Unsung Mid Sussex community champions commended

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‘Community champions’ in Mid Sussex were commended at a garden party for 65 award winners.

The high achievers visited The Ravenswood in Sharpthorne with friends and family.

Every year Mid Sussex District Council invites nominations from town and parish councils for residents who dedicate their time, skills and energy to enhance the quality of community life.

Certificates were presented by Cllr Gordon Marples, chairman of the council and Jonathan Lucas, High Sheriff of West Sussex.

The awards acknowledge the commitment to helping the community.

Volunteer work covers the whole spectrum of community service.

This year’s guests included Chris Nunn, who was nominated for his valuable work protecting ancient woodland.

Chris is secretary of the Ashplats Conservation Group, a volunteer team which takes care of Ashplats Wood by repairing paths and steps, carrying out litter picks and looking after the trees.

Angela Bee, a young mother of three, has spent many years running the largest parent and toddler group in Mid Sussex.

She volunteers to run two sessions per week.

Angela and a dedicated team deliver priceless work supporting young families in Burgess Hill.

Florrie Grimwood has organised the annual Family BBQ and Fete at Turners Hill Retirement Park for many years.

Local charities are invited to run stalls at the event free of charge.

Florrie also arranges weekly afternoon tea for residents of the park and occasional lunches at local restaurants.

Wim Winters, a Sayers Common resident for more than 40 years, was nominated for his role in establishing a local community shop.

After three years of planning, fundraising and working closely with the Village Hall Committee, the new shop was developed alongside a refurbished village hall, creating a social hub at the heart of the village.

Paul Myles has been involved in running Burgess Hill Boys Club, now renamed Burgess Hill Youth, for many years and raised funds to install an all-weather multi-use games area next to the youth club.

Paul also helps to deliver a programme of holiday activities for low-income families during the school holidays.

Councillor Marples said: “Our annual Garden Party is one of the most important events in the civic calendar, when we thank, in a small way, the work local volunteers do to help our communities and make Mid Sussex such a great place to live.

“These unsung heroes do so much to enrich our lives by reaching out to their neighbours, raising money for good causes and giving up their time to help others.

“These nominees thoroughly deserve all the praise that we can bestow upon them because they are true community champions,” Cllr Marples added.