VOLUNTEERS who have made a difference to the village of Kingsclere have been rewarded for their efforts.
Hampshire county councillor Keith Chapman (Con, Calleva and Kingsclere) – who is also chairman of Hampshire County Council – made the presentations at Kingsclere Village Club on January 31.
Six individual awards were handed out to Andy Bates, Ralph Cook, Bill Cooper, Wyn Morgan, Sue Oram and Dean Tierney,
For the first time, a group award was presented to Kingsclere charity, Sail 4 Cancer.
Former Kingsclere parish councillor Andy Bates, who oversees the installation of Kingsclere’s Christmas lights, remains active in the Kingsclere Twinning Association, including running the annual duck race.
Mr Bates also ensures St Mary’s Church in the village is lit and on occasion, has helped to wind the church clock.
He is also chairman of Kingsclere Community Association (KCA), which oversees the Fieldgate Centre.
Dean Tierney’s award recognised his voluntary work with Kingsclere’s youth football teams, including saving the under-15 team from folding after taking it over in 2011 and also running the under-nines team.
“This age group is now thriving and the club’s fortunes are on an upward trajectory,” his nominee said.
Ralph Cook’s award recognised his many years’ work on a wildflower area in St Mary’s churchyard, which is now recognised as a haven for wildlife and has been awarded a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
Sue Oram has been a leader in Guiding in the village since 2008, when she became an assistant leader for 1st Kingsclere Brownies.
In 2010, she became Kingsclere Guides’ assistant leader and treasurer and has also helped out with Ecchinswell Rainbows.
Described as “a one-man army”, Bill Cooper is a volunteer and committee member of the Fieldgate Centre.
Mr Cooper also stepped in to help Kingsclere Village Club keep its winter entertainment programme and is a member of the amateur dramatics group, Kingsclere Players.
Popular retired shopkeeper Wyn Morgan (pictured right) of Swan Street Stores, went the extra mile for customers, including helping those less able to shop for themselves.
“He really was the heart of the village in many ways, always greeting customers as they came in and making our shop a very welcoming one,” wrote his nominee, who also referred to Mr Morgan’s work for St Mary’s Church.
Stepping up to receive an award on behalf of Sail 4 Cancer were Julie Colquhoun, Cathy Jenkins and Pippa Ashton.
The charity provides respite care for families affected by cancer and the three volunteers were praised for their compassion, humanity and resourcefulness in meeting each family’s needs.