Full house sees awards presented to Church Stretton's community heroes
Some of the fantastic people who make a south Shropshire community tick were this week handed well deserved awards.
Church Stretton's Annual Assembly had a full house of 70 people to see the recipients receive their Community Service Awards on Tuesday and to hear the re-elected mayor give his annual report.
Liz Bourke, who has achieved 50 years of service with the Trefoil Guild and has worked for the Brownie organisation for many years, received the Long Service Award for adults working with young people.
Described as an "incredible human being" Liz also volunteers for the messy church, feeding an increasing number of children of the over 50s in these hard economic times. She is also a host to an Ukranian family.
She is also actively involved in supporting her community in other ways, such as Teas to Please, visiting the elderly and sick, hosting the German Language group and secretary to the Croquet Club.
In her citation, one member of the local community said: "She is an incredible human being who is much appreciated by the residents of Little Stretton and all who she comes into contact with."
Trish Howard and Mayfair Health Walk leaders were given the Long Service Award for working with adults. It was received on her behalf by another volunteer Lesley Goodwin.
Trish has been a volunteer walk leader for the Mayfair Health Walks for 15 years and the volunteer administrator for most of that time.
During the pandemic, Trish and the walk leaders, ensured that walks which complied with covid restrictions took place as soon as this was allowed. These were treasured social interactions at a time of great loneliness.
Christine Richardson & CoCo received the Community Group Award.
Christine has been a prominent member of this befriending service since it began in 2010.
People are referred to CoCo because they are in need of some extra support. CoCo offers one-to-one support from a carefully matched volunteer. As well as friendship and a listening ear, volunteers can offer support to help people get out, pursue their interests and hobbies as well as practical help with paperwork. Christine has undertaken the administration of this scheme.
At the start of the pandemic, Christine helped contact frail and vulnerable people to check how they were and offer support. At that time the need for telephone befriending trebled, new volunteers were recruited and over 90 people were getting weekly calls. Christine played a critical role in helping with this and in this role helped support 100’s of people in our community at a time when they needed it most.
Robin Lloyd won the Community Initiative Award. He is well known in All Stretton for his initiative in finding solutions to problems, and also having the drive and energy to make them happen.
When All Stretton Village Society needed to raise a large amount of money for play equipment, Robin came up with the idea of holding an auction. With no previous experience of running such an event. He went onto project manage it and secured a large number of promises, including holidays, glider flights and hot air balloon trips. The auction event was so successful it raised a total of £10,000.
Another example of his initiative is the way he has supported Ukraine refugees by offering help to local residents in their gardens, in lieu of donations. The money raised from gardening has helped fund aid sent over to Ukraine.
Robin is also well known in All Stretton for giving people lifts to church, hospital and other appointments if they need help getting there. He also volunteers for the Ring and Ride service operated by Mayfair.
The deputy mayor, Sheila Davies, said: “The town relies so heavily on volunteers and this is a great opportunity to recognise some of the fantastic work they do.
"The community life of Church Stretton is greatly enhanced by the voluntary contributions of individuals and community groups. The Town Council Community Service Awards scheme was set up to recognise this work."
The town council is now turning its attention fully to the family fun day event that will be happening on July 1.