Honours to praise volunteers in town

PUBLISHED: 14:18 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 21:22 29 May 2010

Dunmow Majorettes – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Dunmow Majorettes – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

TWO dedicated volunteers and a dance troupe are today (Thursday October 26)) to be honoured for their contributions to Dunmow. Peggy Baines, Norman Billett and The Dunmow Majorettes are to receive Great Dunmow Town Awards 2006 from town mayor Cllr Frank S

Peggy Baines – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

TWO dedicated volunteers and a dance troupe are today (Thursday October 26)) to be honoured for their contributions to Dunmow.

Peggy Baines, Norman Billett and The Dunmow Majorettes are to receive Great Dunmow Town Awards 2006 from town mayor Cllr Frank Silver at the Starr Restaurant at 10am.

Dunmow Town Council clerk Owen Wilson said: "This year it has been incredibly hard to chose winners as the publication of the awards in the Broadcast last year definitely prompted a significant increase in nominations.

"Several of the recipients have said the awards are given by the people who you live and work with and that's rather special. It's great to be able to publicly say thank you for all their hard work."

Norman Billett – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

All the winners will receive framed certificates, hand-made by Eleanor Tanner.

Anyone can nominate groups or individuals for the awards by getting a form from the Dunmow Town Council offices. They will be available mid next year.

Peggy Baines

GREAT grandmother Peggy Baines receives her award for her contribution to numerous voluntary organisations.

The Stortford Road resident, who is in her 70s, said: "It's quite incredible. In one way I'm really, delighted but it's a joint thing. Many friends and family help me out. I'm just very interested in people and if I can help I like to."

The mother-of-two became involved with St Mary's Church in Dunmow when she moved to the town in 1943.

For nearly 20 years she has been helping out at the Dolphin Swimming Club, which was set up for disabled people.

During that time she spent 12 years as the secretary and treasurer. Then when her husband Norman suffered two strokes she began fundraising for the Dunmow and District Stroke Group.

She was also the secretary at St Mary's Junior School, formerly Dunmow Junior School and has been a driver for the Dunmow Christian Care Group for 20 years.

The group is a voluntary organisation, co-ordinated by Liz Kerry, whereby voluntary drivers take patients, who haven't got transport, to hospital and clinic appointments.

Norman Billett

FOUNDER member of the Dunmow and District Stroke Group, Norman Billett, is also to be honoured with an award.

When the father-of-three who trained as a meterologist for the National Service retired from continuous shift work he decided not to rest on his laurels.

He moved to the town with his wife Diana in 1968 and began playing cricket for Dunmow Cricket Club. He became a committee member and through it formed

Dunmow Hockey Club.

In 1994 Mr Billett joined the stroke group committee and a year later took on the role of chairman, a position he still holds.

The group runs exercise classes at Dunmow Clinic and Banks Court for those who have suffered from strokes. It has proved so successful a similar group is to be set up in Saffron Walden.

If that wasn't enough, both Mr Billett and Diana are voluntary drivers for the group as well as for the Dunmow Blind and Housebound Group.

Mr Billett, of Warder Close, Dunmow, is also a member of the Dunmow Strategy Group, which is shaping the town's future.

Mr Billett, who is in his 70s, said: "It's nice to be recognised because there are so many people helping voluntary organisations in the town. It came as a bit of a surprise, especially as I have already been awarded the Uttlesford civic award a few years ago."

Dunmow Majorettes

DANCE troupe the Dunmow Majorettes have been promoting the town as far afield as

France since it was formed in the late 1990s.

When the group was under threat due to a lack of leaders Betty Baker, of Ongar Road, stepped in to lead the 30-strong team of youngsters, who train on Friday nights from 5.30pm until 7.30pm in the Helena Romanes School.

She is helped by mums Kathy Cohen, Erica Durham and Lorraine Tyler.

Mrs Baker said: "I've invited the leaders who ran it before me to the ceremony because I've just carried on the hard work they started. It's nice for their achievements to be recognised as well as ours."

- The troop, which won the best walking group at the Bishop's Stortford Carnival in June, is desperate for more members.

It currently has 14 members but can cater for 30. Training sessions cost £2.50 and all uniform is provided. Anyone wanting more information should call Mrs Baker on 01371 874454.

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