Awards recognise valuable contributors to the area

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An awards ceremony recognised the outstanding contributions of people across the community.

The event highlighted exceptional members of the community who give up their time to make the area a more enjoyable place to live.

The council invites its members, and the town parish councils, to nominate residents who devote much of their time to community life.

Recognition of energy and skills are behind the nomination.

Chairman of the council, councillor Bruce Forbes, praised the work of those who dedicate time to the area.

Cllr Forbes said: “We are fortunate to have so many kind hearted people in Mid Sussex who are willing to give up their time to help others and support their local community.

“Looking at all the nominations I was amazed at the huge range of activities, fundraising and volunteer work that the nominees have undertaken.”

The ceremony was presented by Cllr Bruce Forbes and also Lady Emma Barnard, the high sheriff of West Sussex.

Cllr Forbes added: “These Community Service Awards represent our opportunity to show the nominees just how much we appreciate everything they do for our community.

“They have all done remarkable work within the local community and I feel privileged to present them with these awards.”

Victoria Chalmers MBE was nominated by Mid Sussex District Council leader Gary Wall for the role she played in establishing the Time 4 Children charity.

The organisation provide emotional and practical support for vulnerable children across the area.

Many of the children the charity help would have experienced severe trauma.

Ardingly Parish Council nominated Phil Payne for his efforts to support the NSPCC.

In April, he rode for at least 30 hours to raise cash for the national children’s charity.

Mr Payne plans to run the Brighton and Stockholm marathons in aid of the Air Ambulance.

Another winner was Chris Lambe, who was nominated by councillor Gordon Maples for the valuable contribution he makes to Hassocks village life.

Chris and his family run the Hassocks Hotel and each year they hold a leaving barbecue for the village infant school.

Bringing the community together he provides his hotel and gardens as the venue for village family fun days and this year he will host the village dog show.

Mr Lambe said: “We are over the moon with this award.

“I have been in the village all my life and have been at the Hassocks Hotel for about 15 years.

“I love Hassocks so will do anything I can to help.

“The village has grown over the years and to do fun days and things like that is important to bring people together.”