Young people honoured with awards

A TEENAGER who has been an inspiration to other youngsters in battling to overcome spine cancer has been rewarded for his outstanding community work.Tom Roden, 18, has been jointly awarded the HMS Ganges Youth Trophy, Felixstowe's top young people's award, with brothers Harry and Alex Stewart, who work voluntarily for the resort's young people on a variety of projects.

Richard Cornwell

A TEENAGER who has been an inspiration to other youngsters in battling to overcome spine cancer has been rewarded for his outstanding community work.

Tom Roden, 18, has been jointly awarded the HMS Ganges Youth Trophy, Felixstowe's top young people's award, with brothers Harry and Alex Stewart, who work voluntarily for the resort's young people on a variety of projects.

Mayor of Felixstowe Joan Sennington said: “It was impossible for us to make a choice and therefore it was decided the trophy would be shared.


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“It is my dearest wish to see young people recognised because of what they put into the community.

“These young men are indicative of many local youngsters who are 'doing it for themselves' as well as for others.

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“Not waiting around to be spoon fed and for someone else to do everything for them, they are taking that lead. The achievements of these young people are, I feel, outstanding and auger well for the future of the youth of our town.”

St Joseph's sixth former Tom, of Valley Walk, Felixstowe, was nominated by district commissioner Tim Parnell and Felixstowe group scout leader Rob Rushen-Smith for his bravery and commitment to the scouting movement.

“Tom is a wonderful example to all the members of the group, young and old alike,” said Mr Parnell.

“He has inspired all of us. He has cheerfully embraced all the true Scouting traditions of being cheerful and always doing his best and doing his duty to others, in spite of personal suffering.”

Tom was diagnosed with cancer of the spine in May last year and attended University College Hospital, London, for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, followed by two operations to remove the growth from his spine at Stanmore Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

He is still recovering from the extensive treatment and sometimes feels weak but he is building up his fitness and back muscles and getting stronger every day, and has now resumed his A level studies and hopes to take business studies at Norwich University.

Harry and Alex Stewart, of Church Lane, Walton, are involved in representing young people.

Harry, 15, is very involved in the management of the Level Two youth centre, sorting out bids for funding, designing and promoting projects, and serving on the town's youth forum.

Alex, 14, is also involved in Level Two and his school council.

Certificates of commendation were presented to Jack Clarke, 17, of Constable Road, for working at Level Two on a major anti-bullying campaign, and to the Felixstowe Army Cadets for their charity fundraising and support for activities in the town.

Pay your tribute to the award winners - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FIVE community stalwarts have received prestigious Felixstowe mayor's awards to mark their voluntary service in many roles in the town.

Presenting the lapel badges at the Civic Awards Night at Broadway House, mayor Joan Sennington said: “We received an outstanding number of nominations this year for mayor's awards - something like 16, I believe - and as exciting as that has been, it made hard decisions even more difficult.

“We are indeed fortunate in our community to have so many thoroughly deserving of a nomination.”

Those receiving awards were:

Liz and Ron Cartwright, of Walton High Road, who over the past few months have run a major community appeal and collected and sent out 600 shoeboxes of necessities to troops in Afghanistan.

The couple's home has become a shoebox “factory” with a production line of sorting, packing, and wrapping the boxes ready to be sent off.

Gwyneth Esmarch, of Goyfield Avenue, who has worked tirelessly without seeking personal recognition for St Elizabeth Hospice, Maidstone Road Baptist Church, Felixstowe Lionesses, the Co-op Women's Guild, and Felixstowe East Suffolk Travellers' Association, managing their tours.

Iris Slade, of Winston Close, an active member of St John Ambulance, FACTS dial-a-ride bus service, and Multiple Sclerosis Society. She was described as having “the ability to bring out the best in everyone”.

Margaret Sparrow, of Wentworth Drive, president of both the branch and women's section of the Felixstowe Royal British Legion and for many years has been treasurer and organiser of the annual poppy appeal. She is also a patron of the Stage Door Theatre Company.

Wendy Tolliday, of Looe Road, has been secretary and a committee member of Felixstowe Mencap for many years, a magistrate, member of the Felixstowe Forum, sits on the CAB committee, and co-ordinator of Felixstowe Volunteer Centre for many years.

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