May 25 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 19, 2012
An awards scheme to celebrate South Norfolk’s unsung heroes – the volunteers – reached its high point tonight with an awards event at the John Innes Centre, Norwich.
There were six award categories in the South Norfolk Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Community Awards 2012: supporting others, young volunteer, inspiring achievement, community volunteer group, charity fundraiser, and culture and sports volunteer of the year.
Alongside engraved trophies, the winners received £250 for a project or charity of their choice within the district.
The winner of the Supporting Others award was Heather Longman for service to the community of Thurlton.
“Her determination, motivation and expertise in applying for grant funding means we now have one of the best play areas in Norfolk for a village our size,” said her nomination.
The Young Volunteer award went to Jack Harris for his work on the Poringland ‘Bright Sparks’ project: “Jack inspired all the other young people involved, not only by making the event a huge success but by giving each of them the guidance to make it an amazing experience.”
Community Volunteer Group is the Edith Cavell Day Care Centre for supporting elderly and vulnerable residents in Swardeston.
“We now open three days a week and couldn’t operate without our volunteers – we value them so much and would like to thank them all for their hard work,” said the nomination.
Olympic torchbearer Annie Chapman, 70, of Pulham St Mary, won the Charity Fundraiser award for her work with Breast Cancer Awareness by organising the annual Pink Ladies’ Tractor Road Run, which has raised more than £250,000 over the past nine years.
The Culture and Sport award went to Reginald Wright for his work with the Diss and District Athletics Club: “If it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be an athletics club in Diss – the contribution he has made is immense.”
Peter Steward was the winner of the Inspiring Achievement award for his outstanding contribution to Hethersett over the last 20 years: “Peter has made an outstanding contribution to village life in Hethersett, taking on many voluntary positions which have provided people of all ages with information and opportunities.”
Finally, two people were highly commended for their voluntary efforts: Josie Thurston, for her services to Girlguiding in Long Stratton; and Joyce Hammond, 82, for her 60 years’ dedication to the British Legion – 57 years as standard bearer.
South Norfolk Council chairman Bob McClenning said volunteers were the “life blood and the pulse of our communities”.
He added: “Just as Her Majesty honours those for the service they have given, we thought that we’d do the same. We can’t give you knighthoods or the Order of the Bath but we can make awards for those outstanding in their fields.”
A judging panel, including Voluntary Norfolk, the Norfolk Rural Community Council, and the Norfolk Community Foundation, chose the winners from about 80 nominations. The awards are sponsored by the Co-op, Anglian Water, Saffron Housing Trust and Norfolk Polo Club.