TAKE a bow Fenland’s unsung heroes who were honoured on Thursday at the annual Pride in Fenland awards.
People who make a difference in our communities and to our lives were singled out at the awards, held at the Wisbech Boathouse Business Centre.
The prestigious awards are spearheaded by Fenland District Council in conjunction with the Citizen and carry £100 in vouchers for the category winners sponsored by the council and the Citizen.
Sandra Claxton, chief executive of the council, compered the evening and paid warm tribute to the volunteers who give up their time so selflessly.
Gloria Culyer, Chair of the Fenland Strategic Partnership and chief executive of Age UK Cambridgeshire, presented the trophies and certificates and Sue Irving, deputy editor of the Fenland Citizen, presented the Good Neighbour and overall winner award.
The awards were started in 2007 and this year saw a record number of nominations by Citizen readers.
The standard of nominations gets higher each year and the judges heard how people help others by running errands, looking after those who are sick and give their time in many other ways.
Sandra told the audience they were “all winners” for their outstanding contribution to the community.
“This year all the judges found it exceedingly hard to make their category winner choices and again, we were so touched by the generosity of people living in our district.
“It must be said that, without your determination and support, Fenland would not have such a vibrant community,”
The categories were: Good Neighbour; Group/club/organisation benefiting the community; Individual working for a group; and an overall winner.
Overall winner and also winner of the Good Neighbour award was 72 year-old Heather Miller, of Chatteris, who was praised by the judges for the “tireless and endless hours” she spends helping others.
Nothing is too much trouble for Heather, who helps with shopping, hospital appointments, prescriptions, dog walking and much more.
Heather told the Citizen she was both surprised and delighted with her awards and said how much she loves spending time with the elderly.
Winners of the group award were the Saturday Art Club at Wisbech. Karen Harvey nominated the young group explaining how the club was started and has gone on to obtain funding to run art sessions for other young people.
“They want to help others not just themselves and they have worked really hard organising events for the community,” Karen said in her nomination.
The individual working for a group proved the hardest category for the judges with so many worthy winners.
The trophy was awarded to Carol Alderton, of Murrow, a founder member of Wisbech PHAB Club (Physically Handicapped, Abled Bodied).
For 30 years, Carol has run the club, helping disabled and people with learning difficulties by organising trips and activities. She also helped the club to raise an amazing £32,000 for a new specially-adapted mini bus.
She was nominated by driver/treasurer Tony Skeels who praised Carol’s efforts over the years.
* See page 4 for more coverage from the Pride in Fenland awards and details of how to order photographs.