Achievements in community recognised

YOUTH workers, sportsmen, fundraisers and stalwarts of the local community will gather at a special ceremony to be rewarded for their sterling efforts.

YOUTH workers, sportsmen, fundraisers and stalwarts of the local community will gather at a special ceremony to be rewarded for their sterling efforts.

Babergh District Council has announced the 25 winners of its 14th annual Community Achievement Awards, which will be presented in March.

The youngest person to be recognised is 13-year-old Jack Copping, from Newton Green, Sudbury, who was born with his right leg shorter than his left and had to have the limb amputated at the age of two.

However, despite the disability he has learnt to cope with an artificial limb and is now an outstanding swimmer with dreams of winning gold at the 2012 Paralympics.

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He joined Colchester Phoenix Amateur Swimming Club in 2001 and trains seven days a week, while in 2004 he was one of the youngest swimmers to compete at the senior short-course events in Sheffield.

The Stoke-By-Nayland Middle School pupil said: “I feel very pleased. I really enjoy swimming and started when I was eight. I've always liked the water for as long as I can remember. I'm hoping that I might be able to reach the Paralympics and am just going to be trying as hard as I can to get there.”

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Other youngsters to be awarded include Belstead Special School Council for its work, 15-year-old Nicky Rogers for his commitment to Liberty's Youth Club in Sudbury, and 17-year-olds Kate Todd and Jennifer Shepherd for their efforts with Royal Hospital School community action projects.

At the other end of the spectrum is 61-year-old David Hazelwood, from Shotley, who was nominated for 49 years of service to Woolverstone United Football Club.

Mr Hazelwood, secretary of the club for 25 years, has been a junior player as well as manager and has worked hard to improve clubhouse facilities. He is a regular at league meetings and over the years has raised thousands of pounds for the club through various events.

Mr Hazelwood said: “There have been good times and bad times but that's football. At the moment things are very much on the up. I stayed for so long because it's a club very close to my heart and I never saw any point in chopping and changing.”

Sudbury businessman Paul Reeley was nominated for his work in the community, while Greta Mason, 79, has been honoured for her longstanding commitment to Raydon despite never living there.

Pauline and Mike Ewart, of Tattingstone, will receive a joint award for 10 years of work on wildlife conservation and protection projects.

Patricia Lakey was nominated for her 12 year chairmanship of the Chelmondiston Village Hall Committee, John Maltby has been recognised for more than 12 years service to the village of Kersey, and Ashley Seaborne has been awarded for 15 years service to the village of Elmsett.

Aaron Creamer and Leo Scott, from Sudbury, were nominated for helping establish a BMX facility in the heart of the town.

Jane Arkell has been awarded for her 15-year role as organiser and senior co-ordinator of Home Start Babergh, which supports young families. Bernard Lean and Christopher Moss were nominated for their work in securing a new Community Hall for the village of Acton.

Hilary Furlong was nominated for her long serving community work in Elmsett, Deanna Stow for 20 years service to Leavenheath Village Hall and Stephanie Atkins for her active role in supporting the nursery and primary schools in Boxford.

Alison Copping, Carolyn James and Kirstie Parish, have been recognised for their work as trustees of the Lawhall Community Playground Society while Joan Gilbertson has been recognised for her role as founder and organiser of the New Hope Club in Sudbury, which supports people who have suffered strokes, their relatives and carers.

Angela Tribe and Edna Mann, of Hadleigh, were nominated for a joint award for making cups of tea for the Hadleigh Friendly Club for more than 40 years, while volunteers Allan Macdiarmid and Rebecca Chalmers have been recognised for their conservation work at the Bridge Project in Sudbury.

Faith Marsden, a full time teacher from Great Waldingfied, has been recognised for her commitment to the running of two weekly after school clubs for children and teenagers.

Stuart Miller of Polstead was nominated for his work as a parish councillor and as chairman and founder of the Friends of Polstead Shop, raising money to upgrade the shop's security after a burglary.

John Runnacles, of Burstall, has been rewarded for 26 years of outstanding work on behalf of the parish council, while John Turnbull, of Hadleigh, and Margaret Bull, of Polstead, were nominated for a joint award for their work as leaders of the 2nd Hadleigh (St Mary's) Sea Scout Group.

A special celebration evening, with BBC Radio Suffolk Breakfast Show presenter Mark Murphy as guest of honour, will take place on March 8 at the Stoke-by-Nayland Club.

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