Tue, 27 Oct 2020
FOUR local heroes have been awarded the Freedom of the Town of Hungerford in recognition of their exceptional service to the community.
Back in March, at the beginning of lockdown, Hungerford Town Council announced that Roger Ballard, Derek Loft, Di Loft and Steve ‘Skippy’ Skipworth were the recipients of this year’s honour.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the usual celebrations could not go ahead and therefore a much smaller, socially-distanced event was held on Saturday, October 10.
Each of the recipients and their families were presented with their medal and certificate by the mayor of Hungerford Helen Simpson.
They also received a small hamper of goodies – with many of the items being donated by Tesco’s Hungerford store.
Mr Loft was praised for making an “outstanding contribution” to the town and is involved in many organisations within Hungerford.
As treasurer and an active member of the chamber of commerce, he co-ordinates the Hungerford Extravaganza.
He also supports Hungerford Town Council on many of the town’s community events, such as Armed Forces Day.
He was also recognised for his 30-plus years’ service supporting the Royal British Legion (RBL) and for his organisation of the town’s annual Remembrance Day parades.
Mrs Loft has been involved with the RBL for more than 20 years and during this time she was secretary of the women’s section from 2007 to 2011.
She has been the RBL women’s section standard bearer for those 20 years and has managed the annual poppy appeal fundraising since 2013.
Mr Ballard has worked for the benefit of Hungerford and its residents for many years.
Mr Ballard served as a governor at John O’Gaunt School and has been on the Hungerford Extravaganza committee for 15 years.
He was a member of Hungerford Town Council for many years and town mayor in 2004/2005.
Mr Skipworth is a former chairman of Hungerford Town FC and the club’s junior section.
He is now a trustee to the main club and is the current president of the Hungerford Town Juniors.
He also provided much of the practical help to Hungerford Rugby Club with the building of their new clubhouse.