Community’s unsung heroes take a bow

WELL DONE: All the winners are pictured together at the awards ceremony.
WELL DONE: All the winners are pictured together at the awards ceremony.

Clubs, village organisations and community helpers have been rewarded and recognised for their selfless service to others.

This year’s Babergh Community Achievement Awards saw 20 winners congratulated and thanked for their contribution to community life at a ceremony at Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel.

The awards, run for 20 years, highlight the work of people and groups who make a difference by giving up their time for the benefit of their local schools and communities.

This year, winners came from Sudbury, Hadleigh, Glemsford, Bures, Bildeston, Great Cornard, Lavenham and Nayland.

For one group – Success After Stroke, which meets twice a week at the Stevenson Centre in Great Cornard – it is the second time it has received such an accolade, the first being in 2008.

The group was formed in 1999 by four stroke survivors and this year won its award in the category for voluntary or community groups that improve the quality of life for residents in the district.

Other winners in this category were the Sudbury University of the Third Age, which has 564 members; the Community Council of Nayland and Wissington, made up of volunteers from the village who fundraise, give grants and support village events; and the CCTV Volunteers in Sudbury and Hadleigh – a group which has helped find missing people, monitored criminal damage and supported the police.

Judges said the CCTV team was “diligent and conscientious” and that their work had increased public confidence and reduced crime.

The Kuk Sool Won youth section of the Sudbury martial arts club won the category for outstanding contributions made by a group of young people aged under 18.

The individual prize in this category went to Lizzie Anderson, from the Acton and Waldingfield Cub Scout group, who, as the only girl Cub Scout, successfully encouraged more girls to join. She is now embarking upon her Scout Association Youth Leadership training.

Awards for selfless service by an individual over 18 went to Simon King, of Hadleigh, for voluntary service at Hadleigh Cycling Club.

He said: “I was very touched. It was a wonderful evening and a fantastic opportunity to promote the club and cycling, particularly in light of the women’s cycle tour which will be coming through the district in May.

“The club has several volunteers and, without all of their hard work and dedication the club, wouldn’t provide such a successful service.”

Also receiving individual awards were Brian Fowler, for 30 years of voluntary service to Hadleigh Cricket Club; Terry Howe, for helping at Glemsford Community Primary School; Shirley Swallow, who runs the Great Cornard Lunch Club at the Stevenson Centre; Sue Cousins, who runs a weekly coffee morning at the Baptist church in Bildeston; Josephine Robinson, who set up the Darby and Jones Club in Bures and ran the Tuesday Lunch Club for 25 years; and Joy Baker, who has been a parish councillor in Lavenham for more than 30 years and a member of the village’s community council.

Council chairman Nick Ridley, who presented the awards along with Robert Audley, chairman of sponsor Prolog, said: “For over 20 years, we have been paying tribute to individuals that have made a real difference in their communities and, each year, we have been humbled at just how many people take the time and effort to enhance the lives of others.”

Kate Lowe, Babergh communities officer, said: “The awards ceremony was a fantastic opportunity for us to say thank you to those who make an exceptional contribution to our district.

“The evening demonstrated how lucky we are to have so many outstanding groups and individuals that enrich our communities.”