Two volunteers who have supported Farnham’s disabled sports community for over 30 years have received recognition for their outstanding contributions.

Chris and Julie Stephens began volunteering with Swimability (formerly known as Farnham Sports Association for the Disabled) in the early 1980s following an accident that left Chris severely limited in movement, reliant on a wheelchair and with limited ability to speak. Chris has served as its treasurer since 1982.

The Mayor of Farnham, Councillor David Attfield presented the awards on behalf of Farnham Sports Council. He said: “Chris and Julie are the heart and soul of community sports clubs like Swimability. They have volunteered for many, many hours, month after month for over 30 years to enable others in the community to receive the health and social benefits as well as the enjoyment of an active and sporting lifestyle. A generation or more of disabled people in Farnham will have benefited from Chris and Julie’s contribution; these awards show how much the town appreciates their work.”

Despite his accident, which happened in 1976, Chris started swimming in 1981 and became actively involved in the organisation that is now known as Swimability. Julie has been a constant support and Swimability volunteer in her own capacity. As Chris’s carer they volunteer very much in partnership.

The Stephens were unable to attend the Farnham Sports Awards in October so the presentation took place at Swimability’s AGM and came as a complete surprise to Mr and Mrs Stephens.

Alan Taylor, the chairman of Swimability commented “Chris and Julie have been regular supporters of disability sport for well over 30 years; that’s a fantastic achievement and everyone in our club is very grateful for their loyalty and dedication.”

The Farnham Sports Awards is organised each year by Farnham Sports Council to recognise the contributions and achievements made by individuals, groups and teams of all ages in the local sporting community. Mr and Mrs Stephens were the winners in the Disability Award category.

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