Mayor's awards honour community heroes

Over 60 local residents and groups who have made a real difference to their communities during this unprecedented year have been recognised and celebrated by the Mayor of Guildford.

The Mayor's 2021 Award for Service to the Community rewarded people who were nominated by residents in the borough for going out of their way to improve the lives of others, fostering good relationships and encouraging positive community spirit. This year's event, which was broadcast on our YouTube channel on Monday evening, also included a new Community Heroes award to celebrate groups whose activities have supported residents affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19).

We were able to honour people who have volunteered to help elderly, vulnerable and disadvantaged residents throughout the pandemic by setting up community groups and telephone helplines, cooking and delivering meals, making face masks and other protective equipment and providing activities to help residents stay happy, healthy and active. Other recipients have raised money for local charities, helped homeless people, and allowed disadvantaged children to continue their school work online.

The Mayor's Award for Service to the Community is kindly sponsored by The County Club, High Street, Guildford.

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Richard Billington says:

"Everyone receiving an award has been nominated by residents whose lives have been touched by their kindness, generosity of spirit and endless enthusiasm, in some cases over many years but particularly during one of the toughest years in all of our lives. Supporting health in our community has been the theme for my mayoral year and every one of the award recipients have made significant contributions to both the physical and mental health of the borough.

"Their stories are inspiring and confirm the wonderful sense of community that we have in Guildford. I am delighted to have been able to recognise the tremendous contribution that they have made to the borough.

"My thanks also goes to The County Club and its General Manager, Kevin Lorimer, for again sponsoring the event, and Nick Wyschna of Guildford Fringe for being an excellent host."

Lisa Ryan and Sasja McCann set up a Coronavirus helpline in Albury, distributed information leaflets around their village and co-ordinated a team of volunteers to help with food parcels, prescriptions and community transport.

Lisa and Sasja say:

"We're honoured to receive this award on behalf of all of our volunteers. The start of the Coronavirus pandemic was a scary time for everybody, and things were so uncertain. We wanted to create this network to let vulnerable people, who were in their homes and scared to go out for essential items, know that help was available.

"In the end we had more volunteers than people who needed our help. The thought that everybody wanted to do something was very humbling, and it's helped us to get to know our community and meet new people."

Send Scrubs Hub makes washable suits and laundry bags for local NHS and Care Home staff to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Group founder, Kathryn Carr, collected fabric, designed patterns for each piece of equipment, secured the use of Send Evangelical Church as headquarters for the group and co-ordinated volunteers for the collection, sewing, cutting and distribution of the scrubs. They have provided scrub suits and hats, laundry bags, ear protectors and face masks for several hospitals, surgeries and charities, including Royal Surrey County Hospital, St Peters Hospital, Surrey Community Dental Services, The Samson Centre for Multiple Sclerosis and Cherry Trees Care Home.

Kathryn Carr says:

"Thank you to the Mayor of Guildford for recognising our achievement during the Covid-19 pandemic and presenting Send Scrubs Hub with this Community Heroes Award. It is such a huge honour, which I share with over 100 local residents who gave over 8,000 volunteer hours in cutting, sewing, laundering, packaging and delivering over 4,500 items of non-medical protective equipment.

"We have made over 1,000 face coverings, which have been delivered to homes in Send and Clandon, as well as scrub suits, bags, hats, masks and ear savers for our NHS staff, key workers and charities. For me, every single item embodies the true spirit of community and kindness."

For the full list of winners, see our Mayor's Award for Service to the Community page.

Published Friday 14 May