Hailsham community worker honoured at civic ceremony

Shirley Smith  was given the  Outstanding Community Achievement through Volunteer Hours award.
Shirley Smith was given the Outstanding Community Achievement through Volunteer Hours award.
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A Hailsham community volunteer was honoured by the Chairman of Wealden District Council at a special civic ceremony.

The Wealden Volunteer Award Scheme takes place every two years and this time it was Cllr Brian Redman’s opportunity as council Chairman to pay tribute to 11 individuals who make life better for so many people living in the district.

Among those awarded was Shirley Smith from the Hailsham Trust. She was given the award for Outstanding Community Achievement through Volunteer Hours, having clocked up 1,600 hours of community work last year working in the Trust’s Community Corner charity Shop, which is the highest number of volunteer hours for any application.

The Community Corner provides a mix of low cost, second hand goods with friendly chat, and advice about local services.

The Hailsham Trust’s work includes helping to combat social and economic deprivation. It also helps children and families, young people, and black and minority ethnic communities.

Wealden’s Trustee of the Year went to Barbara Molog, who took over as chairman of the trustees of Mediation Plus in 2012 and has been instrumental in guiding a new board to oversee the mediation and conflict resolution charity.

Cllr Redman said: “Volunteers play a vital part in our ability as a community to go forward. As a council we seek to encourage volunteers in the district and through our Community Grants Programme, we invest £337,000 every year in voluntary sector. Our commitment is well rewarded by the enthusiasm and dedication of the very many local volunteers in Wealden.”

Each organisation receives £100 and the winning volunteer a £25 gift voucher with the Volunteer Award.

The Chairman also presented the 2014 Civic Awards on behalf of the council. The Civic Awards allow district councillors to recognise the special contribution to the community individuals make in their wards.

Gill Hesselgrave from Hellingly was nominated by Cllr John Blake for her voluntary service to the community over the last 10 years and Pevensey Bay’s Doris Johnson was nominated by Cllr Lin Clark for her work running the local branch of the Red Cross.