Mid Sussex Applauds 2021: a wonderful event to celebrate some of the best people in the district

The awards ceremony for this year’s Mid Sussex Applauds was held on Sunday (November 21) and the Mid Sussex Times is proud to have been its media partner.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 1:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 2:53 pm

The event started at 3pm at the South of England Showground, Ardingly, with the brilliant harpist Margaret Watson entertaining guests as they arrived.

The wonderful 2021 show was hosted by chairman of Mid Sussex District Council Margaret Belsey who said it was lovely to hold the event in person once again.

“Last year we had to adapt our awards ceremony, which was celebrated remotely via a series of short films,” she said, adding that the Covid crisis had disrupted so many events.

The Mid Sussex Applauds 2021 took place at the South of England Showground in Ardingly. Picture: Mid Sussex District Council.

Mrs Belsey thanked the harpist and this year’s sponsors, which included ID Verde, CAE, Clarion Futures, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, Orchards Shopping Centre and the Mid Sussex Times.

She also thanked the 2020 winners for attending before she welcomed the High Sheriff of West Sussex Neil Hart who helped present the awards.

Mrs Belsey told the 2021 nominees that it was difficult to choose from all of the nominations.

“The sheer volume of nominations we received this year shows that your work is recognised and is greatly valued,” she said.

Scrolls standing by at Mid Sussex Applauds 2021. Picture: Mid Sussex District Council.

Before the awards were handed out Neil Hart spoke briefly about the history of the High Sheriff position, which dates back to Saxon times.

“Our job is to represent the Queen and the county in respect of all matters that keep us safe,” he said.

“We concentrate on police, we concentrate on prisons and the probation service and the emergency service, but by extension we also concentrate on the voluntary sector,” he added.

“The voluntary sector means community and what we’re doing today is celebrating the community,” said Mr Hart, congratulating all the nominees for their important work.

Peer Award winner Martyn Jupp with the High Sheriff of West Sussex Neil Hart and the chairman of Mid Sussex District Council Margaret Belsey. Picture: Mid Sussex District Council.

As always, this year’s Mid Sussex Applauds recognised and celebrated the dedication of some of the best individuals and organisations in the district.

Whether they won first place or not, the short-listed nominees all had a variety of impressive achievements under their belts.

Their many activities included volunteering at local charities, donating food to Covid vaccination teams, organising community litter picks and giving vital advice to vulnerable citizens.

You can read a full list of the award winners here.

Check out a gallery of all the photos from the event here.

Carla Williams-Wood, who won the Young Achiever Award for her work with the Bentswood Seniors Youth Club, said she was ‘full of joy’ at being recognised and really enjoyed the ceremony.

John Thorpe said he was ‘very flattered’ to win the Stronger Together Award for leading the project to build the new Ansty Village Centre.

“I’m very pleased that the project got recognised in this way,” he said.

John said it took a long time to raise the money and get the project started, especially with the delays caused by the pandemic.

But he said it was rewarding to finally bring activities onto the site.

“By virtue of having the new building there is new activity on site that we simply couldn’t have delivered at all under the old premises,” he said.

John added that it was ‘quite revealing’ to see all the different categories and nominees in the Mid Sussex Applauds and that he was pleased to be part of it.

Martyn Jupp from Jupp’s Fish and Chips in West Street, Burgess Hill, won two awards for his work delivering fish and chips to NHS staff at the Princess Royal Hospital and vaccination volunteers at Clair Hall.

“It really means a lot to win,” he said after receiving both the Business in the Community Award and The Peer Nominated Award.

“It’s amazing to actually put something back into Mid Sussex,” he added.

“We live in a great area that has supported us for the past 37 years of business.”

Martyn said it was rewarding to see people’s faces when he turns up with fish and chips, and he plans to keep the weekly deliveries going ‘until the last injection is given’.

Olly Howland won the Young Volunteer award for more than 1,000 hours of work with Quarry Café and Community Fridge in East Grinstead.

“It was a big surprise because all the nominees were really good,” he said.

“I was sure they were going to win, because they deserve it just as much as I do.”

Olly said the hardest part of his role had been working through the dark and cold of the winter lockdown, which was ‘exhausting’, but he said he loved helping so many people.

He added that it had been great to get to know all the people he had helped as well.

Joanna Head accepted the Stronger Communities award on behalf of all the Clair Hall vaccination volunteers.

“It’s been a really lovely day,” she said.

“I didn’t quite know what to expect, having not been before,” she added, but she said it had been nice to meet the other nominees over afternoon tea.

Joanna said the volunteers were delighted too because the award had recognised all of the time and effort they had put in.

“We’ve been there since the clinic opened on December 29 last year and we’re still there and we’re still going strong,” said Joanna.

Some 275 volunteers help run things at Clair Hall and the venue has just finished delivering 150,000 vaccinations, she added.

MSDC community development officer Regina Choudhury, who helped put the awards together, said: “It was just amazing to hear all the stories, and the nominations were fantastic.”

“Right across our whole district you could see the amazing work that goes on,” she said.

To watch more of our video interviews visit our Facebook page.