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Recognition for Farnham’s community heroes and heroines

Two rows of people wearing medals on green ribbons.

Farnham Town Council is proud to announce that 17 individuals have been awarded Services to Farnham awards in recognition of their outstanding service to the community. 

The Mayor of Farnham presented a certificate and medal to each of the recipients at a ceremony on 3 April. The awards were set up to acknowledge and thank individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication, commitment, and contribution to the local community. 

The recipients of the Services to Farnham awards come from various walks of life and have made a positive difference to the community in a multitude of ways. Their efforts support many important facilities and activities in Farnham including services for young people, care of the elderly and activities of all kinds and for all ages.

At the ceremony the Mayor described how the award winners both create and underpin the sense of community in Farnham and represent the best of volunteering. He also underlined how much people do to support their community and make Farnham a better place to live. 

The Services to Farnham awards are testament to the town’s strong community spirit and the willingness of its residents to go above and beyond for the greater good. 

Awards were presented to:

Paul Adams

Paul Branston Adams is one of Farnham’s larger-than-life characters often seen as Father Christmas or the Easter bunny raising funds for charity.  For over 30 years he has supported the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and other community causes to raise much needed funds, and also add some fun and colour. In addition, Paul teaches cricket to the younger generation. 

Through his business, Branston Adams, Paul has supported networking and mentoring events for other local businesses to help the local economy believing strongly that if you look after the community, the community looks after you. 

Paul is a real community champion much deserving of this award.

Roy Beard

Roy Beard has volunteered at The Spire Café for over a decade and is a dedicated, indispensable, and valued member of The Spire Church. He gives his time tirelessly and generously to the customers and members and was one of the key team that helped the café win a national Community Project Award for providing a safe and supportive environment. Roy is also a Trustee of the Farnham United Reformed Church Charity.  

Roy is a real unsung hero appreciated by all who meet him.

Barry Cogger

For as long as anyone can remember, Barry Cogger has been an integral part of the Farnham Remembrance Service in Gostrey Meadow being one of the first to arrive and last to leave.  Barry voluntarily sets up the PA system to enable the service to be broadcast to those attending and the increasing numbers of the community who arrive to watch.

As a local business, Barry has always supported community events whether the Lions Spectaculars over recent years, or other community activities.  Over many years Barry has worked alongside Heath End secondary and Hale primary schools providing and staging for school events.

Barry is someone who always responds to requests for help and generously gives of his time and experience without expecting anything in return.  He deserves recognition for his community spirit.

Norma Corkish

Norma Corkish has been working exceptionally for Farnham for many years using her time, strategic skills and diplomacy to support many organisations that offer so much for Farnham.

Since 2005, Norma has been the Chair at the award winning New Ashgate Gallery Trust and since 2011 has driven the evolution of The Bungalow to the Hale Community Centre, Upper Hale as its chair, supporting residents of all ages. As an active Rotarian she is the immediate past President of the Rotary Club of Farnham. 

So many organisations have flourished with the excellent support and focus brought by Norma that she is a very worthy recipient.

Jonathan Curtis

For over ten years Jon Curtis has been chair of the Dempster Trust, supporting individual residents of Farnham who are in need.  As part of this role, he has played a leading part in the Farnham Support Fund, liaising between the panel and individuals in need, to verify applications and ensure targeted decisions are made fairly and promptly.   

Jon brings experience as a magistrate and his calm and thoughtful approach has been much valued.  Jon is also an active member of the Farnham Rotary Club leading the Club’s community team. Jon’s dedication, patience and sensitivity makes him an ideal recipient of a Services to Farnham Award.

Mark Elsoffer

Mark Elsoffer has been a dedicated volunteer at Tice’s Meadow for over twelve years.  Although not a Farnham resident, Mark is committed to improving this award-winning space for the benefit of wildlife, local residents, and those travel from further afield.  

Mark leads on social media and the collation and distribution of the Tice’s Meadow annual reports. Mark’s ability to connect with the community and get more people involved has seen 36 work parties and over 4,200 volunteer hours over the past year. There is no doubt that without Mark’s leadership, vision, zest and tenacity, Tice’s Meadow would not be the well-managed, safe and welcoming environment it is today.

Ruth Hicks and Maureen Williams

Ruth Hicks and Maureen Williams have worked tirelessly for over 15 years to help raise funds for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

During this time, Maureen and Ruth have hand-crafted hundreds of beautiful birthday, Christmas and any-occasion cards, helping to raise an estimated £35,000 for the important and necessary work of the hospice.

Maureen and Ruth’s hard work and continued commitment to this cause over the years has been exemplary, and is a true example of people wanting to dedicate their valuable time and energy for those less fortunate.

The dedication and commitment of both Ruth and Maureen has really made a difference to the hospice and is worthy of recognition with a Services to Farnham Award.

Sue Keogh

Sue Keogh has had a major impact on Farnham community life for over 25 years as Chair of Governors both at St Mary’s Frensham, and Weydon Secondary Schools, a member of the Farnham Rugby Club Committee and more recently as Secretary of the Farnham Sports Council.  She was one of the organising committee for the Farnham Community games and now runs Dementia Friends sessions for the Alzheimer’s Society.

During COVID, Sue helped set up and run the Farnham Helpline providing vital help to the most vulnerable at this uncertain time. Sue was also a pivotal member in the team that set up and ran the vaccination programme at Farnham Hospital and manages the volunteer pool to ensure all shifts are covered.

Sue took on the role of helping co-ordinate the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival and played a key part in its success in both 2022 and 2023. Through her vital and unselfish volunteering Sue has made an outstanding contribution to community life in Farnham.

Katherine Larmer

Kate Larmer was the driving force behind Farnham Homes for Ukraine and the special relationship between Farnham and Kharkiv. Working with Tatyana Moskalenko, Farnham residents were matched with Ukrainian residents at the start of the war.  

Kate worked closely with Farnham Town Council, Waverley Borough Council and other organisations such as Frensham Heights School, often breaking new ground in resolving issues for which there was no rule book.  She created a wide range of services to assist including a ‘shop’ with clothes and toys, and supported English lessons and facilitated access to leisure and other services.  

During COVID, Kate created a valuable network which assisted with the wider community response in helping individuals and families in need.

Kate’s personal contribution working all hours to support, respond and make a difference to her community makes her a worthy candidate for the Services to Farnham Award.

Collette Macklin

Collette has devoted over 25 years to running Girl Guide groups for various ages in Farnham. She started running 1st Bourne Rainbows at the young age of 19 and followed this by leading the 1st Bourne Brownies, Guides and Rangers groups providing a nurturing environment and adventurous outlet for hundreds of girls.

Collette has given up so much of her own time over the years taking the groups on various camps and trips in addition to their weekly meetings, ensuring they understand the importance of community spirit by also joining in community events. 

Collette really goes above and beyond and she should be recognised for her 25 years of outstanding selfless contribution to Girl Guiding in Farnham.

John Martin

John Martin has been an active community volunteer in Badshot Lea for some 20 years as a litter picker, a founder member of the Badshot Lea Bloomers, and an active committee member of the Kiln Village Hall. John likes a challenge and always strives to do what is best for the community. In recent years, John has played a leading role in the Bloomin’ Kids’ workshops and planting out tens of thousands of plug plants with other volunteers. 

One of John’s biggest achievements has been the creation of the highly successful Community Garden in Badshot Lea from a patch of land to a buzzing, thriving community space hosting a range of events for all ages. He is someone that goes above and beyond for the good of his local community.

John’s vision, dedication and personal commitment is inspiring and truly deserving of recognition.

Tony Ostime

Tony Ostime has been at the heart of Farnham & Alton Talking Newspapers for 27 years.  As main contact for the group of volunteer readers, he organised the rosters of 80 volunteers for the four core readings a week with exemplary tolerance and good humour.

From 1988 Tony was also Treasurer then Chairman of Farnham Amateur Operatic Society (FAOS). He was also a stalwart leading member of FAOS where, with his fine baritone voice, he put his own unique stamp on many lead roles.

Tony has always put service before self and, in his case, long and loyal service. He represents Farnham volunteering at its best and is a worthy winner of the Services to Farnham Award.

Christine Sargent

Christine has volunteered for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice for the past 22 years, for Victoria Garden for the last seven, and has been looking after the Garden of Reflection area of West Street Cemetery for three years. 

Christine’s primary work has been hands-on horticultural, as well as offering advice and expertise in selection issues. This has been sustained and committed volunteering, taking considerable time and energy.  

As someone who is self-effacing, going quietly about her business and duties, Christine exemplifies the commitment of volunteering and the fundamental values of community life.

Through her tireless and sustained engagement in volunteering Christine encourages the rest of us to take part and is a shining example to all.

Lady Beryl Tindle MBE

Lady Tindle opened the Downing Street Charity Shop in 1987, running it for 35 years with the help of many volunteers. During this time over £30,000 was raised for various charities, the majority of them local to Farnham. Before this, Lady Tindle was heavily involved in Adult Education in West Street, running courses to teach adults to read and helping foreign students to learn English, and was previously Head of the Clare Centre, a remedial centre for children in Dorking 

On moving to Farnham in 1961, Lady Tindle became President of Homemakers, a role she held for over 50 years. Lady Tindle has also been a Governor of Pilgrims Way Primary School in Farnham and Patron of the Children’s Centre, at Potters Gate School.

Throughout her life, Lady Tindle has been involved in the support of the more disadvantaged in society and a great philanthropist. She is a worthy recipient of the Services to Farnham Award.

Gail Whattingham

Gail Whattingham is known throughout Farnham as the Queen of Christmas. Every year, Gail festoons her house in Greenfield Road with lights to raise money for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Since she started fundraising at the age of ten, she has raised more than a million pounds for charity.  

Gail was selected to be a torch-bearer for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as an outstanding member of the local community and is about to celebrate 50 years on the Farnham Sports Council, having been a founder member.

Gail’s quiet contribution to Farnham life and her amazing fundraising efforts make her stand out as a community hero deserving of a Services to Farnham Award.

Paul Whitlock

Paul Whitlock became a Trustee of Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society in 2006 and became its Chairman in 2011 steering the Society through a major expansion. He was instrumental in setting out a strategy to transition the Society into a professionally run care home group with responsibility for six care homes and two supported houses.

Paul was also heavily involved with the Dempster Trust for 17 years, providing invaluable advice to the Trust. As a member of Farnham Rotary Club since 2006 he has been actively involved in fundraising activities and support for local charities and events; he also chaired a regional committee of the Rotary Foundation.

Paul is an outstanding example of an individual who has devoted many years of commendable voluntary service to the Farnham community meriting the Services to Farnham Award.

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