Faces of Tamworth: Suzanne Turner

HONOURED: Tamworth's 2017 citizen of the year Suzanne Turner. Photo: Ben Jaffrey 260118BJ04
HONOURED: Tamworth's 2017 citizen of the year Suzanne Turner. Photo: Ben Jaffrey 260118BJ04

Suzanne Turner says there’s two types of people in this world: givers and takers. As the 2017 volunteer and citizen of the year, there’s no prizes for guessing which camp Suzanne falls into. There’s a few facets to Suzanne’s volunteering efforts but it all seems to stem from a desire to stave-off a sense of separation in the community. 

The town’s top title went to 2017 volunteer of the year Suzanne Turner, who was recognised for her work with News on Wheels and a raft of other volunteering efforts

Mrs Turner said her parents set a standard of giving back which she still tried to maintain.

“I think, in this life, there are givers and takers,” she said.

“My mother was very keen on returning things to her community as well. 

“I think it’s her example and I was a nurse for 45 years and to be in that sort of profession you’ve got to be a giver, not a taker.” 

She said January 26 was day to celebrate the country’s uniqueness and people should look for the blessings.

“We need to be together,” she said.

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“We’ve just got to be thankful that we’re such a peaceful country and that we’ve never had a civil war.

“That’s the problem with society, they don’t open the blind in the morning and look for their blessings, they’re everywhere.”

She said News on Wheels was important for combating “separation” for the elderly in the community.

“When you get older you have lots of separations,” she said. 

“From your spouse, from your children, from your pets, from your home and you don’t need to be separated from your community as well. 

“So News on Wheels tries to keep them in touch with their community, as much as anything.”

BEHIND THE NEWS

News on Wheels president Suzanne Turner says there are about 18 readers and four technicians who record the news on a rotating basis on Saturdays at St Andrews Village hall.

She says they try to tailor their digests to their audience, who are based across the New England and are largely elderly.

“We try not to be Tamworth-centric [and] the clue with elderly people is not to bombard them,” Suzanne says.

“My ethos is lots of little news articles rather than one big one; read a long article and they’ll fall asleep.

“I try to get at least 34 news articles out of my newspapers.

“We don’t read about murder, mayhem, robbery … that will worry them. We try to keep it lighthearted.

“Of course, we always read about the royals in both England and Denmark.

“We remind people to get their flu shots, warn them about scams targeting elderly people – we try to cover as much helpful information as we can.”

- Carolyn Millett

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