One of Uckfield’s best-known community stalwarts, Dorothy Sparks has notched up her second top award.
Dorothy, from Roman Way, Hempstead Fields, was awarded first place by Active Sussex as part of its Community Games Reward and Recognition Scheme. The award is accompanied by a useful £100-worth of funding.
Dorothy was nominated after her major contribution to the Manor Park and Hempstead Fields Residents’ Association’s Big Lunch held at Uckfield Rugby Club last June.
She said: “This is not just me, it’s for all the other people who worked to make this happen.”
A founder committee member of the residents’ association, Dorothy is an example of the saying: ‘if you want something done ask the busiest person in the village’.
She’s active in a number of local initiatives. She helped turn the Uckfield Festival into an annual event, served as a governor at Uckfield Community Technology College for four years, was involved with the Ridgewood Millennium Green from 1998 (she’s still trustee and secretary), served as an Uckfield town councillor from 2003-2011, is involved with Brighter Uckfield and is still trustee and trust secretary to the Luxford Centre. One of her proudest achievements was helping to set up and act as a volunteer driver for the residents’ association’s surgery car service.
Peter Griggs, the association’s secretary, said: “We are all overjoyed that Dorothy’s work for the local community has been recognised by Active Sussex. She works tirelessly on initiatives for the Residents’ Association and how she manages to fit this work in with all the other projects she is involved with is a constant source of amazement to the rest of us. She has already started organising our next community event – an Easter Egg Hunt for youngsters living on Manor Park and Hempstead Fields.”
In July, Dorothy was also recognised for outstanding service to the community.
She is still chairman of the Uckfield Festival and was the driving force behind the highly successful 2013 torch run through Uckfield. This was set up after she heard that the Olympic Flame was due to by-pass the town en route from being Crowborough to Lewes and the coastal towns.
Rotary Club then president Geoff Davies gave Dorothy the award at a meeting, saying: “If it’s happening in Uckfield, Dorothy is probably involved somehow.”
Dorothy is married to Paul Sparks, LibDem member for Uckfield North on Wealden District council and deputy chairman of the council’s internal scrutiny committee.