The quantity and quality of nominations received for this year’s Services to Farnham Awards has led to the judging panel recommending Farnham Town Council hold two awards evenings.

The first ceremony took place on Monday 23 February and saw 11 people receiving their award from the Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Jeremy Ricketts.

Each recipient was nominated for recognition by a colleague or a member of the public. A statement explaining why the individual should be considered for the Award accompanied each nomination. A small panel of people assessed the entries and put forward their recommendations to Farnham Town Council.

Cllr Jeremy Ricketts, Mayor of Farnham said: “It was an honour to present Services to Farnham Awards to so many wonderful and selfless people. Not only are the actions of these people making Farnham a better place to live but many of them are also making a real difference to the day-to-day lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.

“For the first time in the history of the awards we awarded a medal posthumously. Peter Buckingham was nominated for his services to Hale but sadly passed away during the nomination period. I was very touched that Peter’s widow was able to attend and collect the medal.”

The recipients of the Awards represent all areas of Farnham. Between them they have made direct contributions to the local communities of Hale and Wrecclesham, organisations such as the Farnham Society, Farnham Lions and the United Reform Church, schools and organisations for vulnerable people and environmental groups.

Sir Ray Tindle CBE DL was the original inspiration for the Services to Farnham Awards and kindly sponsored the medals.

Recipients of Services to Farnham Awards 2015 included:

Phil Alexander Services to the Farnham Lions Phil Alexander has served the local community as a hard-working member of the Farnham Lions Club for over twenty years fulfilling many roles including President. He has also been Chair of the Farnham Carnival Committee. Chair of the Farnham Beerex committee, and Club Treasurer. In addition to these time consuming and demanding roles Phil is always happy to volunteer for other activities to raise funds or help less fortunate members of the Farnham community- doing so in a cheerful and encouraging manner.

Roy Beard Services to Farnham through the Farnham United Reformed Church

Roy Beard runs the Coffee bar at the Farnham United Reformed Church, on at least three days each week, but often five or six days, helping people rather than running an institution. Roy also visits housebound folk; gives many lifts to medical appointments including regular visits to Frimley Park hospital; and takes people otherwise unable to get to church. Amongst other things, Roy also arranges flowers at the United Reformed Church and at special events at Chawton and very much deserves this award.

Peter Buckingham Services to the community of Hale Peter Buckingham contributed greatly to preserving and developing the strong community spirit in Hale. He was Chairman of Hale Recreation Ground Management Committee for ten years and an active player and umpire for the Hale Cricket Club. Peter served on the Hale Institute Management Committee and was an active supporter of the History of Hale project. He helped organise the annual Remembrance service and was also a key volunteer at 40 Degreez when it was founded. The Services to Farnham Award is a fitting tribute to Peter, one of life’s unsung heroes, always willing to help anybody in need.

John Collins Services to the Farnham community John Collins has worked tirelessly over many years for a number of community projects in Farnham. He has compered the Christmas lights switch-on, transforming the event’s atmosphere and focus; initiated and maintains Farnham TV; and has created a showcase to promote young musical talent in Farnham. By creating and editing the Farnham in Bloom video, John perfectly captured the wide community contribution to the acclaim of the Britain in Bloom judges. John’s enthusiasm and kind spirit is infectious and he brings high standards, initiative and professionalism to everything he does.

Alan Gavaghan Services to Farnham’s heritage through the Farnham Society Alan Gavaghan has reinvigorated the Farnham Society to protect Farnham’s heritage and help positively shape its future during his tenure as Chairman. Under his inspirational leadership, the Society has vigorously opposed inappropriate development in Farnham and has sustained and extended the Heritage Open Days programme. Alan also made a significant contribution during his six year chairmanship of the Moor Park Residents’ Association; and has been a long term supporter of the Rotary Club and many local charities.

John Green Services to special needs students at the Abbey School John Green’s long association with the Abbey School began when his grandson was a student. He volunteered to help with the Gardening Club and has continued every week since providing essential life-skills learning that could not otherwise happen without his energy and dedication. His impact is evident every summer when the students dig up their produce and present their crops to their families. John has been an outstanding volunteer, with his quiet personality transforming the learning of the Abbey School’s special needs students.

Noel Moss Services to the environment through the Bourne Conservation Group Noel Moss was a founder member of the Bourne Conservation Group (BCG) in 2002 acting initially as its Secretary and since 2006 as its Chairman. Under his active and enthusiastic leadership the BCG has transformed the Middle Bourne Lane Community Wildlife Garden and restored St Thomas on the Bourne’s old churchyard as a wildlife haven. As a result of Noel’s energetic and infectious enthusiasm, and working closely with a range of statutory and community organisations, the BCG is a thriving and successful volunteer organisation improving biodiversity and transforming the local environment.

Michael Prinsep Services to the Arts and vulnerable people through Creative Response.

Michael Prinsep, Founder of Creative Response in 1993, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and provide an arts-related service for those in mental distress, working in partnership with statutory organisations and individuals. Michael’s forward thinking and insight in creating provision for those experiencing difficulties within the local community has enabled people overcome their fears and anxieties. Michael has served the local community in many ways and through his generous nature, warmth and spirit he nurtures and brings the best out of all those he meets.

Ivy & Reg Skeet Services to the community of Wrecclesham

Reg and Ivy Skeet have devoted themselves to the welfare of their local community in Wrecclesham for over forty years. Ivy started up the Lollipop Tree Nursery in 2003 and was a member of the small group that saved the Wrecclesham Community Centre from closure, served on its management committee for many years and is currently Vice Chair and a Trustee. Ivy and Reg are both pastoral assistants at St Peter’s Church, whilst Reg is a Trustee of the Almshouses and of the Isabella Schroeder Trust helping both individuals and organisations in need. Ivy and Reg are widely known and held in huge affection and respect for their experience, good judgement and willingness to go the extra mile. Ivy and Reg are extra special people for whom nothing is too much trouble.

Gavin Stride Services to the Arts and the Farnham Maltings Gavin Stride has been Director of the Farnham Malting for over twelve years, exceeding expectations in raising its profile both within the town and the arts sector. Locally, as well as running and enhancing the Museum of Farnham, the Maltings has led on a range of community focussed initiatives including programmes for older people, those suffering from dementia, and those living in deprived communities. The Farnham Maltings now has a national and international reputation for supporting arts and crafts with a team of over sixty people working under Gavin’s inspirational and creative leadership.

The Mayor with the recipients of Services to Farnham Awards.

Recipients of Services to Farnham Awards 2015. © Vaidas Gerikas

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