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Honours For Those Who Make A Real Difference In Their Community

Published on: 28 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 30 Apr, 2020

Recipients of the Mayor’s Award for Service to the Community for 2020 have been announced.

These are people and organisations who Guildford’s mayor and the borough council recognise as making a real difference in their community.

The Mayor of Guildford, Richard Billington.

The nominations were made and assessed before the coronavirus pandemic and this year 25 have been honoured. They include:

Guildford Street Angels. Established in 2008 by the churches of Guildford, its volunteers provide year-round town centre patrols every Friday and Saturday night from 10.30pm until 4am.

Its work involves supporting people late at night and tidying streets – equating to approximately 25,000 volunteer hours every year.

The Number Five Project homeless shelter in York Road has been operating for 30 years. The dedication and expertise of its trustees enable it to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers 365 days a year.

David and Judith Hunt have volunteered with the 1st Merrow Scout Group for over 30 years, and in 2019 established the Beating Hearts Merrow Campaign to raise money for three public-access defibrillators.

For the last two years, Matt Gaskin has provided a free Christmas dinner for 265 people at St Joseph’s Church in Guildford. In leading the initiative it has gained significant support from others and businesses.

He said: “The Christmas Day meal we provide every year is only made possible with the amazing support given to us to enable us to cook for people from all walks of society. This is a great chance for people to get together and support each other every year.”

Each year the council invites residents to nominate others, while groups and organisations who typically work and support volunteers also nominate (including departments within the council such as its community wellbeing team as it is now known).

Voluntary Action South West Surrey (VASWS) also nominates people it helps and supports within the various community projects it runs. VASWS is part of the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) for the boroughs of Guildford and Waverley.

Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s David Rose, who is one of its project-co-ordinators, said: “I nominated five people for this year’s awards and I am pleased to say all my nominations were accepted.

“Not wanting to single any of them by naming them, I would like to say one was so pleased to be given the award, saying they had never received an award of any kind before.”

The Mayor of Guildford, Richard Billington, said: “Supporting health in our community has been the theme for my mayoral year and every one of the award recipients have made significant contributions to both the physical and mental health of the borough.

“Their stories are inspiring and confirm the wonderful sense of community that we have in Guildford. I am delighted to be able to recognise the tremendous contribution that they have made to the borough, which feels particularly appropriate in the midst of a pandemic.”

David Rose has noticed a trend over the past few years of the number of people and organisations being nominated and awarded as falling by 50%, although there was a slight increase for this year.

Flashback to the 2018 Mayor’s Award for Community Service Awards as reported on The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

He said: “Looking at reports on The Guildford Dragon NEWS announcing the Mayor’s Award for Community Service, in 2014 there were 40 recipients. In 2016 there were 30 and in 2018 they were 20.

“With the sheer increase in people volunteering and helping others in their communities at the moment due to the coronavirus crisis, I would expect and sincerely hope that for the 2021 awards, the mayor is inundated with nominations.”

The council has said that a presentation ceremony for the 2020 awards will be held at the County Club in Guildford High Street (sponsors of the awards) as soon as it is safe to do so.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Patricia Ann Allen: governor and chairman of Chilworth C of E Infant School, choirmaster, councillor for St Martha Parish Council in Chilworth.

Graham Atterbury: musical director of the Surrey Police Band.

Norman Barber: Guildford Action.

Jonathan Bird: Delivered Social marketing agency.

Mary Broughton: Worplesdon Memorial Hall and Sidney Sime Gallery.

Rachel Bury: chairman of the Surrey Police Band.

Lucas Calvo: Hobbs.

Ben Darnton: Ben’s Collectors Records, Guildford Town Past and Present Facebook page.

Toby de Kretser: Guildford Action.

Yameem Deedar: Shahin Tandoori Restaurant, charity fundraising nights.

Beth Foster: Fairlands Players Theatre Company

Matt Gaskin: St Joseph’s Church Christmas lunches.

Guildford Street Angels.

Laura Gunner.

Carl Harding: The Spike Heritage Centre.

David Hunt: 1st Merrow Scout Group, Beating Hearts Merrow, St John’s Church, Merrow.

Judith Hunt: 1st Merrow Scout Group, Beating Hearts Merrow.

Margaret Murray: Tongham Parish Council.

Roger Musson: Artington Parish Council, Caleb Lovejoy Trust, Compton Conservative Association.

Jonathan Pick: Normandy Village Hall.

Roger Sage: Normandy Village Volunteers.

Claire Suggitt: Tunsgate Quarter.

Trustees of the Number Five Project.

Victoria Voller: Shere Infant School.

Jane Willett: Guildford Action.

Katherine Wilson-Zealey: The Canterbury Care Centre

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