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Poole’s community heroes rewarded at annual Civic Awards

Deserving volunteers from across Poole came together at Upton House on Saturday 12 March for Poole’s annual Civic Awards, which recognise extraordinary voluntary service by individuals or groups that have made an outstanding contribution to the community. 

To mark the occasion each Award winner was given a specially-commissioned Poole Pottery plate. The Awards were presented by the High Sheriff of Dorset, Mrs Jennifer Coombs, and the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Ann Stribley. The ceremony was hosted by the Sheriff of Poole Cllr Xena Dion and Chief Executive of the Council Andrew Flockhart who in turn, read out the nominations. 

Following a record number of nominations this year, six Civic Awards for 2015-2016 were presented to the following groups and individuals: 

•   Poole Park Run Core Team – for setting up the 5k run in Poole Park on 2 April 2011. This free event takes place every Saturday morning with over 600 men, women and children taking part each week 

•   Poole Town Football Club – especially for their high standards, dedicated work and great rewards with the youth of Poole. The youth sides started in 1998 and PTFC now has 33 youth teams ranging from U7’s to U18’s, two ladies’ teams and two disability teams 

•   Gordon Smart – two nominations were received for Gordon regarding his outstanding voluntary contribution to swimming spanning over 40 years as Instructor and Coach, mentor to new Coaches - and coach driver! 

•   Jillian Hurst – over the years Jillian, as Welfare Officer supporting members and families of the Armed Forces and co-ordinator and collector for the annual Poppy Appeal, has benefitted and touched the lives of many Poole residents 

•   Vic Martin – for the last 20 years Vic’s outstanding contribution to Canford Heath and the wider Poole community includes organising an annual holiday for older single people, running the Youth Café in St Paul’s Church and writing and producing an annual pantomime which has raised in excess of £1000 each year for charity 

•   John Sprackling – also receiving two nominations, John has run one of Poole’s most successful residents associations for the last 13 years with some 2,900 members. John works tirelessly for both his local and the wider community in Poole 

Cllr Ann Stribley, Mayor of Poole, said: “It has been a pleasure and a great honour to present these very deserving volunteers with our Civic Award. I appreciate just how many remarkable people volunteer in Poole. The valuable work of volunteers is so beneficial to the community at large that I believe it incredibly important we do not fail to recognise such outstanding commitment.” 

The ceremony was followed with a delicious afternoon tea for nominees and guests.