There is little more than a week left to nominate that ‘inspirational’ person for this year’s Citizen of the Year awards.
The Courier/Weekly News, the Brakes Trust - the independent supporters’ body for fans of Leamington FC - and sponsors Alsters Kelley solicitors are looking to reward those local people who really make a difference to our communities.
Jonathan Chilvers nominated a couple from Leamington for their outstanding work in the community. He said: “Put simply without Janice and Brian Austin the Salvation Army Way Ahead Project for people who are homeless or struggling with addictions would not exist.
“Through funding crisis, staff changes, highs and lows their commitment to the project and our clients has been absolute. As well as volunteering ‘on the coal face’ at least once a fortnight for five years they’re also instrumental in raising funds and our profile and developing new initiatives at Way Ahead to keep us moving forward. Their resolute dedication and support has been invaluable to me personally as Project Leader over the years, especially in the difficult times.
“Thanks to their work The Way Ahead Project now supports hundreds of people a year and helps people find work and accommodation.”
Janice and Brian were also involved in setting up Leamington’s link with Bo in Sierra Leone and are active members of St Peter’s church.
Mr Chilvers added: “There’s probably lots of others stuff they’ve done which I don’t know about as they hide their light under a bushel sometimes! All I know is that if I have half as much energy and drive as they do into their 70s I will be very happy!”
Marjorie Carrier nominated Chris Johnson and Margaret Moore for their years of work running the Night Shelter at Radford Road Church in Leamington. Together with volunteers, they provide vulnerable and needy members of society food, clothing, a safe place to sleep, washing facilities and the opportunity to talk with sympathetic listeners.
Mrs Carrier said: “This unstinting work done with love and kindness by these two very modest people is truly wonderful. They never seek praise or reward for their work but are always there to help and befriend the outcasts of society. They are undoubtedly unsung heroes who deserve to be honoured.”
There are two categories in the Citizen of the Year - adult and under 16 - and we are now looking for your nominations for that person we can all take inspiration from. They can be from any walk of life. All we ask is that they live in Warwick district and have done good deeds to help others.
You can find out more and make your nomination by visiting www.citizenoftheyear.org.uk or you can send your nominations to COTY, Courier/Weekly News, 32 Hamilton Terrace, Leamington, CV32 4LY. Please explain in no more than 250 words why your nomination deserves the award and please include your name and a daytime contact number. Nominations close on September 1.
The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at the Bridge House Theatre, Warwick School, on Friday September 26, from 7.30pm.
The evening will be hosted by Dave Sharpe of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire and features live entertainment from Warwickshire Young Voices, Amy Thomas, Warwick School Band and Tom Barnwell.
All profits will be split equally between the Brakes Trust and the chosen charities, Macmillan and the Side by Side Theatre Company.
To order tickets visit www.bridgehousetheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01926 776438.