Mayor honours caring citizens

Published on: Friday, 23rd October 2020
Saturday Breakfast with David Allen

Community-minded residents and groups will be honoured for their contribution to society as part of this year’s Erewash Mayor's Awards.

In a first for the annual awards, the Mayor, Councillor Sue Beardsley, hopes to present the winners with the honour during a personal visit, which will follow all safety guidelines.

Five caring residents and representatives of three local groups were due to be presented with their awards at Long Eaton Town Hall on Wednesday 21 October but the event had to be cancelled due to the strict Tier 2 Covid-19 guidelines. 

The awards recognise groups or individuals who carry out vital work in their community without expecting anything in return.

A virtual meeting of the judging panel – which included councillors and local community representatives - discussed the nominations, made by local residents, and looked for evidence of special qualities and service beyond simply being a ‘good neighbour’ when picking out the award winners. 

Councillor Sue Beardsley, the Mayor of Erewash, said: “Presenting awards to pay tribute to people in this borough who give so much to our communities is such an honour for me and one of the shining memories in what has been a very difficult year for everyone.  Covid will not stop me from personally congratulating and thanking this year’s Mayor’s Award recipients for all that they do.

“These awards are led by residents who make all the nominations so thank you to them.  But I would also like to express my gratitude to all those who work so selflessly in our borough throughout the year – and, of course, particularly during this year’s challenging times.  It is a privilege to have met many of you.”

The successful recipients of a Mayor’s Award for the 2019/20 civic year are:


Mr David Allen of Ilkeston
David has volunteered at Erewash Sound Radio for several years, promoting local activities and events whilst doing so.   He is an expert on local stage shows and live music and has highlighted the work of local theatre and drama groups within the borough.   He shares his passion and support for Erewash arts with others.   Read more about David's role with the radio station here.

Tracy Bilbie of Long Eaton
Tracy tirelessly runs her own animal rescue charity (Bilbo’s Animal Rescue), rescuing and rehoming unwanted pets, many needing veterinary treatment before doing so.  All this is done through raising money by selling donations kindly given by members of the public.  Tracy also fundraises for a variety of other local organisations and, for the past three years, has put together Christmas collections for struggling families.

Joey Fletcher and Owen Reynolds of West Hallam
Joey and Owen are students at Kirk Hallam Community Academy and earlier in the year raised funds for The Alzheimer’s Society by undertaking a 10km charity walk which they called ‘The Care Home Crawl’.  During the walk they visited eight care homes and, as it was Valentine’s Day, they took bunches of flowers to each care home and spent time talking with the residents.  They have also raised money for the charity through a cake stall at school and are seen as fine examples of the good work carried out by the younger generation.

Jean Lupton of Breaston
Mrs Lupton is a stalwart of the Breaston community and carries out many voluntary roles and is always willing to help everyone.  For 12 years she was the driving force behind the very successful Breaston Gala taking on both organisational and practical roles including selling programmes and being the compere on the day.  She produces the Breaston and Draycott Village News each month, she is the treasurer of Breaston Community Forum, a befriender and an active member of St Michael’s Church. Jean is very well known and respected in the village and is always willing to go that extra mile.

Everyone Eats
The group is run by Lindsey Rice and Zee Shelton along with an army of volunteers who ensure that ‘every one eats’.  Over 100 people sat down to enjoy either a Community Breakfast or Lunch on Christmas Day with food being donated by local companies.  This newly constituted Erewash group aims to combine free food and free music for all of the community and is a fabulous example of what can be achieved when a community works together. 

Friendship Hub
The Friendship Hub opened in January 2016 as the Erewash branch of the Royal Air Forces Association drop-in centre, originally to help overcome loneliness within the RAFA family.  However, most of the footfall now is the local community with no forces background at all.  Marian Robinson is the Erewash branch Honorary Welfare Officer and she, along with a group of volunteers, arrange weekly chair based exercise classes; fortnightly crafting with lunch and games as well as day trips, holidays and open days.  

The Canaan Trust
For this charity which helps the homeless, 2020 certainly hasn’t turned out the way it was hoped. The Trust had arranged to mark its 25th Anniversary of operating in the community with several events which would give everyone a time to reflect on the positives, the successes as well as the challenges they have faced over the last quarter of a century.  These all had to be cancelled and as Covid has brought a multitude of new and additional challenges to their door, the Trust has taken the decision to continue to operate 24/7, 365 days a year to reach those in need of help.  This Award is to simply say a ‘heartfelt thank you’ on behalf of all those the charity has reached. 

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