26/07/12....Thame's unsung heroes rewarded -
LOCAL people who have contributed to the community of Thame, have been officially recognised by the town council.
At a recent awards ceremony at The Thame Barns Centre, Thame’s Mayor, Councillor Nigel Champken-Woods, presented trophies to deserving people who had been nominated and voted for by Thame people, including a posthumous award to the late Ben Guest, a local window cleaner and tireless fund-raiser for Help For Heroes and local charities too.
New categories in this year’s awards included Person of Courage and Best Working/Bravest Dog, and each of the awards was sponsored by local businesses.
The Young Achiever Award went to Beth Clarke. "Alongside her many sporting achievements this young person is a Whole School Council Representative - a fantastic role model for all students who are younger than her. She is always willing to help staff and students and is a key member of the Year Group," said the Mayor.
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
The Service with a Smile Award, sponsored by DAF went to Autoparts. "This High Street shop impressed with how helpful, cheerful and knowledgeable the young staff are. They have been well trained in customer service and have even been known to install light bulbs in pensioners cars in the rain at no extra charge!" read their commendation.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: Kismet Jewellers)
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Melanie Shannon
who has been a volunteer supporting learning in Barley Hill School for five years. "She comes into school every day to work individually with struggling readers, even though her own children moved on several years ago. She is a genuinely caring and patient person who has a real rapport with children and a determination to help those who find reading difficult. She has become a vital part of the team and all the teachers in the group are indebted to her for her unstinting support."
BEST WORKING DOG (Sponsored by: Sprinz & Nash)
The Best Working Dog award was given posthumously to Guide Dog Faldo, and presented to his owner, Bob Gerhardt, with his new dog Coco. "This award goes to a Guide Dog who worked faithfully with his blind owner, Bob Gerhardt, for 9 years, and is very sadly missed," remarked the Mayor.
VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION (Sponsored by: Kismet Jewellers)
The Voluntary Organisation of the Year award went to The Thame and District Day Centre. Owen Davies and Margaret Robinson received the award on behalf of the Day Care Centre.
Here are some of the comments from nominees:
“The volunteers are excellent. They work so hard to give us a lot of pleasure. I appreciate the fact that they give up their own time to enrich our lives.”
“I think this is a wonderful organisation. Everybody is friendly and welcoming; It is lovely to have something to look forward to. This would not be possible without all the volunteers, drivers, trustees and the lovely ladies who wait on us hand and foot!”
SERVICE TO THE TOWN (Sponsored by: Thame Town Council)
The Service to the Town Award was given to Alan Tipping
who cleans Thame’s streets. Alan received many nominations. Here are just a few of the comments from nominees:
“This guy is amazing. He works tirelessly to keep our streets clean and works in all weather.”
“A true unsung hero, who deserves some form of gratitude from the people of Thame.”
“We have never had such clean streets, He is always smiling and courteous.”
“He is out in all weather keeping Thame tidy and always has a cheerful word to say.”
“He frequently goes the extra mile and he has been known to give of his own time to help tidy up after local events.”
PERSON OF COURAGE (Sponsored by: Mobalpa Kitchens)
The Person of Courage award was given posthumously to Ben Guest, whose parents, Terry and Marie collected his award on behalf of their son who sadly passed away earlier this year. Ben's award was in recognition of his countless efforts to raise money for charity and his kind and generous behaviour.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Sponsored by: Christopher Pallet)
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mike Kidley, Commanding Officer of 594 (Thame) Squadron of the Air Cadets.
Mike Kidley has devoted a huge part of his life, time and commitment to what has become one of the best squadrons in the Thames Valley. "Thanks to his leadership, said the Mayor, "the Squadron plays a visible and prominent part in many aspects of Thame life, including the annual Remembrance Service.
"In addition to teaching young people the values and advantages of discipline coupled with fun, the air cadets helps young people grow to become responsible individuals, to be aware of the needs of those around them, to rise to challenges and to be better all round citizens.
"As well as what he has been doing locally here in Thame, much of what he has done has drawn national attention to the town and helped promote Thame to a countrywide audience. For example, a Thame cadet was selected for the prestigious role of Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Oxfordshire in 2011, a Thame cadet recently took lunch with the Prime Minister, and a Thame cadet has also been nominated for the highest pilot award in the air cadets, the John Cunningham Trophy, named after the world famous fighter and test pilot.
"Mike Kidley’s many years of service to the young people of Thame and to the town itself, thoroughly deserve public recognition."
Photo: The staff of Autoparts receive their award from the Mayor, Nigel Champken Woods, with Trevor Mitchell of DAF (right)