Inspirational volunteers and helpers honoured at Mayor’s Civic Awards

WEST Norfolk volunteers, whose tireless dedication has helped make their communities better places, have been singled out for praise at a special awards ceremony.

Inspirational people of all ages and from all walks of life were honoured on Wednesday when West Norfolk Mayor, David Whitby,  hosted the 2016 Mayor’s Civic Awards for Voluntary Service.

Heart-warming stories which reflect community spirit in all areas of the borough were conveyed at the King’s Lynn Town Hall ceremony.

Two posthumous awards were also made to key community campaigners, Tracey Swann and Ann Lamplugh.

Passionate Heacham campaigner Ms Swann, who helped to save her local fire station from closure, died in a blaze at her home in September.

“Human dynamo” Mrs Lamplugh, 59, made lives better for Snettisham villagers as both a campaigner and parish councillor. Even though she knew she could not win her battle against cancer she was described as being “selfless to the end”.

Family members collected these awards on their behalf and spoke afterwards of their pride.

Tireless dedication and commitment

Tracey’s mum Margaret and 17-year-old son Tanner accepted the award and also at the ceremony was her brother Karl.

Mrs Swann said: “I just feel so proud of what she has done. It is wonderful to get recognition for her. Everything she did, she did wholeheartedly, every cause was a cause she took to her heart.

“There are a lot of things she did I didn’t even know about and people have said how she helped them as individuals. We will never forget her, her legacy lives on in a lot of things.”

David Lamplugh, whose wife Ann died in September, said he was “overwhelmed”.

“I am overwhelmed with everything she has achieved. I didn’t really give her credit for what I have since seen and heard. She was an unusual woman, she said what she felt and you knew where you stood with her,” he said.

Other glowing tributes were paid to selfless unsung heroes and heroines from all sectors of society  – from volunteers, organisers, prolific fundraisers, community helpers, long-serving village stalwarts and charity founders, to those ever-ready to lend a helping hand, despite their own busy lives.

The judging panel of the Mayor Mr Whitby, deputy Mayor Carol Bower, former civics officer Penny Harrison, BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Jill Bennett and King’s Lynn Festival chairwoman Alison Croose were tasked with sorting through the deserving nominations.

Mr Whitby congratulated the winners and Mrs Bower said she was “in awe” of their achievements and described them as the “vitality” within communities.

She said the volunteers have “enhanced people’s lives” and many have continued to do this over decades.

This was echoed by Mrs Bennett who said they were “the folks who make a real difference to the lives of the people of West Norfolk” and “the glue which holds our communities together”.

The awards were launched 22 years ago by the mayor at the time, Fred Juniper, to recognise the borough’s army of volunteers.

Mrs Croose, who has been involved in the awards from the start, said they did wonder if the level of enthusiasm would be maintained over the years but she said Mr Juniper, who died in 1999, would have been pleased to know that they still reflect the wealth of “kindness, generosity and goodwill that exists in this borough”.

She congratulated the unsung heroes for their “outstanding contribution to the quality of life in West Norfolk”.

The annual awards are sponsored by Your Local Paper and held in association with the borough council and BBC Radio Norfolk,

In congratulating the winners, Alan Taylor, managing director of YLP, said the nominees were a “credit to us all”.

Winning volunteer Valerie Smith, top, YLP managing director Alan Taylor

He said it was important to recognise their sterling efforts, even though they may not want to be singled out.

Mr Taylor, of South Wootton, also thanked everyone for taking the time to make the nominations and to those who helped to organise the evening celebration.

Each winner received a framed certificate and YLP will be printing the individual citations and more pictures in a special feature in our April 14 edition.

For a free presentation photograph go to

Roll of honour:

Janis Able; Joan Alfred; Michael Cairns; Jacky Church; Kathy Cossins; Laura Dale; Gavin English; Mick Ennis; Mary Freeman; Wendy Galley; David Giles; Carly Hain; Shareen Hannan; Anne Holt; Peter Hutchinson; Jackie Kill; the late Ann Lamplugh; Alan Lindsay; Dr Julian Litten; David and Joy Mackay; Olive McCrea; Andrea Pearson; Keith Piggott; Guy Playford; Janice Powles; Suzanne Rix; Nick Robinson; Alan Sherfield; Valerie Smith; Irene Speed; Chris and Jenny Storf; the late Tracey Swann; Melanie Whitmore and Dorothy Willingham.