'Outstanding' Town Award winners unveiled

The Great Dunmow Civic Service - Left: Mayor Patrick Lavelle with Helen and John Wright; Right: David Beedle and Andy King

The Great Dunmow Civic Service and Town Awards took place on Sunday, October 24 - Credit: Great Dunmow Town Council/Archant

A celebration of those people who "make Dunmow great" has taken place in the town.

The Town Awards were handed to three community stalwarts at the 2021 Civic Service on Sunday.

Great Dunmow Town Council awarded long-time volunteer David Beedle an individual prize for his contributions to the carnival, Flitch Trials, Horticultural Society and the Rotary Club.

John and Helen Wright received the organisation award for their work to set up Care for your Neighbours volunteer network after the outbreak of COVID-19.

A ceremony was also held to mark the transition of the title of Mayor from Councillor Mike Coleman to Cllr Patrick Lavelle, who took up the post in May.

Reverend Tom Warmington presided over the service, his first Civic Service since joining the parish, with music by the Great Dunmow Town Band.

Town Award Winner David Beedle and Musical Director Andy King

Town Award winner David Beedle and Town Band director Andy King at Great Dunmow's Last Night of the Proms - Credit: Andy King

Cllr Lavelle said: "As always, there were many nominations for the awards as there are so many individuals and organisations which work to make our town great.

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"David Beedle has provided years of volunteer benefit to Great Dunmow, working with the Friends of Dunmow's Open Spaces and the Twinning Association amongst many others.

"The range of support which the 61 Care for your Neighbours volunteers were able to provide was extraordinary, supported by John and Helen Wright.

"They not only delivered food and prescriptions, but also sourced gas and electricity prepayment cards, managed rodent infestations, set up Zoom calls and other communication links, and recharged car batteries after long idle periods."

Mayor of Great Dunmow Councillor Patrick Lavelle with Town Award winners Helen and John Wright

Mayor of Great Dunmow Councillor Patrick Lavelle with Town Award winners Helen and John Wright - Credit: Great Dunmow Town Council

Former mayor Cllr Coleman said: "The award winners have made absolutely outstanding contributions to Great Dunmow."

He added: "Owing to restrictions, the schools could not attend.

"Nevertheless, it was a very warm and delightful Civic Service albeit later in the year."

At the ceremony to mark the end of Cllr Coleman's tenure, the former mayor presented cheques to his chosen charities following fundraising efforts throughout 2020 and 2021.

Cllr Coleman handed over a total £8,000 to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, St Clare's Hospice, Dunmow First Responders and Macmillan.

Cllr Lavelle will be collecting for Buffy Playbus, the Rowena Davey Centre and Uttlesford Community Travel.