years of volunteering in the town.
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Jonathan Willis from Chacombe was invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace yesterday (May 10) as a celebration of his years of hard work volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Service at the Cornhill Centre.

Jonathan, who has Down’s syndrome, dedicates three days a week, every week, to volunteering and plays an important role in a number of the classes the centre provides.

Jonathan provides refreshments, clears tables, washes up, works at the Katharine House charity shop, and even lends his hand as a dance partner for the centre’s Cornhill Companions Dance Club.

Jonathan Willis, from Chacombe, was celebrated as a Coronation community champion for his 15 years of voluntary work in Banbury.Jonathan Willis, from Chacombe, was celebrated as a Coronation community champion for his 15 years of voluntary work in Banbury.
Jonathan Willis, from Chacombe, was celebrated as a Coronation community champion for his 15 years of voluntary work in Banbury.

When asked how volunteering makes him feel, Jonathan said "happy" and his favourite part is "dancing with the ladies", especially the tango and cha-cha-cha.

Clara Wallace, from the Royal Voluntary Service, said: "Jonathan’s warm presence and friendship are enjoyed by all, and he has become a true embodiment of what it means to be a Cornhill Companion, with the belief that a smile from a friendly face, a heartfelt hug, or even a chat over a cup of tea can turn someone’s day around.

"Jonathan attends each volunteering shift with a ready smile and plenty of hugs to give. His presence imparts a sense of wellbeing, contentment, and happiness to the club’s members.

"For Cornhill Companions, the joy and love Jonathan brings each week is invaluable, and his selfless dedication to volunteering and helping others inspires all."