Celebrating Dales community champions


The driving force behind a Wirksworth action group is the last of this year’s Derbyshire Dales Community Award recipients.

Dave Boston, chair of Wirksworth Town Centre Action Group, was instrumental in re-establishing the town’s post office and maintaining its bank facilities.

Dave, became the 17th Community Awards champion on district councillor Steve Flitter’s final day as the 2017/18 Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales, before he handed over the chain of office to this year’s civic leader Councillor Jean Monks.

Councillor Flitter, who resurrected the awards scheme, said:

“It has been an honour and pleasure to give a civic award to 17 people throughout the Derbyshire Dales, who not only work in but also for the community.

“Their commitment and dedication to helping to improve the lives of people living in our local towns and villages is fantastic. They do not expect any reward but I believe a little thank-you goes a long way to show how much we all appreciate their passion and caring nature for people around them.”

Councillor Flitter went “on the road” to surprise many of the recipients – and made presentations in churches, parish halls, celebrations and well dressings.

Joining Dave Boston on the 2017/18 roll of honour were Hartington’s Liz Broomhead MBE, a parish councillor, chairman of the village’s Community Group, Village Hall secretary and trustee and leader of Hartington Young People’s Activity Club. For good measure Liz is also organiser of the village’s News & Views magazine.

Vicki Raynes receives her Community Award from Cllr FlitterAnother recipient, Rachael Alton, has been leading 2nd Ashbourne Guides for 12 years, while Vicki Raynes, chairman of Tansley Parish Council, was nominated for her tireless work to improve the village’s facilities and defend it from over-development.

Former Cromford Parish Council chairman Carol Easton is the village’s postmistress and actively involved with local organisations, including the Royal British Legion and the Celebrating Cromford Committee.

David Dawson was nominated for the impact he has on the community of Baslow, where, as well as being a parish councillor and a big part of the village’s community garden volunteers, he is the history group co-ordinator, helping to develop and run their website. He also produces the village walk leaflet.

Sarah Porter was nominated for the tireless work she does as parish clerk to Baslow and Bubnell and also as the safeguarding officer for St Peter’s Edensor and St Anne’s Beeley.

George Maxwell receives his Community Award from Cllr FlitterBorn and bred in Tissington, George Maxwell has been on the parish council for 30 years and a dedicated helper for the last 50 at the parish church, the village fete and other community events. He has been assisting with well dressings all his life and has been chairman of the Well Dressing Committee for the last 15 years.

Derek Watkins is not only chair of Boylestone Village Hall Committee and a parish councillor, he’s a stalwart of the local community, working non-stop to improve standards in the village such as drain clearing and grass cutting. Undertaking much of the village’s maintenance on a voluntary basis, Derek has helped to raise more than £20,000 for the Air Ambulance over the last decade through fund raising.

Sandra Purslow with her Community AwardSandra Purslow has been at the heart of village life in Winster for decades, voluntarily running the local Darby and Joan Club for over 25 years, organising fortnightly meetings, trips and activities and helping to give older people happiness, companionship and dignity in later life.

Ken Parker has been a constant presence as a member of Matlock Civic Association for more than 30 years and a very active secretary for more than 25. He has been the instigator, designer and driving force behind almost all the Association’s many environmental projects and initiatives, which have served to enhance the town throughout that time.

Tom Pilkington receives his Community Award from Cllr FlitterTom Pilkington, of Darley Dale, has guided the 1st Matlock Boys’ Brigade Company as its captain for the past 43 years, impacting and changing for the better the lives of many young people. After so much amazing and dedicated service down the years, Tom has announced he’s stepping down as captain this year.

Dan Hodgson is Stoney Middleton’s flood warden – a voluntary role that he takes very seriously as the village is in a high risk flood catchment with water flowing into Dale Brook via a complex system of underground and ground flow routes. Dan routinely checks water levels in Dale Brook and, with other local helpers, clears out debris from the bridges and grids along its route. Dan has also established a social media platform to keep residents informed.

Ken Bull was Marston Montgomery’s Parish Council chairman for an incredible 40 years, only retiring from the position last year – but he remains vice-chairman! He also served as a district councillor for the Norbury Ward for more than 40 years and he and his wife Mary have been involved in many village groups including the school, church and village hall.

Matlock workaholic Sadie Packard is a volunteer at Matlock Red Cross, treasurer with Imperial Good Food Club and Do Something Different Club. She also volunteers to help with the lunches at Matlock Methodist Church.

Janet Pinder receives her Community Award from Cllr FlitterLife-long Matlock resident Janet Pinder takes great pride in the town and keeping it clean, attractive and friendly for visitors and residents alike. A founder volunteer member of what became the Friends of Matlock Railway Station, Janet hates litter! She volunteers for the Derwent Valley Community Rail awareness initiatives that have contributed greatly over the last decade to a doubling of the number of passengers using the line, and she continues to be a valuable long-term member of Matlock Civic Association.

Seven years ago Susan Smethurst became involved with Bakewell Events, a non-profit oransation, and arranged a Christmas Market in the town. She is involved with the Bakewell Food Festival, organises the communal garden where she lives and is looking to organise an event on the Showground next August to help raise money for the Agriculture & Horticultural Society.

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