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Lyndhurst Parish Council honours its unsung heroes for lockdown work

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LOCAL champions who have gone above and beyond to help the community have been hailed by Lyndhurst Parish Council.

The village awards evening on 13th October – the first time it has been held for nearly two years due to the pandemic – saw accolades handed to winners including Community First Responders Jacqui Reeve, Graham Reeve, Simon Tidby and Adrian Bannister for their “unstinting work”.

They also received a Covid-19 commemorative coin from paramedic Jack Ansell, who is operations manager for South Central Ambulance Service.

From left, council chairman Chris Willsher with first responders Simon Tidby, Graham Reeve and Jacqui Reeve
From left, council chairman Chris Willsher with first responders Simon Tidby, Graham Reeve and Jacqui Reeve

Next to receive awards were Joanne Rollé, Fiona Green and Lisa Knight for their work in forming a community food bank at the onset of the first lockdown and which still operates.

Suttichai Se-Upara, Lou Judd, Simon Young and Marie Kirk were recognised for setting up a community hub which looked after the lockdown needs of the more vulnerable in the village.

It has since evolved on social media to become a virtual meeting place and information source.

John Howell, who spends his time helping to keep Wellands Road and Coles Mead recreation grounds tidy, was given an award for his community spirit.

Pat Wyeth, who served as a district and parish councillor for many years, was recognised for “always having Lyndhurst and particularly the young people very much at the forefront of her role”.

Parish council chair Cllr Chris Willsher spoke about the work and commitment shown by former Cllr Mark Rollé, who had served the parish for 22 years.

Prior to stepping down earlier this year, he had spent 10 years as chair and 12 years as chair of the recreation committee.

Cllr Willsher told the A&T the focus of this year’s awards was on recognising those who had “gone out of their way at what was a very difficult time for everyone”.

“Those people who received awards have made a real difference to the lives of some very vulnerable people who would otherwise have been overlooked,” he said.

“The First Responders gave a sustained service for a long period of time because the emergency services were busy doing other things – they were asked to do more than would traditionally be part of their role.

“And the food bank and community hub were set up from scratch specifically in response to the pandemic. They emerged at the same time and the hub helped vulnerable people by picking up prescriptions and newspapers and making phone calls to check on welfare.

“They did whatever it took to make people feel safe and connected to the community.”

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