“Whilst we may not be able to directly affect the lot of many people in troubled areas, we can make a huge difference within our own communities” said Chairman Colin Squire during the opening remarks of the 2016 Spelthorne Civic Awards presentation last month. Where would we be without the many unsung heroes in our midst who give so much of their time for others. The 13 recipients of this years awards have a combined total of 400 years’ service to the community.

The Spelthorne Civic Awards were established in 1982 and are administered by a team of trustees. A Civic Award acknowledges dedicated voluntary effort in the borough by honouring members of the community whom the Trustees believe have by their outstanding endeavour, benefitted members of the community.
And so to the recipients of the 2016 awards: David Brown, who has operated a seed discount scheme for 25 years taking and placing orders in bulk for seeds and thereby getting the best value he could for local gardeners.

David and Corinne Charmock have worked tirelessly for Carers Support Spelthorne and latterly with Sunbury Neighbours, which helps locals without transport to access hospitals, doctors or shopping and social activities.

David Courtney is a familiar face to many. As well as being a long term committee member of Shepperton Horticultural Society, he is a driving force behind Spelthorne in Bloom.

Kathy Crawford was on the Shepperton Village Fair committee for 6 years. She has been a 1:1 supporter for Care in Shepperton and been a driver and Duty officer for them. She is also on the committee of Cameo, helps in St Nicholas Church and works in the Shooting Star Chase shop. She has more than 25 years of volunteering.

Marian Davies has undertaken years of fund raising for Shooting Star Chase who over the years have raised £500,000. Marian is also an active volunteer for Care in Shepparton.

Clare Ford and Ann Rogers were both recognised for their support of Ashford Hospital League of friends, running the coffee shop and making and selling crafts to raise funds.

Joan Lockhart was recognised for her work with the Penrose Club, supporting people with learning disabilities.

Ann McDonough is a street warden with Shepperton Residents Association, a shop helper at the Princess Alice Hospice shop, a committee member of the Friends of St Nicholas and raises money herself for breast cancer.

David Pope has over the years been the backbone of the Spelthorne Tree Volunteers and has started a tree nursery at Laleham park.
Lesley and Malcolm Robertson have given years of support to the Hope club which supports stroke sufferers.

Voluntary service is selfless and whilst hugely appreciated, often goes unrecognised publicly. These awards are an opportunity to celebrate what is good in our community and hopefully set an example to others. As Audrey Hepburn famously said once “You have two hands. One for helping yourself and one for helping others”

Look out for information on nominations for the Civic Awards 2017 later this year. Meanwhile if you want to volunteer there is information on a range of organisations needing your help at www.voluntaryactioninspelthorne.co.uk