Felixstowe stalwarts are honoured

SIX stalwarts of the community who have given thousands of hours of their spare time to help others have been honoured with a town's highest award.Norman and Liz Austin, Sylvia Bayley, Ron Bright, Bill Chapman and Richard Holland have all been presented with the Felixstowe Mayor's Award.

SIX stalwarts of the community who have given thousands of hours of their spare time to help others have been honoured with a town's highest award.

Norman and Liz Austin, Sylvia Bayley, Ron Bright, Bill Chapman and Richard Holland have all been presented with the Felixstowe Mayor's Award.

The lapel badges they will be entitled to wear mark their sterling service to the resort and its people – including volunteering to give their time to social and community work, running clubs, societies, events, services and campaigns, or fundraising for good causes.

Mayor Doreen Savage said without its army of volunteers, Felixstowe would grind to a halt.

She said: "Time and time again in the past year, I have been astonished to find out how much community work goes on in Felixstowe – much of it not seen or heard about by the public at large.

"Without these hardworking volunteers Felixstowe just would not operate. There are so many associations, societies, groups and other bodies providing services and doing such good work.

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"Many of the individuals in these organisations are also involved with several others – it is quite incredible how hardworking they are for our town."

This year Felixstowe Town Council received 20 nominations for people involved in a wide range of community work.

Mrs Savage said it would have been lovely to have given awards to all of them, but the panel had decided that six would be recognised this time.

It is the third year the Mayor's Awards have been presented.

panel: Those receiving the awards:

WITHOUT Norman and Liz Austin, one of Felixstowe's most isolated communities would not have its community centre.

The pair have worked tirelessly for the Adastral Close estate at the end of Carr Road, leading its residents' association and working long hours to raise funds for its community centre and setting up courses it now runs.

Thanks to fetes, carnival floats, raffles and other events, the portable buildings which make up the community centre were put in place last year for the 70-home social housing estate near the port.

n Sylvia Bayley, 83, of Taunton Road, Felixstowe, has been rewarded for her work over many years with the WRVS meals on wheels service, running coffee mornings at the old people's day centre, taking part in street collections for charity, and working for the St John Ambulance.

n Ron Bright is a well-known figure in Felixstowe and has made a major contribution to safety by setting up ten years ago the town's Coastwatch station, from which observers keep a watch on the sea and shore.

Former policeman, Mr Bright, of Manor Terrace, who was also an auxiliary coastguard for 25 years, stood down last year as station manager but is still chairman of the group and able to provide members with his expertise.

n Bill Chapman, of Leopold Road, has served the community through the Royal British Legion, church, the Red Cross and as a hospital visitor.

He was churchwarden of St John's Church for 17 years and then took on the role of verger, and has been RBL poppy appeal organiser for his area for 30 years, marshalling door to door collectors and ensuring virtually every shop in town has a collection box.

n Former mayor Richard Holland has served the town as a councillor, and as an active committee member of the Felixstowe East Suffolk Travellers' Association.

Mr Holland, of Princes Gardens, is vice chairman of ESTA, chairman of the Old People's Welfare Association, involved with the Felixstowe and Wesel twinning association, and churchwarden at St John's Church.

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