Congrats to Chairman Award Winners!

The Chairman of Somerset County Council has recognised the work of dozens of community stalwarts at an annual award ceremony.

Somerset County Council Chairman Councillor William Wallace presented awards at Taunton Rugby Club last week (Wednesday 18 October) to over 35 individuals and couples across the County. Three Duke of Edinburgh Awards were also presented to young people successfully completing the scheme and Hands of Change, a community group from Sedgemoor, received a trophy to recognise and celebrate their commitment and success to volunteering services.

Chairman Cllr Wallace said: “A huge well done to everyone who received recognition for all they have achieved during this year’s Chairman’s Award ceremony. It was a night of celebration, recognition and thanks, with over 120 people present. I was delighted to meet everyone and pass on my thanks in person for all they do in their community and beyond.”

Community stars across Somerset were given certificates for a range of services including:

  • Joan and Ron Barlow from Clatworthy village who have been instrumental in organising many parish and arts festivals.
  • Geoff and Liz Chapman from West Camel for organising popular events in their village such as ‘Teatime for the Soul’.
  • Margaret Cressey from Charlton Horethorn for her dedicated volunteer work including developing a community plan for her village.
  • Keen historian and tireless supporter of the ‘Harvest Home’ Colin Loader from East Brent, who works hard to preserve heritage of his village.
  • Sue Reece from Westbury-sub-Mendip for kindness and dedication to providing activities for all ages in her community.
  • Hands of Change are a small group of friends wanting to do some good in Burnham and Highbridge, just over a year later Hands of Change now have over 800 Facebook members who set up and run a whole range of activities throughout the community. Group members are good at spotting gaps in provision and filling them, whether that be for people with autism, mental health problems or elderly and isolated people. From a fortnightly tea party for elderly and isolated people, to a monthly craft session for people with mental health issues, and a fortnightly drop-in for anyone at all. They also ran a Christmas party for isolated and elderly people in partnership with a local restaurant, and have a children’s group that recently helped restore a sensory garden at a local community centre. They were put forward alongside all other district winners to claim the Chairman’s County Star Volunteer Award. They became winners of the Sedgemoor district Star Award during National Volunteers Week in June earlier this year, which recognises volunteers’ dedication, hard work and commitment.

Check out  for more details on all Somerset County Council’s volunteering opportunities – or for other volunteering opportunities in your area.

A gallery of photographs from the evening can be found here: