Awards for town’s unsung heroes

From left, Chris Offord (Morpeth Lions Club), Sean Fugill (Wansbeck Valley Food Bank), Linda Fugill (Wansbeck Valley Food Bank), Coun Andrew Tebbutt, Jacky Beesley, Coun Ron Forster and Lilian Nelson.
From left, Chris Offord (Morpeth Lions Club), Sean Fugill (Wansbeck Valley Food Bank), Linda Fugill (Wansbeck Valley Food Bank), Coun Andrew Tebbutt, Jacky Beesley, Coun Ron Forster and Lilian Nelson.

Individuals and groups in Morpeth have been rewarded for their hard work and services to the community at an evening ceremony.

Morpeth Town Council presented the Civic Awards during its Annual Assembly last week to recognise their contribution.

Mayor Andrew Tebbutt handed out the honours at Morpeth Town Hall and Deputy Mayor Ron Forster read out the nomination information for the four winners, which included the following:

Jacky Beesley: ‘Jacky joined the Morpeth Chamber of Trade a few years ago and was deputy vice chair and vice chair before being elected chair in April 2016.

‘Although she has stood down as chair, she will continue to be an active member of the organisation.

‘She oversaw the chamber website’s relaunch, modernised its finances and brought new faces onto the committee, as well as helping to reform its partnership arrangements and refresh the long-standing Morpeth Fair Day.

‘Most recently, Jacky played a key part in enabling effective partnership working when a town-wide coalition was formed to oppose proposals for the County Hall site.’

Morpeth Lions Club: ‘Its work following the major town flood in 2008 partly led to the club being nominated for, and being awarded, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

‘Each year the club, which currently has 30 members, organises a series of events and collections in order to generate funds that enables the club to make donations to help charities, individuals and organisations and run activities in aid of elderly and disabled residents (Meet the Lions) and disadvantaged children (Christmas toys and gifts).

‘In addition, members regularly help other charities with their street collections.’

Lilian Nelson: ‘She and husband Gerry were among those who were flooded in 2008, but they were active in the post-flood relief work and Lilian became a member of the Red Cross to support others in need of help.

‘She is the chair of the Morpeth and Wansbeck Link of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline that aids children effected by the radioactive fallout.

‘As well as helping to organise the visits of 10 children to Morpeth over the past few years, she was enthusiastic in seeking the involvement of local people and businesses in the area.’

Wansbeck Valley Food Bank: ‘This was established just a few years ago, but has rapidly become an essential part of Morpeth’s infrastructure, supporting an ever increasing number of people who need help to obtain basic food supplies.

‘Initially operating just one day a week, they now operate five days a week and in 2016 dispensed food valued at £62,000. From small beginnings it is now a big operation, which in itself demands administrative and management skills that are all done voluntarily.

‘The food bank owes a great deal to Sean and Linda Fugill, in particular, for their extensive efforts.’