Community Service Awards honour Mid Sussex community champions

PR2066/LJ/MF - 26/09/2016

The Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council has marked the exceptional work of community spirited individuals from throughout the district with a special garden party on Sunday 25 September.

The Council welcomed 54 community champions and their friends and family to The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne to issue them with Community Service Awards. Presented by Councillor Peter Reed, Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council and Mark Spofforth OBE, the High Sherriff of West Sussex, the awards acknowledge the dedication to helping their community that has been shown by the winners.

The nominees are selected by Councillors from Mid Sussex District Council and local Town and Parish Councillors. Awards are presented to residents who have selflessly committed their energy, time and skills to improving the quality of community life.

Paul Huggett was nominated by Councillor Colin Trumble after creating the charity ‘Cancervive’ to provide support and help for those closely involved in supporting loved ones who are suffering with cancer. After his life was deeply touched by cancer in his family, Paul set up the charity as he believed that it was often family and friends who are forgotten when their close ones fight cancer.

Barbara Blundell received a community award after being nominated by Councillor Mandy Thomas-Atkin for her invaluable commitment to the deaf church service held at St John’s Church, Burgess Hill. Travelling from her home in East Wittering every month for the last 27 years, Barbara and Father Jonathan Baldwin have worked together playing vital roles in the spiritual journey of the deaf community.

Nominated by Councillor Edward Belsey for his remarkably long dedication to the community, Tony Stevens has spent 25 years as a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance, 32 years with the East Grinstead Woodcraft Folk and 27 years with Treasure in Sussex.

If they are all added up he has spent a total of 103 years working for charities, a truly extraordinary effort in helping the community.

“This is such an important day in the civic calendar as we come together to thank those ‘unsung heroes’ for the work they have undertaken,” said Councillor Peter Reed, Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council. “It is work that enriches the lives of others and helps to make Mid Sussex such a great place to live.

“The Council is proud of the support it continues to give to local charities in the form of grants which, in turn, assist many of the activities we acknowledge today. As I travel around the District in my role as Chairman, I never cease to be amazed at how much we rely on volunteers and the marvellous things that they achieve.”