West Norfolk community stalwarts are honoured for centuries of service

The Mayor's Civic Awards for Voluntary Service. Presented by the Deputy Mayor of King's Lynn Colin Manning. ANL-150204-105144009

The Mayor's Civic Awards for Voluntary Service. Presented by the Deputy Mayor of King's Lynn Colin Manning. ANL-150204-105144009

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The people who do the most to help their communities have been honoured at West Norfolk’s annual Mayor’s Civic Awards for Voluntary Service.

Eighteen people, who have contributed hundreds of years of support to borough life between them, were recognised during the ceremony at Lynn’s town hall on Wednesday evening.

Charity shop workers, parish councillors, cadet instructors and even a veteran standard bearer were among those to receive awards from the borough’s deputy mayor, Colin Manning.

Mr Manning said: “I never cease to be amazed at the selflessness of members of our community who freely give their time for the service of others.

“Without a doubt, their commitment to the voluntary work they do makes West Norfolk a better place to live.

“It was a real privilege to meet them.”

This year marks 20 years since the awards were first established by West Norfolk’s then Mayor, Fred Juniper.

They aim to recognise the contribution made by volunteers to support others in the borough or to raise money for charity.

In Mr Juniper’s memory, each award certificate depicts the branch of a juniper tree.

And the awardwinners’ citations show that, between them, they have given more than 300 years of service to West Norfolk communities.

Until a recent bout of ill-health, Richard Barritt, known as Tom, was an instructor with the TS Vancouver Lynn Sea Cadets and was previously commanding officer for the Lynn and Wisbech branches.

Richard Bass has worked with the Lavender Hill Mob theatre group for 10 years and has been a trustee since 2012. He is also an active supporter of several cancer charities.

Victor Cross is in his third term as Great Massingham parish council chairman, has been a councillor for more than 20 years and a retained firefighter for over 40 years. He is also an ex-football club chairman, bowls club captain and village hall steward and trustee.

Emma Croucher has been cadet officer and youth unit manager for the St John Ambulance service in Lynn for 14 years. She is also a trainer and teacher for Action for Children.

Betty Curr recently retired as a volunteer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital League of Friends shop, having helped there since it opened in 1980.

Sylvie Fisher has been a volunteer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for 24 years, mostly on the maternity ward.

Oliver Forrest is a founder member of the Barton Bendish Film Club, supports church fundraising activities and is a trained life support instructor who can teach people how to use the village’s defibrilator.

Rosemary Fox, from Clenchwarton, has organised Christmas lights displays at her home and other activities, in aid of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she also works.

Valerie Hewitt has been a volunteer standard bearer for the Royal British Legion Burnham Women’s Section for at least 45 years and helps her husband, Clifford, organise the Poppy Appeal.

Jayne Lawson has been a Brownie leader in Tilney St Lawrence since 1990. She is also Marshland district commissioner and a former member of the village hall committee.

Rita O’Connor was a volunteer at the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House for 10 years and now helps at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital several times a week.

Queenie Parker organises the annual Church Cycle Ride and is a long-serving member of Castle Acre’s Playing Fields Committee. She also helps with the Christian Aid appeal and supports a host of activities.

Terry Parnell has been a volunteer on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Oxborough ward for the past five years.

Len Ringwood was the driving force behind the 11-year campaign to commission and build South Creake’s Memorial Pavilion, and even made fencing for the site himself.

Jenny Shoebridge has been an active member of the East and West Rudham community for more than a decade, organising the Cottagers Club, now the Over 60s, and serving as horticultural society president.

Kim Smith, from Grimston, has been part of the Scouting movement for 20 years and is currently in his second term as District Commissioner.

Barry Sutherns has been supporting the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House for four years at its Hunstanton shop and its new Hillington site. He has also been an RSPB volunteer.

Pat Worby helped to bring the Macmillan Cancer unit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Since retiring in 2002, she has helped to raise around £250,000 for Macmillan through many events.