Lynnette Cobb of Williams Lake is one of this year’s BC Community Achievement Award winners.
Cobb, 67, has volunteered 48,600 hours in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis and Counselling Centre, Cariboo Chilcotin Branch.
She has also volunteered more than 3,000 hours for RCMP Victim Services and was instrumental in the construction of Baker Manor, a supportive housing facility for people with disabilities.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” Cobb said of the award. “I do this stuff because I want to and I feel honoured that people open up.”
Besides, “I’m a stubborn Swede,” she added.
As for Baker Manor, Cobb insisted there were lots of local people who helped get the building going so the city could have a place for people that was handicap-accessible.
Cobb herself has been in a wheelchair for at least 15 years. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1982.
She didn’t know she had been nominated until she learned she had won the award last week.
When asked about the astounding number of hours she has volunteered, Cobb suggested she gets more out of the experience than she put into it.
She has spent many hours going to court with victims and said it’s got to be scary for them, not knowing what to expect in the court room.
“That’s all I do — court support.”
In 1991, her father Sven Swanson passed away and afterwards Cobb felt lost.
Her mother had died when she was nine years old so her father was her mom and her dad, she recalled.
“I had this void after he died so I took this crisis and counselling course and in about four months they asked me to come in and see a client face to face and that started it,” she said of the nudge to start volunteering.
Cobb has lived in Williams Lake since 1957 and her husband, Walt, has been here since 1955.
“Williams Lake is a great place,” she said. “I’m a pioneer.”
The Cobbs have two children and seven grandchildren.
“I couldn’t do all this stuff I’ve done without my family. They support me and want to me to do this. When I come home dragging my butt, Walt lets me go to bed.”
Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, named the recipients of the B.C. Community Achievement Awards on Thursday.
“As British Columbians, we are inspired by those in our communities who make a difference by their efforts,” Clark said. “Thank you to the 2014 recipients for their contributions; you make our province stronger with your commitment and generosity.”
Mitchell said the award recognizes people who have made a significant contribution either as volunteers or in the course of their work.
“We’re honoured to celebrate the contributions of these exceptional British Columbians.”
Recipients will receive the awards in person on April 29 at a ceremony in Victoria.