February 4th 6.00pm
Committee Rooms, Civic Centre, Pershore
Good Evening and Welcome to the Wychavon Bursary Celebration.
First of all may I say thank you for coming this evening and in a slight change to previous years ceremonies this evening’s formalities are based upon Wychavon’s version, of the Oscars.
The Wychavon Bursary was initiated by Wychavon District Council in 1993. It was set up to recognise the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s accession and the service she has given to the nation since then.
29 of the parish councils in the district participate in the scheme. They all made a donation, which was added to Wychavon District Council’s own donation and invested. The interest from this accumulated sum, provides the Bursary, awarded each year to the person or group who, in the opinion of others, has given the best service to their community. The award, of £200 in the form of a cheque, is presented to the winner which, it is hoped, will enable him or her to continue the good work for his or her community.
We have 12 nominations tonight, including 1 entire committee and 1 husband and wife team.
I intend to read out the nomination’s in alphabetical order. At the end of each nomination will that person please come up and receive their certificate and have a photograph taken. When all the nominations have been read out I will announce the runner up and winner. Regrettably, we can only have one winner.
I have to say ALL of the nominees are worthy winners and even if you have not been successful this time, there is nothing to stop your name being put forward again and I would urge those proposing to do so. Just to get nominated means your local community have singled you out for going the extra mile, for being there and being an example to others.
And so to our first nominee………….
Broadway Village Activity Park Committee nominated by Broadway Town Council
The Committee is made up of Mr John Hankinson, Mr Gordon Paul, Mrs Pamela Street and Broadway Cllr Mrs Connie Wilson. The Committee was set up approximately 2 years ago to establish a new play area as the existing one had fallen into a poor state of repair. The major tasks of the Committee were to look at grant applications, purchase of equipment, engaging a contractor as well as consulting with local children. The park was opened in May 2009 and has been a major attraction for children not only in Broadway but visitors as well.
Mr Cuthbert Jack Burford nominated by Kington and Dormston Parish Council
Jack, as he is fondly known, has lived in the village of Kington all his life and is now approaching 89 years of age this year. Over the years’ man and boy he has willingly given his time and help to numerous people. Jack approaches all activities with enthusiasm and vigour, a quality he still displays today. At the early age of about 16 he started to play the organ for the church services, including weddings and funerals. He never charges a fee; regarding the people of the village, as his friends and that it is a privilege for him to be asked to play the organ.Jack joined the church committee over 50 years ago and remains an active part of that committee today, attending meetings and giving advice when needed on historical events in the village.As well as the church, Jack takes an active role in both the Parish Council and the Village Hall, Jack was the first Chairman of the Parish Council when it was formed in 1970 and still remains an active member of it. According to the clerk he is the font of all local knowledge, for example the location of old village drains and footpaths. Such local knowledge is often lost in time but with Jack’s assistance the Parish Council have been able to keep records to help with any queries that may occur, providing valuable information not only to the Parish Council but the District and County Council alike.He is loyal, trustworthy and approachable and has a great sense of humour always with a twinkle in his eye. Unfortunately Jack cannot be with us tonight. His award is being collected by his ward member and Vice Chairman of WDC Cllr Mrs Linda Robinson.
Mrs Doreen Byrd nominated by Beckford Parish Council
Mrs Byrd has, for the last forty eight years, dedicated herself to Beckford and also Ashton under Hill. In the early years whilst raising her own children, she started up the playgroups in Beckford and then in Ashton and has dealt with numerous generations who she has nurtured under her wing. She also has been involved in doing the church floral arrangements for the same period of time. This unpaid labour has indeed created many spectacular displays. Her quiet and unassuming way always brings out the best in people, her ability to converse at all levels is a wonderful asset and the children are always made to feel so special.
Mrs Sheila Grantham nominated by Pershore Town Council – 1
Mrs Grantham is involved with many organisations in Pershore and surrounding areas she has been nominated specifically for her hard work and dedication over many years to St Andrews Parish Centre.I am sorry to say that’s all the information we have been given by Pershore Town Council.
Mrs Carol Heath nominated by Ombersley & Doverdale Parish Council
Mrs Heath is the leader of Ombersley Girl Guides and has been involved with guides for over 30 years and leader of Ombersley for over 10 years. This is a voluntary role which Carol loves and excels in. The group led by Carol has provided essential skills for life for young girls, helping develop their team working skills and building their confidence. The group is always happy and positive, her down to earth approach is a refreshing and levelling influence. There is no doubt that without Carol’s personal commitment guiding in Ombersley would not have continued. Many activities happen because Carol covers the expenses from her own pocket and even uses her own car to transport girls to events and activities. Carol is held in the highest regard and continues to make a positive contribution to life for no personal gain or reward. Unfortunately Mrs Heath cannot be with us tonight, Cllr Mrs Jean Dowty will collect her certificate on her behalf.
Frank Holliday nominated by Droitwich Spa Town Council
Droitwich Town Council thinks very highly of Frank Holliday. He was co-founder of Droitwich Spa Boys & Girls Football Club in 1979. Over the past 30 years his primary role has been to organise and run mini soccer for 5 to 11 year olds. In recent years this has involved around 200 boys and girls training and playing matches at St Peters Fields. Frank has also been marking pitches on a Friday, ensuring that the right numbers of coaches, referees and pitches are available, that visiting teams know where to go and where to park and ensuring that kitchen staff and registration staff are available. He can turn his hand to anything and everything. He is currently overseeing the construction of a new storage facility, he regularly carries out maintenance at the Clubhouse, he organises kit and equipment, represents the Club at League meetings, organises tournaments and fund-raising events and plays a major role in arranging the Club’s annual Presentation Day. Amongst all of this, he still finds time to personally coach many youngsters. Over many years, not only do many Droitwich Spa people owe their interest and ability in football to Frank’s efforts, but now so are their children benefitting from his skill and dedication.
Mr Andrew John nominated by Overbury & Conderton Parish Council
It would be very difficult to live in Overbury and Conderton without knowing Andrew John. If you do not pass the time of day with him in the street you will undoubtedly meet him at the numerous events he organises or supports. Andrew is an intelligent and hugely experienced man who is only too pleased to share his knowledge and skills with those in need. There are numerous ways in which Andrew contributes to village life. Visiting elderly and infirm villagers in their own homes offering support and helping with errands, driving people to appointments, shopping etc. Chairman of Overbury Street Market Committee. The Committee runs the village’s main annual fund-raising event. This is a year-round task which Andrew helps by holding meetings, collecting items for stalls, liaising with stall holders and organising the team to help him with the manual tasks on the day. As Chairman of Overbury Village hall committee, he has arranged various fund-raising events over many years and his practical skills have saved the Management Committee many thousands of pounds. He is a reliable member of the churchyard mowing/maintenance team, often first on site, and a member of the regular parish litter collection team. Andrew organises the village bonfire and firework display each year. He also supports educational farm visits by under privileged children as a volunteer guide and teacher. Although now retired from farming, Andrew still has close ties with the farming community. The Parish of Overbury and Conderton would be a much poorer place if Andrew were ever to truly ‘retire’ from his work in the villages.
Cllr Mrs Diana Raphael nominated by Evesham Town Council
Councillor Mrs Raphael has, over many years, been a member of, and a tireless worker for, many charitable organisations in the town including John Martin’s Charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Samuel Wallace Smedley Trust and Avonbank Brass Band (of whom she is President), to name but a few. In November last, the Town Council were pleased to make a presentation to Diana to mark her 25 years unbroken service as a Member of Evesham Town Council. During this time she has been Mayor on two occasions in 1990 and 2002 and was Mayoress to her son, Robert, in 1998. I am sure that every Mayor during Diana’s time on the Town Council would confirm that the greatest support they received during their period of office was given by Diana. She has organised countless Monks Suppers, Valentine Evenings, St George’s Day Concerts, Christmas in July, Asparagus Suppers, and much more besides, raising many thousands of pounds over the years for Mayor’s Charities benefitting mainly local charities. Diana is undoubtedly Evesham’s greatest ambassador, promoting the town at every opportunity both in her capacity as a Town Councillor and as Town Tour Guide. She was a founder member of VETA (Vale of Evesham Tourism Association) which has since evolved into VECTA (Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourist Association). It is, however, perhaps due to her past efforts as Chairman of the Evesham Britain-in-Bloom Committee that she is held in great affection by the Evesham Public. When she took on the Chairmanship in 1997, Evesham had perennially finished in last place in the Annual Britain-in-Bloom Competition. In her first year, however, Evesham achieved a creditable third place and then two second places in 1998 and 1999 before winning the Competition in Millennium Year. This was the first time that any town had prevented Stratford-Upon-Avon from winning first prize! She repeated this feat again in 2004 receiving a Gold Award and best in the Medium Town Category. Diana is anxious to rekindle the Town’s entry in this year’s Competition. Achieving these awards involved Diana in many hours of work in which she raised in excess of £25,000 in sponsorship towards the floral enhancement of Evesham. This she did by direct appeals to businesses, organisations and individuals in the town and by running numerous fund raising events mainly at “Raphael’s Restaurant”. She also galvanised the schools in Evesham to participate in an annual Schools-in-Bloom and, from a limited initial entry, all schools (and the College) eventually participated. Turning now to Diana’s role as Chairman of Wychavon Festival of Brass, you will no doubt be aware that this competition has gained significant national importance over the years and brings kudos to the whole District. The competition did, however, face financial difficulties three years ago but thanks to Diana and her Committee it has survived and its future would once again appear to be secure.In view of the above, and Diana’s many other achievements and contributions to the Evesham Community, an award to our “Mrs Evesham” under the Wychavon Bursary would be richly deserved.
Mr John Redman nominated by Harvington Parish Council
Mr Redman has worked continuously for 4 years towards the refurbishment of the Village Hall. It was hoped that a lottery grant would help towards this but unfortunately it was unsuccessful. He has done much of the organisation, planning and physical work himself, working tirelessly. Whilst not yet completed, the transformation is fantastic. Obviously Mr Redman has had assistance but a lot of what has been done has been due to his dedication towards the project which is of great value to the Village.
June and Terry Tansley nominated by Hartlebury Parish Council
Hartlebury has its very own Terry and June. Most of their work does not get a public airing and often goes unrecognised. Retired businessman Terry Tansley and his wife June are long-standing members of Hartlebury Parish Hall committee and carry out vital unpaid behind-the-scenes work. Terry can always be relied upon to put a new lock on the back door, repair a broken window, stop a dripping tap or climb into the roof space to replace a faulty lighting tube. June has sorted out the bookings for the popular hall for many years. As keyholders, the Tansleys can always be relied upon to open the hall in cases of emergency. They keep the car park clear of litter and always make sure that the rubbish bins are available for collection.
Their efforts often remain unknown, even to other committee members.
Youth Councillor Alec Smith, Youth Mayor of Pershore and Youth Councillor Emma Hawtree, Deputy Youth Mayor of Pershore, are both nominated by Pershore Town Council
Alec and Emma have both been nominated for their commitment to the Youth Council and the town and for the enthusiasm with which they have led the Youth Council in its first year of existence. Once again we have no other information from Pershore Town Council so will both Alec and Emma please come up and receive your awards.
Now the moment you have all been waiting for.
The runner up this year is……….. Mr Andrew John
And, in the unanimous decision of the judges, the winner of this years Wychavon Bursary and a cheque for £200 is………………………..
Cllr Mrs Diana Raphael
Cllr Mrs Diana Raphael, receiving her well deserved cheque for £200