Rotarians and the Kingsley School in Leamington have again joined forces to recognise the actions of the great and good members of our community at an annual awards event.
The Rotary Club of Royal Leamington Spa and the school handed out 11 Community Spirit Awards between them with five people being recognised by the former and seven by the latter.
Those awarded by the club at the ceremony, which took place at the school last Thursday, were Richard Brooks, Delia Button, Chris Johnson, Andy Gotts and Sue Oldham.
Richard was selected for his “sustained and dedicated commitment of over 30 years to Citizens Advice”.
As well as his work for the Citizens Advice Bureau, Richard takes an interest in the NHS in Leamington and is the chairman of the patient participation group at the Sherbourne Medical Centre.
Delia was selected “mainly for her inspiring work in organising events and raising money for numerous charities over several decades”.
Since her teens, Delia has suffered from a serious and progressively debilitating illness but, despite this, she has set herself a demanding programme of work for charitable causes and has helped to raise sums of money which now total well into six figures.
Chris, who has a long history in voluntary work, was selected for his “inspiring and pioneering vision” in founding Leamington Night Shelter in 2008 and running it since then.
Andy was picked “mainly for his commitment to Leamington Shopmobility Ltd” and for his “record of many years of volunteering for other causes.”
Sue was put forward for her work on the Pathway Project at St Mary’s church in Leamington which helps those whho are addicted to drugs or alcohol as well as those with mental health problems, chaotic lives or ex-offenders.
Kingsley awarded Margaret Batten, Steve Artherton, Sue Mountford, Penny Sharples, Cathy Edwards, Debbie Brown and Ellie Tait.
Margaret has been actively involved in raising money for the Royal British Legion for 51 years.
Even now, in her 80s, she visits shops, schools and businesses in the Coventry Area so that she can continue to support the cause.
Steve is currently well into his fundraising challenge he set on his 56th birthday last year in which he will take part in 56 activities.
He chose to do this to raise awareness of homeless people in Leamington and is raising funds for the charity Helping Hands.
Sue and Penny have jointly and voluntarily run the girl guide group based at Dale Street Methodist church in Leamington for many years.
Sue recently announced her retirement after 22 years in guiding while penny is carrying on alone while seeking a new volunteer.
They have helped those charities which support women and girls around the world .
Cathy and Debbie set up the dementia-friendly Little Ray of Sunshine cafe in Kenilworth in 2014.
Having both cared for parents who suffered with dementia the two women decided to set up the cafe which provides a safe place to go for patients and carer.
They also visit carers to offer a friendly face, friendship and support and donate any funds raised back to the cafe.
*** The Kingsley School has again recognised the efforts of one of its own pupils in the Community Spirit Awards.
Ellie Tait is currently in her first year at the school’s Sixth Form and in the summer of 2016 she started as a volunteer at Scope in Leamington to fulfil the requirement of her Duke of Edinburgh award.
Although she was only required to do this for three months Ellie has continued this work and still volunteers regularly on Sunday mornings.
She is happy to perform whatever tasks are required of her ranging from pricing up new stock behind the scenes to speaking to customers on the shop floor.
The branch manager is always pleased to see her and she has proven herself to be a reliable and responsible member of the team.
Last year, the school and rotary club recognised Year 12 student Chloe Walsh who spent her own money to make sandwiches and then handed them out to the homeless in Leamington.
This is the second year that the Rotary Club of Royal Leamington Spa has teamed up with Kingsley for the awards. ***