Unsung community heroes from across Somerset have been recognised at Somerset Council’s Chair’s Awards for their unstinting service to their communities.
The awards ceremony had been an annual event for many years for Somerset County Council. This latest event was a first for Somerset Council since it came into being on 1 April this year.
The awards were presented by Council Chair Cllr Mike Best at Taunton Rugby Club and the event was attended by 120 people, including the nominees from across Somerset, their guests, Leader of Somerset Council Cllr Bill Revans, and Deputy Leader Cllr Liz Leyshon.
The award recipients were nominated by their city, town and parish councils for recognition of their outstanding contribution to their communities. They were presented with a signed certificate and gift by Cllr Best, followed by a buffet reception to celebrate their achievements.
This year the awards were opened up to groups and couples to recognise their contribution, as well as individuals
Among those on the list of honours was the Severalls Memorial Gardens Group in Crewkerne. The citation included: “These gardens are a beautiful and peaceful place to sit and enjoy the surroundings. Their continued care and voluntary hard work of keeping the town’s memorial grounds so beautifully should be recognised.”
Among the many individuals to be nominated was Julie Fowler from Ilminster who has raised considerable sums for national and local good causes. “Julie can organise and enlist many people on board to make any fundraising event the most successful it could be and she always ensures everyone receives a thank you card,” said the citation.
Some 35 awards were presented on the night, including two posthumous honours that were accepted by relatives. Six award winners were unable to attend and will be visited personally by Cllr Best who will present their awards.
Cllr Best said: “It is so rewarding and humbling to read the citations for these awards. Our community heroes do so much for others, never expecting to be rewarded for their efforts.
“In Somerset we are so fortunate to have so many people who work hard on behalf of others in their town, village or hamlet. The awards ceremony is a small way of saying thank-you on behalf of Somerset.
“Every recipient has made a real difference to their communities. It is a privilege to thank them on behalf of the Council.”
List of award recipients attending the ceremony:
Michael and Jenny Churches
Cannington in Bloom
South Somerset area:
Joan Sandford (RIP) – received by Paul Sandford
John Light (RIP) – received by Pamela Thomas
Wallace and Marilyn Elliott
Severalls Memorial Gardens Group
Shepton Beauchamp Events Team
West Somerset and Taunton Deane area:
Maggie and Gordon Little
Stephen and Ian Taylor
Kate Kennedy and Lucy Corlett-Shaw (Watchet Welcome Hub)
Oake and District Community Shop
Stogursey Community Speedwatch
Taunton Shadow Town Council