'˜Kind-hearted' community champions in Mid Sussex receive special awards

Exceptional work from our '˜kind-hearted' community champions has been recognised.

Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 8:30 pm
Councillor Bruce Forbes (left) with some of the community champions. Picture: Mid Sussex District Council

Forty-four community spirited individuals were given special awards at a ceremony on Sunday, September 16, held at the South of England Showground in Ardingly.

They were presented by councillor Bruce Forbes, chairman of Mid Sussex District Council and Caroline Nicholls, High Sheriff of West Sussex.

“Our Community Service Awards are such an important event in the annual calendar because they honour the members of our community who do so much to make Mid Sussex such a great place to live,” said Mr Forbes.

“We have another amazing group of people this year who have undertaken a wide range of activities, fundraising and volunteer work.

“We are so fortunate to have such kind-hearted people who are willing to give up their time to help others and support the local community.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate people for these awards and thank you to the recipients for all your hard work – it’s very much appreciated by us all.”

Each year, the district council invites its members, and town and parish councils, to nominate residents who dedicate their time, skills and energy to enhancing the quality of community life.

Some of the community champions awarded included Dave Grimley. He was nominated by councillor Pete Bradbury for the tireless work he has done to support grassroots rugby in Haywards Heath.

Organised sport means so much to the community but it is only possible because of hardworking volunteers who do so much behind the scenes, the council said.

Dave has helped to rebuild Heath RFC on and off the pitch. He carefully maintains the club’s accounts and finances to ensure it remains in a sound financial position and he is an active mini rugby coach who brings real enjoyment to young children who are just starting out in the sport.

Malcolm Hulatt received an award after being nominated by councillor Sandy Ellis for the work he does to ensure blind and visually impaired people feel part of the community.

He is chairman of Yews Talking News, an organisation that has been providing audible news to blind and visually impaired residents in Haywards Heath since 1976.

Volunteers read, record, edit and distribute audio recordings to keep visually impaired people fully updated on local news and events.

Nominated by West Hoathley Parish Council, Beverley Mager was awarded for her longstanding involvement with charities and voluntary organisations.

She was senior leader of West Hoathley Playgroup, is heavily involved with the Scouts and is an active member of the Royal British Legion.

Beverley is always available to help at fundraising events and she supports people through difficult times on a one-to-one basis through the friendship group she has helped to set up, the council said.

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