Role of volunteers honoured by council

Jonica Fox and Sandra Richards
Jonica Fox and Sandra Richards

The role of volunteers in the local Wealden community was honoured at a Civic Reception held at the Civic Community Hall in Hailsham last week.

The winner of Wealden’s first-ever Community Volunteer Hero Award was Sandra Richards who acts a money advice specialist with Wealden Citizen Advice helping local residents manage their debts in a firm a but sympathetic way.

Last year she gave 800 hours of her time to Wealden Citizens Advice. Key to her work is helping people through a maze of jargon so they can understand their own financial situation and prioritise their debt repayment.

Sandra also trains other CAB advisors and makes sure they are up to date with the latest law and policies.

“If you are a Wealden resident in a tight spot, Sandra is the supportive and effective person to turn to,” said Council Chairman, Cllr Jonica Fox, who presented the awards.

Wealden Citizens Advice has offices in Crowborough, Hailsham and Uckfield and runs weekly advice sessions in Heathfield, Polegate, Wadhurst and Willingdon.

The winner of the award for Outstanding Community Achievement through Volunteer Hours was Mick Croft. As Membership Secretary for Crowborough Athletic Football Club, Mick gives over 500 hours of his time to the club each season.

The winner of the Trustee of the Year is Andy Miller of Rotherfield St Martin who is involved in the day-to-day running of this church-in-the-community project for older people while at the same time making sure it has the financial resources and a growing profile in the local community and wider district. Andy notched up 750 volunteer hours over the last year.

“The volunteers we have honoured with these awards are just three of the thousands of people young and old, who give their time and skills for free to help community organisations in Wealden. In the challenging time we live in today, they really do make a difference,” added Cllr Fox.

The winning volunteer heroes received £25 in gift vouchers a £100 for their organisation.