Not one but eight Citizen of the Year awards handed out to Covid heroes by Towcester mayor

'There were lots of people who had done great things in the community so I decided to give out the award to more people'

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 10:45 am

Eight outstanding people have received the Citizen of the Year award from the Towcester mayor for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Towcester Town Council usually only hands out one award every year but mayor Richard Dallyn decided to give it to all eight nominees to recognise their efforts during an exceptional 12 months.

Among the recipients were two posties who collected donations for Towcester Food Bank in his spare time, the president of the WI, a nurse and volunteers.

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Towcester mayor Richard Dallyn presents the Citizen of the Year award to (clockwise from top left) Carl McGregor, Lesley Driscoll, Teresa Collings, Jemma Jones-Hayes, Pam Adams, Sue Hamilton, Darren Smith and Kay Miller. Photos: Towcester Town Council

Richard said: "Because of Covid and the extraordinary year we have had, I couldn't compare it to previous years, it was like apples and pears.

"There were lots of people who had done great things in the community so I decided to give out the award to more people."

Postman Darren Smith was nominated as he continued to work through the pandemic and collected produce for the food bank.

Food bank trustee Terry Hearty said: "When on his day off instead of resting, he walked his round and collected food donations to help those who had been most impacted by the economic downturn.

“Darren exemplifies the best in human spirit that we have seen from Towcester’s residents.”

Terry also nominated fellow postie Kay Miller, from Greens Norton, for also collecting food during the lockdowns.

“She’s a very special lady to devote her days off to walking her round again for others and has done an amazing job donating a huge quantity of food,” she said.

Towcester Evening WI president Sue Hamilton was given an award for all she has done to keep the group connected and helping the community during the pandemic.

Fellow member Margaret Knowlton, who nominated her, said she set up a Zoom meeting and a monthly newsletter to ensure the WI continued, and made regular phone calls to members and left little treats on their doorsteps.

She also encouraged members to support the Connected Heart Project at Northampton General Hospital, the growbaby project, and Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

In her WI Garden Club team leader role, Sue also arranged for flowers to be delivered to Ridgway House as well as co-ordinating the homemade masks for clinicians.

Margaret said: “Sue is always so enthusiastic and has such good ideas. We could not ask for a more committed Towcester citizen."

Jemma Jones-Hayes received the award as she continued to run the Guide group through lockdown, with virtual camping and activity packs were delivered to every girl.

Teresa Collings was named Citizen of the Year for her work volunteering at the night shelter in Milton Keynes to being the inspiration behind the Towcester Community Fridge.

Her husband Scott said she 'stands out not just as my dearest soulmate, but also for her obstinate rejections in all their forms for the slightest recognition, attribution or reference to her personal involvement'.

Carl McGregor was awarded for creating ‘Corona action for those in need’, a project which delivered care packages to vulnerable families and individuals, and collaborating with the SOFEA Community Larder scheme.

Lesley Driscoll, a nurse at Brook Health Centre, was nominated by Katie Marks, who said: "On a personal level she has saved me from myself time and time again through so many ups and downs of life.

“Lesley has always been there for me and if wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Pam Adams name was put forward by Pippa Deycon, who said: “There are no days when Pam isn’t doing shopping or collecting prescriptions for someone.

"She has organised a ‘bread and egg’ round for her neighbours, collects newspapers regularly and walks dogs for people who can’t get out.

"Pam never makes one cake, pie or casserole, always three or four which she takes to people living alone.

“She is truly making an outstanding contribution to so many people every day."