Celebration day for Lord Mayor’s medallists
A CEREMONY has taken place to recognise the achievements of community members.
Fourteen Bristol citizens were honoured for their work in the city’s communities as they received the Lord Mayor’s Medal at a ceremony at the Mansion House on Thursday March 12, which recognised their efforts in areas such as volunteering, caring for others and making improvements to their neighbourhoods.
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Jos Clark, presented the accolades at the civic ceremony, which is now in its 37th year.
Speaking about the ceremony, The Lord Mayor, Councillor Jos Clark, said: “I am extremely proud to be awarding the Lord Mayor’s medal to these 14 very worthy recipients. They have all made such positive, selfless contributions to their communities and causes. I am struck by just how diverse the range is this year and the people involved. They should also be very proud of their achievements, and I congratulate each of them.”
This year’s achievements include support of youth and faith groups, Bristol in Bloom, multicultural and international relations, tackling pollution and litter, feeding people in need, community communications, autism awareness, and adult learning.
The judging panel was led by the Lord Mayor, along with a panel of councillors representing each of the political parties. The panel assessed anonymous nomination forms and considered each application on its community impact, how recent the achievement, contribution to Bristol, and quality and strength of support letters. All activities had to be unpaid and scored higher if they were not related to a job or career.
This year the criteria for nominations were the type of service carried out by the nominee in their community, what makes it unique, distinctive or special, and how the nominee has enhanced the quality of life for local people and Bristol. In addition, the service also needed to have taken place in the past five years.
Nominators had to submit two statements, one from someone familiar with the nominee’s success (but not related to the nominee) and the other from a Bristol city councillor or the elected Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees.
In our area, Brenda Smith from Henleaze was recognised for services to Girl Guiding community and church groups.
Since she retired Brenda remains a committed supporter of Guiding and to this day is still involved with the Country Campsite based at Briarlands.
Aside from Guiding Brenda is a member of Westbury Parish Church and has been for over 40 years. Within the church she is a great support for the younger members of the choir. Westbury Parish Choir is a large one - with over 50 members to manage and Brenda takes a lead role in all the administration such as risk assessments and permission slips associated with the choir. She is also an active member of the church craft and knitting group with her own hand crafted items regularly being sold for charity.
Simon Brookes from Westbury-on-Trym was nominated for neighbourhood improvements and training in first aid/life-saving skills. For several years Simon has almost single-handedly kept Blaise Castle Estate clean and free of litter, and he maintains the Facebook page “Let’s Keep Blaise Castle Litter Free” which records his regular litter-picking trips there since August 2018.
In regards to first aid and lifesaving, building on his experience as a Community First Responder, Simon has been active in raising funds to provide public-access defibrillators around Westbury-on-Trym. Most recently he was at the Westbury-on-Trym Christmas Fair raising both money and awareness of the issue. His fundraising, along with other locals, has enabled two 24 hour accessible defibrillators to be installed within Westbury village and plans are in place to install a further two.
As well as raising funds for equipment, Simon also organizes and leads free first aid training. In April 2019 he used his connections and 18 training sessions for members of the public on essential resuscitation skills.
Esther Scull from Southmead received a medal for voluntary services to Bristol Army Cadet Force which she joined as an adult instructor in 1984.
In this time, she has held the following positions within Bristol ACF, Instructor, Detachment Commander, Ten Tors Expedition Training Team member, County NAAFI Manager, Company First Aid Officer, Class 3 Chef, Target Rifle Coach, Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition Training Team member, County Sports Officer and County Welfare Support Officer.
Such a broad range of positions has meant that Esther has given an average of two evenings a week, every week and usually two weekends a month plus two weeks in the summer (usually her own summer holiday entitlement) every year to carry out her volunteering duties.
To find out more about the Lord Mayor and the Lord Mayor’s Medals, visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/council-and-mayor/lord-mayor-of-bristol