Unsung hero gets award

HOLDING back the tears, Ipswich charity worker Margaret Hancock was shocked to receive an Unsung Hero Award from the Mayor. The surprise presentation at Ipswich Tourist Information Centre was a low key but emotional affair for the 52-year-old.

HOLDING back the tears, Ipswich charity worker Margaret Hancock was shocked to receive an Unsung Hero Award from the Mayor.

The surprise presentation at Ipswich Tourist Information Centre was a low key but emotional affair for the 52-year-old.

She said: "I was completely hoodwinked. My boss told me we had a meeting at the bank and to dress smart.

"I was gobsmacked and completely overwhelmed."

Margaret was nominated for the award by manager of Ipswich Tourist Information Centre, David Stainer.

He said: "She's a good all round Ipswich ambassador and worthy of the award."

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Mr Stainer gave several reasons to the Mayor's office for his nomination – listing Margaret's membership of Friends of Ipswich Museum and Ipswich Society among her many roles.

Margaret also works with disabled children as an Out and About Volunteer and is a member of Ipswich Building's Preservation Trust.

But it is her work for the Ipswich Association of Blue Badge Guides that takes up the majority of her spare time and she even organised a walk for the Mayor's charities.

In fact mayor, Penny Breakwell, has encountered Mrs Hancock on several of her public duties.

She joked: "Every event I go to Margaret seems to be in the background, I thought Mayors were busy but Margaret is busier.

"Margaret volunteers all over the place and deserves the award for the enormous amount she does.

"There are an awful lot of people in this town who volunteer and work ever so hard for no award.

"The Unsung Hero Awards aim to single a couple out, they began when Richard Risebrow was Mayor and I thought it was worthwhile to keep them going."

The Mayor is now appealing to other organisations and individuals to nominate worthy individuals.

She said: "I would like to do this more often and I'd like more nominations for anyone doing some good.

"It could be calling on the elderly and offering help and support and it could be anyone young or old."

Anyone wishing to nominate an Unsung Hero should contact the Secretary of the Mayor's office, Christine Christensen on 01473 432641.

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