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Unsung heroes are honoured

Services to Farnham Awards 2016.

The Mayor of Farnham has presented nine people with Services to Farnham awards in recognition of the outstanding or crucial service they provide to the community. The presentation was held on Monday 22 February.

Each person was nominated for the award by a colleague, friend or family member. The nominations and accompanying supporting statements were considered by a small judging panel before being endorsed by a full meeting of Farnham Town Council in January.

The nominations revealed details about selfless acts from remarkable people whose efforts touch the lives of so many people across all areas of the town.

Stewart Dakers was recognised for his work with the disadvantaged adult community. Nearly 40 years ago, Stewart founded the Thursday Club, which provides a safe and social drop-in environment for educationally disadvantaged adults.

Robert Verner-Jeffreys was honoured for all that he has done on behalf of some of Farnham’s more vulnerable residents. Robert has been a trustee of the Andrew Windsor Almshouses for over 25 years and is described as a ‘steadfast and committed member of the Farnham community’.

Martin Billett was nominated for services to Farnham in Bloom and people with profound learning difficulties. His passion for horticulture is said to ‘shine through in all that he does, bringing excitement and joy for the subject not only with his voluntary work for Farnham in Bloom but also with Post 19 and the Ridgeway School’.

‘Generosity, enthusiasm and advice’ are some of the qualities that led to Brian Gravestock being nominated for his services to Badshot Lea Village Hall. Brian is a founder trustee of the village hall and provided dedicated support to the hall for 40 years. He has also worked tirelessly to produce the Badshot Leader, which is the village news sheet. Brian Gravestock is described as a ‘key contributor to the fabric of village life in Badshot Lea’.

Husband and wife team, Vera and Allan Maxwell have supported the Farnham meals-on-wheels service for over 30 years as well as working tirelessly to support local and national charities which support the residents of Farnham.

Joanna Michaelides is a life saver having performed CPR on a man who collapsed in the street. She also came to the rescue of a motorist who suffered cardiac arrest. Joanna now jointly leads Heartstart Farnham Lions and works to educate and train the local community on what to do in a medical emergency.

Gilly Stewart will be well-known to many, having ignited the imagination of hundreds of children in local schools and at the Museum of Farnham’s art and music club. Diane Vasey was also recognised for her services to young people having dedicated over 50 years to guiding. Diane is also a Rotarian and a trustee at the Woodlarks Centre.

The Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Mrs Pat Frost presented each recipient with a medal and certificate. She said: “I never cease to be amazed by the depth and quality and achievements of the huge number of Farnham’s voluntary organisations and volunteers who represent a spirit of helpfulness, cheerfulness and dedication for our community.

“It is their efforts that underpin many of our most important services such as the support of the elderly, activities of all kinds and for all ages, and elements of the fabric of our town like the library and museum.

“I offer my thanks and congratulations to all of them and particularly to the Services to Farnham Award recipients who have demonstrated a high level of commitment and achievement.”

The awards medals are sponsored by Sir Ray Tindle of the Tindle News Group. See the full and detailed nominations for each recipient.


Services to Farnham Awards 2016.

Services to Farnham Awards 2016.

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