Making their neighbourhoods a better place

WINNING LINE UP The Local Heroes Awards recipients, who were honoured at a ceremony at Blackpool Town Hall

WINNING LINE UP The Local Heroes Awards recipients, who were honoured at a ceremony at Blackpool Town Hall

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Local heroes who have helped to make their neighbourhoods a better place have been honoured at an awards ceremony.

They were recognised at the annual Local Heroes presentation event at Blackpool Town Hall.

Blackpool Mayor, CounVal Haynes, said: “It’s such a wonderful event to recognise all the hard work that you people here tonight have put in.

“I’ve got to say that everyone nominated is a winner for all the hard work they’ve done for our community, without you helping out the town would be a much poorer place.

“The amount of good work that goes on in Blackpool could not go on anywhere else in the country.”

Blackpool MP Gordon joined in the praise.

He said: “Blackpool, on the map of giving and charitable activity, is right at the top of the table and year by year with the nominations for these awards and the numerous other awards in the town, you see that in the clearest light.

“It is a great tribute to the town and to the individuals we’re going to be honouring here tonight.”

Friday’s ceremony saw award winners and nominees from across the resort receive awards ranging from ASDA vouchers to passes for
 the Pleasure Beach and a Big Ticket for the Blackpool Tower.

Mereside Children’s Centre took home three awards on the evening, one for Community Group which was shared with Aspired Futures but also to two individuals, Jayne Bentley and Caroline Wolf, who were awarded for their work in the group and roles as the face of the charity.

Susan Oldroyd was presented with the Volunteer Award for her work with the Methodist Action Group, organising food parcels for people in need and also in training new volunteers to move the charity forward.

The Outstanding Young Person award was given to Kirsty Lee Topping, a deputy youth member of parliament and head of her own young women’s group, who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the event.

In a change from previous events, this year’s ceremony saw the introduction of a lifetime achievement award, recognising members of the community who have 
dedicated their lives to improving the lives of those around them.

David Burns was awarded this year’s Lifetime Achievement award for his numerous fund-raising efforts that have seen him raise £750,000 for charities and good causes over 50 years.

Having carried the Olympic torch through Cleveleys and received a letter from Prince William applauding his 
efforts and wishing him well in his future endeavours, Dave has begun to slow his charitable efforts.

He said “I will miss all my charity work, but the time has come to take it easy.”

There was also posthumous Lifetime Achievement award for Christopher Arkwright, whose certificate was presented to his wife Kathy in recognition of his tireless efforts founding “Homeless in Blackpool” and Vincent House in Grange Park.

Kathy said “Chris was truly dedicated to his family and his faith. He was such a kind-hearted man.

“Despite his poor health he continually put the needs of others before himself.”

Speaking about the awards after the event Mr Marsden said “I think it sends out such a positive message about Blackpool hinging around the charities and people here.

“It’s a great thing to do, especially at this time of year when it’s a good time to think about community.”