IMBERHORNE resident Hilary Needham was awarded a Community Service award at the Mid Sussex Council’s September garden party. The garden party was held at the Ravenswood, Sharpthorne and the presentation was made by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Patrick Burgess.
The recipients of the awards were described as “unsung heroes” who undertake activities to enrich the lives of people living in Mid Sussex. Their varied contributions included fund raising and volunteer work.
Nominations for awards were submitted by Mid Sussex Councillors and local town and parish councils.
Hilary was nominated by Councillor Bob Mainstone in recognition for her continuous contribution to the success of the East Grinstead Music and Arts Festival.
He explained: “Hilary is a founder member and Honorary Vice-President of the East Grinstead Festival and has been actively involved since 1967…a remarkable achievement! In 1991 she was presented to the Queen at St James’s Palace on the occasion of the National Federation’s 70th anniversary. Hilary studied at the Royal School of Music and was formerly a concert pianist playing and broadcasting with various orchestras. I was very proud to see her presented with this award which she thoroughly deserved.”
Also honoured at the award ceremony was Maggie Robson, the former Head of Sackville School who was nominated for her service over 40 years as history teacher, head of department and ultimately Head Teacher. Maggie retired at the end of the last summer term and has now moved back to the north of England to be nearer her family.
And Joyce Webber was honoured for her efforts in raising funds for the East Grinstead Christmas lights since 1986 when she worked at the Town Council.
Joyce helps to manage the Meridian Hall bar at social events where bar proceeds fund the Christmas lights project, and were it not for her East Grinstead would not be able to enjoy Christmas lights as this is their main funding stream.