Mid Sussex Applauds: awards celebrate community heroes at South of England Showground in West Sussex

Mid Sussex District Council held a special ceremony at the South of England Showground at the weekend to celebrate the district’s community heroes.

The council said the Mid Sussex Applauds Awards was on Sunday, March 24, and showcased ‘the fantastic work of individuals and groups in the district, who go above and beyond to benefit the community’.

It was hosted by MSDC chairman councillor Rodney Jackson, and supported by The High Sheriff of West Sussex, Andy Bliss.

The ceremony was attended by almost 100 community champions and local businesses.

Bohdi Peckham, five, who won of the Young Person of the Year, said: “I am so proud of myself. I was really shy at first going up on stage, but everyone helped me to feel better.”

Fairer World Lindfield, who was Highly Commended in the Environment and Climate Champion category, said: “There are so many great people and initiatives here today and it makes us feel so proud to not only be recognised but also to live in such an amazing community.”

Mid Sussex District Council issued a list of winners and Highly Commended people. Visit www.midsussexapplauds.co.uk.

Volunteer of the Year winners: Clare Stacey, who has dedicated 17 years to serving as bandmaster for Burgess Hill Marching Youth. Kelvin Meek, who trained as a Peer Mentor and drew from his own experiences with mental health challenges.

Highly Commended: Amanda Felix for her extensive volunteer work, including organising the ‘Wine Tasting for Teddy’ fundraiser that raised £20,000.

Community Project of the Year winner: The Angling and Mental Health Initiative. Highly Commended: The Burgess Hill Creative Community, led by Jo Homan and Gail Anderson.

Young Hero of the Year winner: Bodhi Peckham. His battle with leukaemia helped raise over £20,000 for Leukaemia UK.

Business in the Community winner: Mad Dog Coffee Lounge in East Grinstead, which is a hub for community support. Owner Russell Bullen donates 20 per cent of profits to charities.

Highly Commended: The Mug Tree for mentoring local businesses and providing support. The Balcombe Stores, under Gemma Lewis Tupper’s management, was commended for offering a space for social connection and support.

Community for All winner: Derek and Lindsay Shurvell, whose dedication led to the success of the Emmaus Youth Club.

Highly Commended: Steve Isherwood for his transformation of Haywards Heath Town Football Club into a ‘local powerhouse’. The Balcombe Club was highly commended for serving as a vibrant hub of community life. King’s Auto Repairs, led by Pete Williamson, was also highly commended for providing essential assistance to individuals facing financial hardship by servicing and donating vehicles.

Environment and Climate Champion winner: Greener Hassocks and Ditchling. Highly Commended: Fairer World Lindfield.

Community Hero of the Year winner: Fiona Hayward, Dementia Services Manager at Age UK East Grinstead and CEO of Being Neighbourly. Highly Commended: Mark Collins for his decade-long dedication to collecting for the Poppy Appeal.

Lifetime Achievement Award winners: Margaret Taylor for her decades of service to her community. Chris Ollif also won for his ‘outstanding contributions to the community of Horsted Keynes’. Highly Commended: Helen Schofield for her dedication to serving her community as Clerk to West Hoathly Parish Council and school governor at West Hoathly Primary School. Also highly commended was Tina Shea for 47 years of service as Brown Owl of the 1st Turners Hill Brownies.