Rushden’s unsung heroes recognised at annual awards

Ann Kadiri, Cllr Kaye Rawlins and Megan Graham

Ann Kadiri, Cllr Kaye Rawlins and Megan Graham

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A town mayor has honoured two women for their work to make a difference in the community.

The winners of this year’s Rushden Mayor’s Awards are Ann Kadiri and Megan Graham.

Mayor Kaye Rawlins presented them with their awards for their work and commitment within the Rushden community in a presentation at Rushden Hall on Tuesday.

Ann Kadiri, the welfare officer for Rushden’s branch of the Royal British Legion, was nominated by Alan Clark.

Three years ago Ann started a companionship group in Rushden for people who find themselves on their own with little social activity.

The group meets once a week and now has more than 40 members.

Ann also carries out house, hospital and residential home visits to veterans and families of veterans who are on their own with little mobility, ill or recovering from a short illness or operation.

She can do between 10 and 25 visits each month.

Ann runs the Legion’s outreach clinic once a month at Asda and is a great ambassador for the town branch.

The nomination letter from Alan, the Legion’s branch secretary, said: “During her time in the post of welfare officer she has achieved a great deal in improving the quality of life for veterans and families of those who have served in the Armed Forces, that find themselves housebound, hospitalised, alone or with welfare problems.”

And he added: “I think Ann would be a worthy recipient of the award and long overdue recognition for all her hard work.”

Also receiving the award this year was Megan Graham.

She was nominated by her daughter Yvonne Adams for numerous roles in the community.

Megan has been a Poppy seller for nearly 50 years and is treasurer and ‘speaker finder’ for St Peter’s Church Ladies Friendship Group.

She was treasurer and assistant secretary of Rushden Pensioner’s Forum until retiring last year after nearly 15 years.

Other roles she has held include treasurer for St Peter’s Church for three years, school governor at South End Infant School and being involved with the Toc H Oakley branch.

Megan has also provided support for her husband Harry Graham when he was a member and chairman of Northamptonshire County Council as well as providing administrative support for his community work, including the Older People’s Advisory Group and Older Wiser East Northants.

In her nomination letter, Yvonne said: “Mother is an unsung hero in the truest sense.

“She has dedicated much of her married life to supporting the local community and has had very little public recognition of her efforts.

“Mother has readily volunteered, taken on responsibility and worked hard for the benefit of others and still does.

“She has quietly and efficiently carried out many activities particularly in terms of administration, organisation and the implementation of projects, always being supportive and encouraging.

“These have often required considerable time, dedication, perseverance and patience.

“Mother makes things happen, mostly unseen, but always with humility, grace and good humour.”