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Dedicated volunteer and hospice founder among community champions honoured in awards

Canon Richard Norburn ANL-150324-152239001
Canon Richard Norburn ANL-150324-152239001

A dedicated volunteer and the founder of St Nicholas Hospice Care were amomg the community champions honoured at an annual awards ceremony.

Bryony Charles, 23, was named Suffolk Under 25 Volunteer of the Year at the High Sheriff Awards for her work with St John Ambulance, in Bury St Edmunds.

Canon Richard Norburn, 82, who set up the hospice more than 30 years ago scooped the lifetime achievement award and there was a special commendation for the late Brendan Fulham, who spearheaded a project to buy Lakenheath British Legion Club for the village.

Hosted by the High Sheriff of Suffolk Nicholas Wingfield Digby, the awards celebrate inspirational charities, community groups and volunteers.

Miss Charles , who works full time for St John crewing ambulances, gave the charity 544 volunteer hours last year.

She has been with the charity for 11 years - starting as a cadet aged 12 with the Stowmarket unit and transferred to Bury four years ago.

Steph Ruddy, who nominated her, said: “Bryony is an absolutely wonderful young leader, setting a fabulous example to other young volunteers and adults alike.”

Canon Norburn, who has spent more than 55 years in the Anglican ministry in Suffolk, was inspired to establish St Nicholas Hospice in the early 1980s after witnessing the suffering of three families. He said: “I feel so humbled to have received this award. It is wonderful to have been part of the hospice for all of this time and to have seen it grow.”

As well as successfully leading the bid to buy the British Legion Club, Brendan Fulham, who died aged 71 last June, was involved in Lakenheath Good Neighbours Group, fund raising for EACH and was chairman of the bench at Mildenhall Magistrates’ Court. Others recognised in the awards were social enterprise Noise Solution which was highly commended in the Youth Group or Organisation of the Year category. Harvey McSloy, 20, of Combs Ford, who set up a charity Trust Maria in memory of his mum, was a highly commended runner up in the Under 25 Volunteer of the Year. Ronald Day, former president of the Bury branch of the Royal British Legion and Gordon Biden, 85, of Great Barton Scouts, were runners-up for the lifetime achievement award.


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