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Town 'icon' Ken Hardy named New Milton's Citizen of the Year for Citizens Advice work

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A NONAGENARIAN, described as an “icon” by New Milton’s mayor, was named the town’s Citizen of the Year after returning to volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Ken Hardy, who turned 90 in March, had volunteered with CAB for many years as an employment specialist, supporting many local workers, before moving to a care home near his family in Wales.

But, after the Covid-19 lockdowns, he came back to his hometown to once again help out with the service.

New Milton mayor Cllr Keith Craze with the town’s Citizen of the Year Ken Hardy
New Milton mayor Cllr Keith Craze with the town’s Citizen of the Year Ken Hardy

Nominating Mr Hardy for the accolade, Citizens Advice manager Sandy Negrescu praised his dedication to his duties.

“He has won thousands of pounds for local clients through negotiation and representation at employment tribunals,” she said.

“During lockdown he was in a care home near his family in Wales but at the earliest opportunity he returned to his home and volunteered with the service.

“He now volunteers alongside another employment specialist who he originally mentored, keeping up to date with ever-changing employment law and continues to support local clients struggling to manage the employment issues.”

Mayor Cllr Keith Craze presented the trophy to Mr Hardy in a ceremony held during the town council’s recent annual towns meeting.

He told the A&T Mr Hardy had acted as a “strong foundation” for New Milton CAB’s “invaluable” work supporting the local community.

“His in-depth knowledge and understanding when asked to proffer family or individual advice on all financial matters means he is sought out by the public as they have become increasingly aware of his ability to assist when required,” Cllr Craze said.

“Not only this but within the organisation Ken delivers mentoring and support to new CAB members.

“He is an icon when considering Citizen of the Year awards. A superb, community-focused individual always available to help others whenever required.”

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