Salute to our quiet community heroes

March 29 2018
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A SCOUT leader and a school governor were among the unsung heroes honoured at the annual South Gloucestershire Council Chair’s Community Awards.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution local unpaid volunteers make to life in the district.

Simon Budd, group scout leader at the 67th Scout Group for many years, and John Smith, a governor at Staple Hill Primary School for two decades were some of nearly 30 people recognised at this year’s event at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE campus.

Simon is also chairman of Mangotsfield Festival and an active leader at Emersons Green Baptist Church as well as a volunteer at a food ban cares deeply about staff wellbeing and provides a friendly face to the school’s leaders. 

He gives two days each week to reading with children who have fallen behind, need extra practice or perhaps do not have the opportunity to read at home. For some children, their time with John is a highlight of the week. One nine-year-old pupil said: “He is very generous giving up his time for lots John and his wife, Eileen, have been very supportive and active at many school events. Their thoughtfulness and kindness for the children is much appreciated by the school staff. Arwa Said,  headteacher,  said “John has helped our school in so many ways with his cheerful, patient manner and he always gets us smiling! We all agree that he is most deserving to be recognised with this special award.”    
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, CoIan Blair attended the celebration event along with the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter and Vice Lord Lieutenant Robert Bernays, Group Chief Executive & Executive Principal of South Gloucestershire & Stroud College Kevin Hamblin and Principal and Deputy Chief Sara-Jane Watkins.

Award winners were presented with their certificates by Cllr Blair and Sara-Jane Watkins.