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The Suffolk Medal: New top honour to be awarded to county's finest citizens

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 March 2019

High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr George Vestey DL, will sit on the panel deciding who will receive the Suffolk Medal Picture: CHARLIE BEST

High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr George Vestey DL, will sit on the panel deciding who will receive the Suffolk Medal Picture: CHARLIE BEST

Charles Best Photography

A brand-new medal to recognise the greatest sons and daughters of Suffolk is being created.

The four-metre high scallop shell, thought up by Suffolk-born artist Maggi Hambling, who will design the new Suffolk Medal Picture: ALLISON BALAAMThe four-metre high scallop shell, thought up by Suffolk-born artist Maggi Hambling, who will design the new Suffolk Medal Picture: ALLISON BALAAM

The Suffolk Medal, the brainchild of the county’s High Sheriff George Vestey, will be the most prestigious award that the county can give to a citizen, with any member of the public allowed to nominate another resident.

Nominations will be considered by a team formed of Suffolk leaders including representatives from business, the public sector and charities sectors and they are looking for nominations from individuals from all areas of Suffolk and across all activities of local, historic and future importance to the county.

Mr Vestey said: “The Suffolk Medal is by Suffolk, for Suffolk, in Suffolk.

“The purpose of the medal is to recognise, reward and champion the exceptional contributions of Suffolk people that have made a fundamental, measurable and lasting difference to the lives of people in our county and absolutely key to its success is that everyone in Suffolk is invited to play their part in putting names forward.

Maggi Hambling in her Suffolk studio Picture: LUKE ANDREW WALKERMaggi Hambling in her Suffolk studio Picture: LUKE ANDREW WALKER

“To add to the prestige of the medal, I’m thrilled it is being created in silver by our most celebrated living artist, Maggi Hambling,”

Ms Hambling was pleased to be asked to design the medals, saying: “I feel honoured to be creating the Suffolk Medal but it’s also a challenge.

“I hope the medal will have a bit of what I feel about our little bit of sea, and the fact the sea is our edge of England.”

The sliver medal will be launched at the High Sheriff Awards on March 28, awarded to its first recipients on Suffolk Day, June 21.

High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr George Vestey DL, will sit on the panel deciding who will receive the Suffolk Medal Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHigh Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr George Vestey DL, will sit on the panel deciding who will receive the Suffolk Medal Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It is also intended that those honoured every year will have their names recorded and their stories told in perpetuity, in an exciting interactive installation at the new Suffolk Records Office – The Hold.

Stephen Singleton, chief executive of the Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “We have Suffolk Day to celebrate our glorious county, and now we have a Suffolk Medal which will allow us to reward extraordinary people who do wonderful things in our community. It’s a brilliant idea.”

Those eligible for consideration will have gone above and beyond expectations in making a significant individual contribution, wether through outstanding volunteering, a lifetime of selfless service or a single feat of heroism.

The medal will be funded by private donations from Suffolk people to the High Sheriff’s Fund, managed by Suffolk Community Foundation.

Nominations can be made directly online by any Suffolk resident via the Suffolk Medal website.

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