Community heroes recognised at special town awards
PUBLISHED: 14:09 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:27 03 October 2018
Joe Taylor Photography
Community champions and unsung heroes in Stowmarket were honoured at a special awards ceremony organised by the town council.
The Stowmarket Town Awards, which were held at a packed John Peel Centre on Friday, September 28, recognised people for their outstanding contributions to the community.
The Stowmarket Town Council organised event, which was supported by the East Anglian Daily Times and its sister paper the Stowmarket Mercury, featured video testimonials of the contributions of the winners which were played over a big screen on the night.
Mike Walsh, of the main sponsor PPG, said: “I am a Stowmarket boy who now manages the site of one of the town’s largest employers. I can tell you that it has been an absolute privilege to be here this evening and share it with such deserving winners, many of whom I know personally.”
The winners included Colin Biginton, founder of ukulele band ‘Stowmarket Strummers’, which had raised more than £4,000 for the East of England Children’s Hospice, swimming teacher and county swimming administrator, Bobbie Wilson, and police cadet Gabriella Scarlioli.
Local business of the year went to malt producers Muntons PLC with Alan Ridealgh receiving the award for the company.
Sportsman and coach Ron Ames was remembered through the Special Achievement Award.
Mr Ames was a key figure in the development of Volleyball in Stowmarket and Suffolk for many years, before retiring from the sport and becoming an international triathlete, representing Great Britain on a number of occasions.
The master of ceremonies, John Webb, told the packed venue that Ron “received more nominations than any other person in the history of the awards”.
At the end of the evening, Sheila Ravenscroft was named ‘The Pride of Stowmarket’ in recognition of her services to the local community and in particular, the part she had played in creating the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in the town.
The venue had been named in memory of her husband, radio DJ John Peel. In her acceptance speech, Mrs Ravenscroft paid tribute to the large group of volunteers who helped to make the venue such a success.
The award winners were as follows:
Community Hero of the Year sponsored by Cedars Park CIC
Environment & Heritage Champion of the Year sponsored by Muntons PLC
Sue & Steve Willams
Kind Neighbour of the Year sponsored by New Life Family Church
Employee of the Year sponsored by Tesco
Amanda de Smith
Sports Person/Team of the Year sponsored by G Tydeman Jewellers
Local Business of the Year sponsored by Timberwolf
Young Person of the Year sponsored by Cabbages and Kings
Teacher (or Youth Leader) of the Year sponsored by Rotary Club of Stowmarket
Where The Heart Is - Community Award sponsored by Stowcare LTD
Salvation Army Emergency Response Team
Special Achievement Award, sponsored by Red Gables
The Stowmarket Award, sponsored by PPG
Pride of Stowmarket sponsored by Lions Club of Stowmarket and District