Sat, 23 Mar 2019
UNSUNG heroes from Newbury were honoured with civic awards on Monday.
In front of a packed chamber at Newbury Town Hall, inspirational residents were recognised for their commitment to the community and helping others.
Nine-year-old Lily-May Fisher was crowned winner of the Young Persons Civic Award for her positive attitude and “self-willingness” as a young carer of her mother, who has epilepsy and fibromyalgia.
During the awards ceremony, the audience was told how the youngster, who was hailed as a role model for her peers, often looks after her mother when she is having a seizure, as well as looking after her brothers.
Despite her extra responsibilities, town crier Brian Sylvester, who read out her nominations, said how Lily-May was doing “amazingly well” at school.
Daniel Parnell, 18, leader of the Newbury Youth Town Council, was highly commended in the young persons category for excelling in several local volunteering ventures, including working with young people as an adult leader at West Berks Police Cadets.
Terry and Maureen Dummett walked away with the Civic Award for their involvement in increasing community safety in and around Wash Common for more than two decades.
Despite tough competition from Maxx Design and Sainsbury’s, the Newbury Weekly News received the Business Civic Award for several community initiatives.
The meeting was told how the family-run independent community newspaper championed The Rosemary Appeal to successfully help raise £5.4m for a cancer care and renal dialysis facility, which opened last year at West Berkshire Community Hospital.
The paper’s mission to raise awareness for the establishment of a night shelter, as well as raising £4,468 for Newbury Soup Kitchen through its successful Best in Business awards, were also praised.
The NWN was also commended for its running of the Over 80s Parcel Fund, as well as its Young Photographer of the Year competition and supplying local primary schools with new books.
NWN chairman Jeremy Willis said: “I am very proud that the Newbury News should be honoured in such a way by this award.
“It is presented by those who represent the community in which we are a strong part.
“It is a true acknowledgement of the present staff who work hard to continue our tradition of serving that same community and to those who have represented the company during the last 152 years.”
All nominees and award winners were congratulated by Newbury town and district councillor Jeanette Clifford (Con, Northcroft), Newbury resident Janine Westropp and Newbury mayor Margo Payne.
Speaking after the event, Mrs Payne said: “It was a lovely evening and a chance to say thank you and well done to those in our community, both young, old and commercial, who support others.
“Be it by assisting their own family, as in the case of Lily-May, or the wider community, as in the recognition of Mr and Mrs Dummett, as well as applauding those businesses that go the extra mile for charities in our town.
“All our nominees were community champions.”