Honouring stars of the community

Morpeth Platoon Army Cadets being presented with the Community Award, sponsored by Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre, by Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor. Photographs by Mike Whittle
Morpeth Platoon Army Cadets being presented with the Community Award, sponsored by Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre, by Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor. Photographs by Mike Whittle
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LOCAL stars have been honoured for their fund-raising efforts in the annual Morpeth Civic Awards.

The Herald revealed the winners of the Morpeth Town Council-organised awards last week and their prizes were presented as part of the Annual Assembly at the Town Hall last Wednesday.

Chairman of the Morpeth Flood Action Group Alan Bell was named Townsperson of Morpeth, with King Edward VI School (KEVI) pupil Angus Kirk picking up the Young Townsperson award.

KEVI Head of Student Voice, Leadership and Enrichment, Victoria Najafi, who nominated Angus for the gong, said: “Angus was the first person I thought of for this because he does so much. He is involved in everything in school and he is a really big part of our Student Voice programme, which wins national awards. He is the cog that makes the wheels go round.”

The Achievement Award, sponsored by Morpeth Lions Club, was presented to Tom Ridley for his work at Northumberland County Blind Association, particularly in its Bloomers gardening group.

Lion President Dave Wheeler said: “Morpeth Lions Club is delighted to be associated with this award. It is fitting that Tom is the recipient in view of his exceptional dedication.

“By coincidence, this also fits in nicely with one of the aims of Lions Clubs internationally. It was in the 1920s that Helen Keller invited Lions to be Knights for the Blind and since then many of the international projects have been aimed in that direction, including the introduction of the white cane and some of its successors.

“We congratulate Tom and hope that his work will continue for many years.”

Morpeth Rugby Club’s Under 10s team won the Sport Award, sponsored by Schweppes Abbey Well, and Kim Bibby-Wilson received the Leisure and Culture Award, sponsored by Richard Rutherford.

Artist Elaine Porter, who nominated her, said: “Kim works so hard for the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering every year. It creates so many opportunities for people in arts and culture and for artists like myself it means we can work in the town we live in. It is a really important piece of work that Kim does and I thought someone should say so.”

Gott Technical Services was the winner of the Business Award, sponsored by Sanderson Arcade, and Morpeth Platoon Army Cadets won the Community Award, sponsored by Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre.

Detachment Commander Lieutenant Gordon Watson said: “It is extremely pleasing and I’m proud of the young people and all the hard work they do in and around the town.

“At the moment we have got about 30 young people, ranging from 12 to 18-years-old. They do so much in the community.

“Year on year in the local Royal British Legion awards for raising the most money in the poppy appeal in County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, we do well and have won it for the last three years, raising in excess of £20,000.

“We are also involved in the clean-up days for Morpeth In Bloom and our cadets are involved in helping at the Mayor’s Ball.”

Lt Watson added: “It is just nice to see young people in a good light that are trying to do something to better themselves and make themselves better members of the community.”

Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor was on hand to present the awards.

He said: “All of the awards were well deserved. With the number of nominations we got in it was quite hard to pick out the winners. People really entered into the spirit of the awards and nominated people and groups who deserved them.”