Service to town honoured

By Ellen Grindley in Local People

TEN people have been honoured for their service and dedication to others by Dawlish Town Council.

The individuals were all recipients of the town’s Citizen Awards and were presented with their certificates by mayor Cllr Angela Fenne at the annual town meeting.

Cllr Fenne said: ‘The candidates this year were all of a very high standard and it was impossible to choose between them.

‘Thank you all so much for all you have done for our community.

‘What a great bunch of people we have here, we are so grateful.’

First to be nominated by Cllr Fenne, was long-standing resident Rose Dennis for donating money to buy a new pair of black swans for Dawlish to secure the future of iconic bird in the town.

Cllr Fenne also nominated Open Daw coordinator Angie Weatherhead for her ‘wholehearted commitment’ to recruiting and organising the volunteers in Dawlish and for volunteering herself in her spare time to helping at events.

Estate agent and auctioneer David Force also received an award for his involvement in many aspects of life in Dawlish.

These include his role in Dawlish Round Table and Dawlish Warren 41 Club, as governor at Oaklands Park School, president of Dawlish Musical Theatre Group, patron of Dawlish Museum, supporter of Dawlish Carnival and chairman of Dawlish Chamber of Commerce.

He is known for acting as MC at many charity events, gives talks to clubs, societies and schools and has been Father Christmas’ ‘chief assistant’ in Dawlish for many years.

He has just written a book about the history of Dawlish which is due to be published, from which the proceeds will go to Dawlish Museum.

For more than 20 years, he has maintained and emptied the wishing well at Tuck’s Plot, raising more than £8,000 for local charities.

Scout leader Carol Wainwright received an award for her work with Dawlish Scouts, organising and leading camps and hikes for the boys and girls.

Volunteer Ann Leigh was recognised for her many roles including branch leader of the Mothers’ Union, St Gregory’s Church and parochial church council, the Dawlish First World War Project, Friends of Dawlish Library, the Strand Centre, Dawlish U3A, Brunswick Singers and with United Christian Action in Dawlish and District.

Nominator Angie Weatherhead said: ‘Dawlish would be a lot poorer without her.

‘She is reliable, a safe pair of hands and is a very humble but extremely worthy individual.’

A further recipient of the award was Tony Dillon, better know as Tony Everest the Magic Man, nominated by a previous award winner Sheila Thomas who wanted him to be appreciated for his charitable work.

Valerie Forrester received her award for reviving the talking newspaper for the visually impaired.

Chairman of Hear and Now, Valerie got the revival off the ground in 2015 and was instrumental in sourcing funding, finding premises for a studio in Dawlish, recruiting readers and producers.

She also visits people who want to receive the newspaper, showing them how to use the equipment.

Her nominator Joy Keown said: ‘I feel she started something very worthwhile.’

Volunteer driver Eric Smallridge was nominated for his work with Dawlish Community Transport for more than 20 years.

He has regularly driven the elderly and those with mobility problems to the Centre Club and Dawlish Christian Fellowship.

Nominator Liz Wedlake of the Centre Club, who won the award last year, said: ‘At all times, Eric shows great care and understanding to our members and they are without exception very fond of him.’

Lyn Cavil was nominated for her voluntary work within the Dawlish community, working with Assist Teignbridge as a trustee and fundraiser and for leading the monthly litter picks around the town.

Dr Jill Diprose, the founder of Dawlish-based charity AIMS which supports children with special needs and their families, was nominated by Rick Rickard.

He explained that she had been a big help to him and his family when his son was left brain-damaged after contracting septicaemia.

He said: ‘Jill has been dedicated to the charity for more than 20 years, giving up many hours of her time, fundraising and supporting families.

‘Her support got me and my wife through what was a very, very difficult time.’

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