Civic awards honours for Melton community heroes

This year's community champions PHOTO: Whitehouse Photography
This year's community champions PHOTO: Whitehouse Photography
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Ten local residents and groups were publicly acknowledged for their outstanding service in the community at the annual Melton Mayor’s Awards last Wednesday.

The civic award ceremony was held at Parkside at the meeting of full council, and town mayor, Cllr Tejpal Bains, who presented the awards, said it was difficult to decide the winners.

Cllr Bains said: “We received a significant number of nominations for the awards and it was difficult to narrow it down from all the worthy candidates. Hopefully, unsuccessful nominators will not be deterred from putting forward excellent prospective candidates in future years. It goes to show that people are recognising the need to acknowledge good work and I am delighted in the interest shown.”

New this year was a special award presented to 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron Air Training Corps in recognition of the support they have given to the young people of the borough since they formed in 1941.

The mayor added: “This year we have five excellent Young Citizen Award candidates and it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the positive roles young people play in our society today. We must support and encourage our young people as they are our citizens of tomorrow.”

Award of Merit - Melton Community First Responders, medical emergency volunteers

Unpaid volunteers who respond to medical emergencies on behalf of East Midlands Ambulance Service providing help and reassurance to the patient, their family and friends. They attend thousands of incidents in a year, providing a very valuable and appreciated service to the community. Between a group of 11 responders in the Melton area, they have contributed over 17,000 hours of unpaid service in the previous year.

Award of Merit - Christine Radford, chair of Melton Mowbray Parkinson’s Support Group

Christine is organiser of the local support group for those suffering with Parkinson’s disease and their carers. She arranges the monthly meetings, guest speakers and outings for group members and their carer. Christine provides unstinting support and goes out of her way to reassure members. The group meetings are a source of advice where members can gain knowledge and benefit from companionship. Christine is an inspiration to others as she also suffers from Parkinson’s and she organises fundraising activities which go towards supporting the group and research into the disease.

Award of Merit - David Brown, chair of Melton and District Indoor Bowls Club

During 30 years of voluntary service, David has ran various committees, and overseen hundreds of local people joining the club to enjoy the sport and visit the facilities he has helped to create. The membership of the club is currently 670 and the facilities have provided people with an opportunity to participate in the sport, enjoy the benefits of socialising and making friends. David has made a significant contribution to the community and raised the profile of Melton through its association with the facilities.

Melton Borough Award - Graham Swann, chair of Frisby, Hoby and Rotherby Cricket Club

Graham manages the club, volunteering 40 hours a week to manage and promote community participation in the sport locally, along with the maintenance around the cricket ground. He has been involved with the club for 38 years and has ensured that the club’s facilities are also used for various community activities. His dedication and commitment has significantly contributed to the club being very much part of the regular social scene in the villages which has grown the community spirit, bringing people together. Graham has created an infrastructure to enable participation of 50 young people each year in the sport, along with 40 adults, creating a legacy that has enabled them to keep fit both physically and mentally. Over the years Graham has raised £200,000 to keep the cricket club and facilities running. He has used club and its facilities to welcome new people into the villages and encourage young people to take up the sport.

Young Citizen Award - David Burrows, Venue volunteer and coach to under 12s rugby team

David volunteers every Thursday at The Venue, at Melton Learning Hub, with the younger age group with whom he has a great rapport, resulting in him being asked to be a peer mentor for other students. He assists the coaches on the under 12s rugby team at Melton Mowbray Rugby Football Club, which involves an hour training session on Thursday as well as every Sunday during the season for training or matches. David is about to undertake a course to become a referee for the team. He is a committed young person with excellent communications skills and sets an example by being hard working, reliable, motivated, kind and caring. Other young people relate to him as his style of coaching is patient, encouraging and fun.

Young Citizen Award - Libby Duncan, sport coaching volunteer

Libby provides sports coaching, some paid but majority unpaid, to children from the ages of three years upwards to teenagers as well as those with special needs. She is committed to encouraging as many children as possible whatever their age or ability to be involved with sport, especially girls through the #thisgirlcan campaign. Libby is motivated by a desire to give back to her sport (tennis) what she herself has got out of it. Her achievements include: planning and delivered lessons in tennis for her PE teacher, undertaken work experience at the National Tennis Centre in London, which included working with the national deaf team, volunteering for the National School Sports Finals at Loughborough University assisting the wheelchair tennis team both at this event and the Wheelchair Tennis Masters Finals, trains at Grantham Tennis Club where she is part of junior and adult mixed teams and has coached a master class alongside Boris Becker and Andrew Castle. Libby sets an example to other young people with her positive attitude and her ability to communicate with all ages.

Young Citizen Award - Leah Wainman, youth leader for Asfordby Hill Community Group Youth Club

Leah has been a member of the youth club since its opening four and a half years ago and recently became a youth leader for the early session. She helps and interacts with the six to 11-year-old children and has organised an “Asfordby Hill’s Got Talent” show involving the children. Leah organises indoor and outdoor activities, including ‘get to know you’ games and arts activities which help the children socialise, settle in and make friends. She spends her own time organising and resourcing activity ideas for the children whilst at the youth club. Leah sets an example to others by her hard work and commitment to helping others.

Young Citizen Award - Ellie Hull, student at Birch Wood Special School

Ellie has represented Great Britain by competing in the Special Olympics in horse riding. She is an inspiration to others with special needs and is a role model to her peers.

Young Citizen Award - Melton Vale Interact Group, student volunteers, Melton Vale Sixth Form College

Have organised and run fundraising events for Hope Against Cancer. Volunteered their time to benefit a worthwhile local cause. Involved the centre’s 400 students and staff to support their fundraising.

The Robert Hyslop Citizen of the Year Award to the most outstanding of the Award of Merit candidate - Melton Community First Responders

The Derek Sanders Cup to the outstanding Young Citizen candidate - David Burrows

Mayor’s Special Award - 1279 Squadron (Melton Mowbray) Air Training Corps

The squadron has given distinguished service to the community since it was officially formed in 1941. They benefit the young people of Melton and surrounding area by offering the full cadet experience so they can build upon their confidence, skills, and achievements to equip them in later life. 1279 Squadron (Melton Mowbray) Air Training Corps give support to the mayor through the mayor’s cadet role.