Heroes honoured with medals on Suffolk Day
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Two of Suffolk's most selfless volunteers who have dedicated their lives to helping others have been bestowed with the county's highest honour.
Linda Hoggarth MBE and Jeremy Mauger were each presented with the Suffolk Medal as part of the Suffolk Day celebrations, which kicked off in Clare on Monday morning.
They were the fifth and sixth people to receive the award since it was launched in March 2019 to recognise those who go above and beyond as community champions.
Mrs Hoggarth, who has lived in Mid Suffolk for more than 50 years, has worked tirelessly to support people with disabilities in the county and currently chairs the Disability Forum for Suffolk.
Mr Mauger, a consultant in anaesthetics at West Suffolk Hospital, is Suffolk Accident and Rescue Service's longest serving responder – and has been supporting people in intensive care throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
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Speaking to Mark Murphy after receiving his award, Mr Mauger said: "I was absolutely thrilled to receive this and I'm slightly astonished, I have to say.
"When I received the letter saying I was going to be getting this, I actually couldn't believe it at all and I still do not feel deserving of this in any way."
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Fellow recipient Mrs Hoggarth said the award was an "amazing surprise".
Ms Hoggarth said: "It's not something I ever thought could happen to me.
"Because it's a Suffolk Medal, it means a great deal. As a Suffolk person, to be awarded the highest honour Suffolk can give is just so tremendous."
The medal, designed by Suffolk artist Maggi Hambling, was first awarded to former East Anglian Daily Times editor Terry Hunt, alongside Canon Sally Fogden and social activist Richard Martineau.
Last year, it was awarded to environmental champion Grenville Clarke, who has since sadly passed away.
It is the brainchild of one-time High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey, from Haverhill, who wanted a way to recognise the exceptional contributions of those who make a real and lasting difference to life in the county.
The award is funded by private individual contributions to the High Sheriff Fund, managed by Suffolk Community Foundation.