CHAMPAGNE corks were popping when a pensioner who has been visiting prisoners in custody for 21 years was presented with a bottle of fizz and a bouquet of flowers.
Vera Miles was presented with the gifts by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright to mark her 90th birthday.
Vera signed up to become an Independent Custody Visitor in 1992 and has been visiting police stations unannounced ever since, to check prisoners are being treated properly.
The retired family planning research assistant first heard about the scheme when she was secretary to the Standing Conference of Women’s Organisations.
Her background in voluntary work with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service and the Federation of Townswomen’s Guilds, plus a son-in-law who was a police officer, prompted her interest in the welfare of others.
Mr Wright said: “To volunteer to work in any public sector demonstrates a public-spirited attitude that has to be applauded.
“Independent volunteers like Vera provide a vital service that helps secure greater public understanding and confidence in policing.”
Scheme administrator Tracy Webster said: “With her years of experience, Vera is held in high regard by her fellow custody visitors and custody staff.
“Her dry wit and personable nature make her a delight to know.”