Picture of people sat down watching the Chair’s Awards

Gold-hearted community heroes from across Somerset have been recognised at the latest Somerset Council Chair’s Award for Service to the Community.

The awards-giving has been an annual event for many years and this year’s ceremony at Taunton Rugby Club was attended by 140 people, including 43 nominees from areas right across Somerset.

The award recipients were nominated by their parish and town councils for recognition of their outstanding contribution to their communities and were presented with a signed certificate and gift by the Chair of Somerset Council, Cllr Mike Best, followed by a buffet reception to celebrate their achievements.

Amongst those on this year’s list of honours were Reverend Stephen Gray, a key figure in the establishment of the ‘Be a Good Neighbour Scheme’ in Crewkerne, which provided invaluable support to vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic; and the ‘silent face of Ilminster’, Roger Swann – whose good deeds are so far-reaching, they were described by his community as “hard to condense into words”.

Also celebrated at the event was Compton Dundon’s “great friend to the village”, Leslie Taylor, who sadly passed away recently and whose grandson, Harvey, was honoured to accept the award on his grandfather’s behalf. Les was an active member of the community and formerly the chairman of the parish council, village hall committee and cricket club. His nominator, Steve Lawrence, said:

“His input throughout his life has provided Compton Dundon with many of the facilities it enjoys today and, young or old, members of the community continue to benefit from his work.”

Chair of Council, Cllr Mike Best, said:

“It is one of the best aspects of this role, to be able to hear stories of – and recognise – dedication, hard work and selflessness from Somerset residents, who clearly love and take pride in their communities.

“In presenting Leslie Taylor’s award to his grandson, we can see just one example of the good work of our community members hopefully inspiring and influencing the younger generation.

“Every recipient has made a real difference to their communities. It is a privilege to thank them on behalf of the Council.”

Full list of winners is below:

  • Susan & Peter Agland – West Camel
  • Susan Barton – Otterhampton
  • Mike Batsch – Cheddon Fitzpaine
  • Robert Bonar – Selworthy
  • Christopher Bramall – Stogumber
  • Claire Chettoe – Wells
  • Vanessa Clarke – Bruton
  • Rosie Darlaston – East Brent
  • Andraea Dawson-Shepherd – Lullington
  • Geoffrey Francis – Mark
  • Gill Gillott – Barwick & Stoford
  • Lyn Goodfellow – Cheddar
  • Stephen Gray – Crewkerne
  • David Gurr – Bishops Hull
  • Anthony Habberfield – Isle Abbotts
  • Trisha Hands – Donyatt
  • Kathy Hedger – West Coker
  • Timothy Hiscock – Durston
  • Pauline Homeshaw – Wiveliscombe
  • Keith Hunt – Old Cleeve
  • Brian Jeanes – North Curry
  • Anthony Kent – Trull
  • John Learoyd – Neroche
  • Angela Lockyer – Aller
  • Marlene Mason – Watchet
  • Catherine Mathew – Charlton Hopethorne
  • Jonathan McIntosh – Over-Stowey
  • Jennifer Newton – Evercreech
  • Matthew Paul – Chapel Allerton
  • Daniel Prettejohn – Churchstanton
  • Christine Saint – Montacute
  • Daphne & Graham Stanbridge – Williton
  • Christine Steadman – Godney
  • Roger Swann – Ilminster
  • Janet Tapp – Watchet
  • Leslie Taylor – Compton Dundon
  • Brian Trueman – Cucklington
  • Alan Vicary – Dunster
  • Iona White – Babcary
  • Michael Wooden – Ash
Picture of someone being presented a certificate at Chair’s Awards

About this article

February 28, 2023

Sophie H