PICTURE GALLERY: Community champions honoured in East Northants

Lord Lieutanant of Mr David Laing, Gemma Saunders, Jodie Saunders, Lily-Mai Saunders,seven, Ryan Saunders, 18, Georgina Saunders, East Northants District Chairman Cllr Marika Hillson,  Jade Thurman (head girl Huxlow Science College) and Thomas Betts (head boy Huxlow Science College)
Lord Lieutanant of Mr David Laing, Gemma Saunders, Jodie Saunders, Lily-Mai Saunders,seven, Ryan Saunders, 18, Georgina Saunders, East Northants District Chairman Cllr Marika Hillson, Jade Thurman (head girl Huxlow Science College) and Thomas Betts (head boy Huxlow Science College)

A number of awards have been given out to community-minded people in East Northants.

The awards were given out at a candle-lit civic service at St Peter’s Church in Irthlingborough.

Cllr Marika Hillson is the current chairman of East Northants Council, the first Irthlingborough councillor to hold the post, so the service was of special significance.

The service was led by Rector Rev John Hall and the church was full to capacity which had a great atmosphere and Christmas spirit.

The service was supported by more than 40 dignitaries who included the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, the Lord Lieutenant David Laing and MPs Tom Purglove and Peter Bone.

Cllr Hillson took the opportunity to involve much of the local community which included Huxlow Science College, St Peter’s Church Choir, Irthlingborough Junior School children who took part in the Nativity scene, Tracey Barker who sang solo a beautiful version of Silent Night, the Scouts, the Royal British Legion, heads of various local organisations, town, district and county councillors, the local Royal mail and an open invitation was made to all residents which packed the church.

During the service Cllr Hillson, who was assisted by the Lord Lieutenant David Laing, presented 10 Community Spirit Awards which included the following nominees:

Jane McCready for raising more than £25,000 for the charity Cystic Fibrosis in memory of her son Ben.

Keith Parsons for more than 50 years’ voluntary work supporting Irthlingborough Cricket Club.

Janet Morris and Gill Briddon on behalf of Irthlingborough Town Women’s Guild for decades of voluntary work and been instrumental in keeping the Guild active.

Ann Kadiri for her work with the British Legion improving the quality of life for local war veterans.

Cllr John Farrar for more than 50 years of community service.

Lindsey Burch for decades of community service to the town of Thrapston.

Peter Childs for decades of voluntary work at the old peoples association college street Irthlingborough.

Robert Harvison, or “Postie Bob”, for going the extra mile and making a difference to the residents he serves.

Four generations of the Saunders family, Alice Bailey, Georgina, Gemma, Jodie, Ryan and Lily Mai for decades of voluntary work keeping Irthlingborough Carnival alive.

Susan Drake for 40 years of service to education, during 14 of which she was head teacher at Irthlingborough Junior school.

Cllr Hillson said that she is very much a “people person” and it was only natural for her to thank local good hearted people who had made such a difference to others in the district by recognising their selfless acts of kindness.