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Local heroes honoured at Mayor’s Citizenship Awards

Some of Bridgend County Borough’s kindest citizens have been given awards as a ‘thank you’ from the local community.

Outstanding volunteers, charity champions, and other pillars of local neighbourhoods were all put into the spotlight at this year’s Mayor’s Citizenship Awards, organised by Bridgend County Borough Council.

Among the winners was Kat Clatworthy, from Cefn Cribwr, who has set up a social enterprise in memory of her father which is centred on the creative arts industry. The Eagles Eleven Productions social enterprise has a particular focus on providing opportunities for people who are suffering from various illnesses or disabilities, and it has made a positive difference to many people’s lives.

Schoolgirl Hollie Evans was this year’s youngest award recipient. The 11-year-old Litchard Primary pupil was nominated for an award in recognition of the way she raises positive awareness for Down’s Syndrome as well as her charitable exploits in aid of children with cancer.

Other charity champions rewarded by the Mayor, Councillor John McCarthy, were Bryntirion resident Jean Gorick who has been a dedicated fundraiser for the Poppy Appeal for nearly 40 years, and Porthcawl’s Jason Hemsley, who has raised thousands for Heronsbridge School and several charities.

Pencoed shopkeeper David Baynham is someone else who can always be relied on to support a great cause, and received his award for the various ways he is rekindling the old values of community spirit.

Several outstanding volunteers were thanked for their selfless efforts, including Charlie Baker from Maesteg who is a volunteer mentor for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. John Hornsby picked up his award in recognition of the way he has given up his time to help a string of organisations in Porthcawl over three decades, while Christopher Davies was singled out for his voluntary work in Caerau. Two other Caerau residents, Graham and Janice Dawe, were praised for their involvement in the Caerau Development Trust.

The volunteers who run the Techtivity Club in Porthcawl also picked up an award. The Porthcawl based club enables children with various difficulties to meet up and play with technology and software that is suitable for their needs. Parents appreciate the effort the volunteers put into creating a safe environment where the children feel accepted, supported and never judged.

Several of this year’s Mayor’s Citizenship Award winners are making a big impact on the health of local young people and teaching them positive values. Stephen Williams has helped Sker and Pink Bay Lifeguards Club go from strength to strength, while Natalie Davies is energising the Llynfi Valley with her Funk Force dance club. Jeff Copp has helped countless numbers of local people of all ages to discover and develop their martial arts skills at the Warriors Kickboxing Club for more than 20 years, while Michael Punter’s contribution to Brackla RFC was also commended.

Each year, the residents of Bridgend County Borough are asked to nominate those local heroes who have put their community on the map, or regularly go the extra mile to make a real difference through their voluntary work, charity fundraising or all-round good citizenship.

The standard of nominations was extremely high and it was certainly a tough call to decide who should receive awards. It was really humbling to hear about the winners’ achievements and I was thrilled to present them with awards to give them the appreciation they deserve.

All of these inspirational individuals show that the county borough of Bridgend has a great deal to be proud of. Congratulations to each and every winner.

The Mayor of Bridgend County Borough, Councillor John McCarthy

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