Bury St Edmunds: Community stalwarts are honoured with accolades at annual St Edmunds Day awards

Winners of the St Edmunds Day Awards organised by Bury St Edmunds Town Council, with council chairma

Winners of the St Edmunds Day Awards organised by Bury St Edmunds Town Council, with council chairman Stefan Oliver, right. - Credit: Archant

The unsung heroes and heroines in the Bury St Edmunds community have been honoured at an annual ceremony.

Dozens of people, including town councillors and officials, gathered at the council’s offices, on Angel Hill, for the St Edmunds Day Awards 2013.

The accolade of Citizen of the Year went to Alan McAndrew for giving more than 40 years of voluntary service to St Edmundsbury Cathedral as a handyman, stewarding and welcoming visitors.

The Young Citizen of the Year title was awarded to Cheyenne Wilkinson who cares for her father and is a “model student” at the town’s Howard Middle School.

Concierge Couriers Ltd was named the Business of the Year and Churchgate Area Association the Best Residents’ Association Award.

A series of awards were also given for best allotments with Dr Steven Ohlsen winning the overall prize for his patch at Cotton Lane; and Jim Bowden (Nowton Road), Steve Lee and Carola Smedjebacka (Sicklesmere Road), and Mrs D Sharman (Vinefields/Barn Lane) also gaining certificates for tending their plots.

The Best Newcomer 2013 was named as Colin St John-Murphy, for his plot at Cotton Lane.

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Council chairman Stefan Oliver handed out the accolades during Wednesday evening’s ceremony and praised all those who had been nominated.

Mr McAndrew, a former divisional commander with the Suffolk Fire Service who lives in Newmarket Road, said: “I was amazed that I was nominated and thought that I would only be an ‘also ran’ so I was staggered to win it.”

The 78-year-old set up the Cathedral’s Groundforce team of volunteers who maintain the areas around the cathedral and enhance them with flowers and plants; the team also restored the herb garden.

Mr McAndrew set up the team in 2000 and he added: “It’s a labour of love really and I just enjoy it so much.”

Also nominated for the award were Roger Ballam, Jim Bowden, Tom Murray and Christopher Webb.

Meanwhile, 11-year-old Cheyenne, who lives in Tennyson Road, said: “I just feel so proud and so surprised to win the title. I help my dad round the house as much as possible and I enjoy helping people at school.”

Two other youngsters were nominated for the award; Jordan Chaplin, who despite his health challenges remains cheerful and uses a metal frame on wheels to enable him to attend Howard Primary School; and Elliot Potter, a hardworking member of the Air Training Corp who raised £250 for Help the Heroes by taking part in a bungee jump.