Awards handed out at joyful celebration

THE winners of Civic Awards for service to the community received their awards at an uplifting ceremony in Wells Town Hall on January 12.

More than 80 people were seated at tables in the Ballroom to hear stories of kindness, selflessness and long and valuable service.

BBC Radio Somerset presenter Charlie Taylor gave a speech in which he talked about growing up in Wells and attending Wells Blue School, and being given a radio at the age of 11 which set him on the road to his future career. He emphasised the value of volunteering; he began by volunteering at local radio station GFM in Glastonbury, and said: “Through volunteering you get to understand who you really are.”

Awards were then handed out by councillors, sponsors and Bishop Michael, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Wells City Council had invited nominations from the public for the individuals, groups and businesses that deserved recognition for making a difference in the local area.

Those receiving awards were: Young Person of the Year: Archie Sanguinetti; Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Reuben Ashton; Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Thomas Palacio; Business of the Year: Wells Voice; Environmental Champion of the Year: Maddy Milnes; Community Organisation of the Year: Wells Community Network; Volunteer of the Year: Emma Lefevre; Citizen of the Year: Philip Welch; Extra Mile Award: Kevin Westwood.

Councillor Gordon Folkard hands the Business of the Year Award to Wells Voice Editor Andy Vallis, watched by Mayor Tanys Pullin

Nick Marshman received a Special Award for his 34 years of work for the city council, and Maurice Day and Dawn Payne each received a Mayoral Award.

Maurice has just stepped back from direct involvement with Wells City Carnival after 53 years, and Mayor Tanys Pullin said: “The work he has put into carnivals is beyond belief so we thank him from the bottom of our hearts.”

Dawn has given ten years of service to Wells Twinning Association. The Mayor said that she had accompanied Dawn on a twinning trip to Germany where she is loved and was treated like royalty, and said: “She is incredible.” Guests enjoyed a ploughman’s supper following the presentation of the awards. Music was provided by James Packer and Alice Laing.