Newbury Town Council introduced the Newbury Town Civic Award in 1997. More recently, the Young Persons Award, the Business Civic Award have been launched to run alongside the Civic Award. For 2020, we have introduced the Environmental Contribution Civic Award for an someone who contributes to making Newbury a more environmentally friendly placeto live.

The awards have highlighted the importance of those who make a difference in our community and are presented to those who, in the opinion of a panel of judges, have made an exceptional contribution to Newbury.

While current events meant that the usual awards ceremony couldn’t go ahead, the judges felt that the awards should still be issued following the outstanding nominations that were submitted this year.

This year’s awards were judged by the Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Elizabeth O’Keeffe; the Chair of Newbury Town Council’s Civic Pride, Arts and LeisureCommittee, Cllr Jo Day; Operations Manager for the Newbury BID, Alison Drummond; and they were joined by Chair of the Climate Action Working Group, Cllr Chris Foster to assist in judging the Environmental Contribution Civic Award.

Steve and Jan Pye were named as the winners of The Newbury Town Civic Award 2020. Steve and Jan retired from volunteering in January after a combined 46 years of service to Newbury Air Cadets. When their son joined Air Cadets, seeing the need for volunteer staff to help run the unit, especially those with a military background, Steve soon joined as an Adult Warrant Officer which he thoroughly enjoyed. His knowledge and experience of the armed services stood him in good stead to pass these onto the young people of Newbury, and the squadron benefited from his enthusiasm and dedication. It wasn’t long after this before Jan began volunteering her time, supporting marketing and recruitment to help growthe squadron, at one point to nearly 100 cadets. Over the many years, they have supported thousands of activities and events, hundreds of young people and have been leading figures in several areas. Both Steve and Jan’s roles have shifted over the years; both gaining qualifications, supporting camps and new initiatives including seeing the first ever Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award being awarded to a Newbury Cadet in 2017. Both Steve and Jan attended 2 nights a week for many years, their servicehas been exemplary and has had an impact on hundreds of young people from Newbury and the surrounding areas.

The winner of the Newbury Town Business Civic Award was Mathew Groves from Greggs, Northbrook Street. Mathew came to the aid of Newbury Soup Kitchen, and over the last 3 years has donated food and disposable cups and plates from his store to help support those in need. His team have been highlighted for their efforts in working closely with Newbury Soup Kitchen volunteers who come to pick up food from their store every week. Mathew has shown that he takes the plight of the homeless and vulnerable in our community seriously and is always lookingfor ways to help support vulnerable people. He will sit with homeless people in doorways in the mornings for a quick chat and give them a coffee and something to eat from the Greggs store. He makes the effort toget to know people who are rough sleeping in the high street and will liaise with Newbury Soup Kitchen if a new face appears. Mathew does this to support his local community and will use his role at Greggs to support further. His nominator said that he should be very proud of his and his team’s achievements.

The Newbury Town Young Persons Civic Award, recipient was Jacob Halling, aged 9. Jacob has been described by his nominator as “an amazing young boy” who has been raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Charity. He is described as someone with a huge heart and is passionate about raising money for MD research in support of his mum who suffers from muscular dystrophy. Jacob is conscious of efforts that need to be taken to minimise the negative impact on the environment; he did this by raising money for the charity by doing a 4 hour litter pick around the Greenham area, and taking part in his school’s effort to help the population of trout in the local waters. Jacob has done a remarkable amount of work for his age, on his own behalf using his own initiative and deserved to be recognised for the impact he is making to the local community.

And, finally, the winner of the Newbury Town Environmental Contribution Award was Marion Fenn. Marion has been an example to others, going along with nature and wasting as little as possible. She runs an allotment for school children, introducing them to the preparation of soil, growing organically, recycling newspaper to make paper pots into which to sow seeds and how delicious fresh food is. Over the years, Marion has created nature areas at three schools, impacting on the children’s learning of the importance of the ecosystem. She has also run aparent and child group, cooking sessions with fresh food and previously ran a weekly gardening club for the elderly. She self-funds her environmental projects by selling home-grown plants, jams and pickles in recycled jars. Marion has helped hundreds of people learn how important it is to be environmentally aware and to do as much as we can, however small, to protect our planet.

The Mayor of Newbury, Councillor Elizabeth O’Keeffe congratulated all of the nominees for their outstanding achievements by letter. The award winners have been invited to collect their physical award from the Town Hall at an appropriate time.

A full list of all those nominated for each award are below:

Newbury Town Young Persons Civic Award

Lois Ryan (Age 18), Student leader for the school climate strikers.

Jacob Halling (Age 9), winner, Fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy charity.

Joshua Lane (Age 17), Governors’ Prize for outstanding contribution to school and community.

Newbury Town Business Civic Award

Newbury Building Society, Winter Wrap Up Appeal and championing community work.

Mathew Grove – Greggs Northbrook St, winner, Supporting and feeding the homeless in our community.

Kim Watts – LK Beauty, supporting Loose Ends during the Christmas period.

Newbury Town Environmental Contribution Award

Lois Ryan, student leader for the school climate strikers

Miri Lee, West Berkshire Climate Action Network coordinator

Sukey Russell-Hayward, providing a collection point for terra-cycle materials

Marion Fenn, winner, green education for school children and the elderly

Caroline Billington, starting Newbury EcoBrickers group

Newbury Town Civic Award 2020

Richard Papworth, long service and dedication with Newbury Almshouse Trust

Derek Peaple, long service as Head Teacher to Park House School

West Berkshire Homeless, improving homelessness in the Town

Nicki Harris, service and dedication to Newbury Judo Club and its members

Tony Hiller (in memoriam), volunteer service to Kennet Radio

Julia Calvert, involvement in re-establishing Wash Common Library

Steve & Jan Pye, winner, long service and dedication to Newbury Air Cadets

Meryl Praill, establishment and success of Newbury Soup Kitchen

Louise Goodall, success as Newbury Rugby Club’s first female Chair

Paul Thompson, service to Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery & Newbury Astronomical Society

Linda Fergusson, service to Loose Ends, encouraging voter registration.

The Civic Award Ceremony is also an opportunity to highlight the fantastic work of organisations and individual achievement that has been recognised by the Mayor throughout the year. To see the full list of recipients of Mayoral Letters, click HERE

Civic Awards Hall of Fame