Mayor honours members of the Nantwich community
Nantwich Mayor, Councillor Andrew Martin held his Salt Of The Earth Awards on Friday 28th April. The awards have been running for three years now, and recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes of our town. After receiving a huge amount of nominations, The Mayor and a committee had the very difficult task of choosing who should receive awards.
Awards winners were invited to a ceremony, at the Civic Hall, where the Mayor was joined by compere Chris Radford of The Cat Community Radio and Yvette Robinson, Head of International at South Cheshire College, sponsors of the event.
Councillor Andrew Martin said ‘Over the past two years as Mayor I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some extraordinary people. So many people in our community give so much to make the town what it is and this is a perfect way to acknowledge some of that hard work and dedication.”
He continued “I also have to extend my thanks and appreciation to each and every person, business and organisation that was nominated and to all the volunteers of the town.”
Nine, fittingly named, Salt of the Earth Awards were handed out, and winners were as follows:
Community Volunteer Award
The first award was given to Dr Gill Appleton, who throughout her life has worked to care for and assist others. Now in ‘retirement’ Gill can be found on the streets of Nantwich in the early hours in her Street Pastor capacity, she is leader of a mums and tots group, regularly co-ordinates events for the church and is a keen member of various different groups.
Business Support Award
This year The Mayor congratulated Michael Farr and Bryan Sharpes from Delmar Press for their support in the community. This business regularly backs and sponsor some of the major events in the town. This support is vitally important to the town, which without many events would struggle to continue.
Young Volunteer Award
Two nominees which stood out to the Mayor for the Young Volunteer Award. The first, at just the age of 16 has already accomplished so much. Grace Parke of Malbank School is a trained Anti-bullying ambassadors and taking the lead on reviewing the schools’ anti-bullying policy.
She has been made a member of the national youth board for the Diana Award who led the national anti-bullying ambassador programme. She has successfully secured funding to launch a pilot initiative to work with partner primary schools.
The second award went to another generous, caring and devoted individual, who dedicates much of her time to support others. ‘Genuinely upset’ by those who are homeless Joanna Thompsett, 18 also from Malbank School, decided that she could do something to help. Rather than giving money, which she was concerned wouldn’t go to the right places, she chose to give up her time.
Now she is an active member at a shelter for the homeless. On a weekly basis she spends time talking to those less fortunate and as well as serving up food, cleaning and any other activities that may arise.
RESPECT, is a scheme run by Cheshire Fire Service and its aim is to improve self-esteem and confidence of young people. Youngsters between 13 and 16 who may be experiencing difficulties in engaging with their school or peers, take part in this 9 week course offering the chance to break down barriers between the community and young people.
Courses have been running on a regular basis in Nantwich for the last 10 years. Sean McCormick, team leader for Nantwich and has engaged with over 30 youngsters and collect the award.
The entry level for this category was so high that choosing just one organisation was very difficult. Therefore, The Mayor awarded both Mrs Dorothy Relton – Melody Makers and Nantwich In Bloom.
Melody Makers, led by Dorothy, have been bringing great pleasure to residents in the area for well over 13 years now. A group of volunteers, completely self-sufficient, who perform at least twice a week to nursing homes, hospices and day care centres. But it’s not just about singing to an audience, their emphasis is on that of bringing people together.
The Nantwich In Bloom group give up hours of voluntary time to make the town attractive and their hard work and efforts have scooped the town numerous Britain in Bloom awards.
With no less than 14 nominations, breastfeeding support worker Victoria Hough, collected the Inspiration Award.
Victoria has the important role of helping mothers and families on their breastfeeding journey, one that can be extremely challenging, draining but immensely worthwhile. Victoria doesn’t just do her job, she goes above and beyond with her support and her calm and gentle approach has had a huge impact on so many lives.
Mayor’s Recognition Award
The Mayor chose to present a Recognition Award to Pat Hough, President of Nantwich Players and also the Words and Music Festival.
Nantwich Words and Music Festival, has been running for over 10 years bringing a festival to the town which is like no other. These volunteers dedicate numerous hours all year round to bring an unlikely mix of international names and new acts take to various venues around the town, with a variety of music, poetry and literacy. Originators, Thea Gilmore, Nigel Stonier and Clare ‘Fluff’ Smith collected the award.
The Mayor wanted to recognise the contribution of Pat to the town’s theatre. Pat has been president of Nantwich Players for over 37 years, with an involvement spanning much longer. Her dedication has seen her taking on varying roles and she lives and breathes for the organisation.
Yvette Robinson from South Cheshire College took to the stage and rounded up the evening superbly: “This was a wonderful evening and South Cheshire College was proud and honoured to be sponsors of the event.
“There are so many people in the area who do truly exceptional things for their community and are great role models. Everyone here has shown that they are more than worthy winners!”
Thank you to Nantwich Events Photographers for the capturing the event so wonderfully.