Nominate your local heroesBy Lewis Rudd
February 07, 2012
Unsung heroes across the town are being sought to receive a 2012 Civic Award.
Wokingham Town Council is calling for nominations from local people who believe a neighbour, friend, family member, volunteer or colleague is worthy of an award.
Since 1997 the authority has been handing out the awards annually as a recognition to people who benefit the community, whether it be through a voluntary role, dedication, commitment, loyalty or simply being a good Samaritan.
Any nominee must live in the town or their voluntary work or role must be for an individual or organisation based within the boundaries of the town centre.
Their work should have been carried out for some length of time and not be connected to their employment in any way.
People who have gone on to lift a Civic Award in the past have included good neighbours, charity supporters and Scout leaders.
Among the eight recipients of the award in 2011 were Alan Newport, who was recognised for his 40-year association with St John Ambulance, and Gill Allen, a retired headteacher of Beechwood Primary School in Woodley who was given a Civic Award for her work on the steering group at The Cornerstone in Norreys Avenue.
Councillor UllaKarin Clark, chairman of the civic advisory committee at the town council, said it gives the authority great pleasure recognising the silent stalwarts of the community.
She is part of a 10-person panel, made up of councillors and representative of volunteer and outside bodies, who will discuss the nominations later this year.
Cllr Clark said: “We look at all the applications, but what is important is that the people have been doing something for a long time.
“There is no limitation to the amount of awards we hand out, but in some cases people are turned down because the application is not complete and information is missing.
“Sadly it is not enough to say Mr or Mrs X is a good person, I have known them for 30 years and think they should have a Civic Award, but except for that people get a Civic Award for something like being in the Scout movement for many years, while others may be working in the voluntary sector.
“It doesn’t have to be someone who has been managing anything, it could be a person who has been serving tea and coffee at a community group for 30 years.
“It is about awarding someone who, through the kindness of their heart, is interested in helping others, are really passionate about something or give up their free time to help other people.”
Civic Award winners each receive a glass award engraved with their name and the Wokingham Town Council coat of arms.
Cllr Clark added: “We all enjoy being involved with the Civic Award because working with the community is a big part of being a councillor and it is an important part of being a councillor; getting involved with the community and trying to know what’s happening.”
Nominations must be with the council by Thursday, March 1.
The award ceremony will be held at Wokingham Town Hall in Market Place on Friday, April 27.
Nomination forms can be collected from the town hall information centre, Wokingham Library in Denmark Street or downloaded from www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk.
For more information call (0118) 978 3185.