Joint winners for the annual Citizen of the Year awards

Winners and Finalists  of Bury's Best Allotments and Citizen of the year
Winners and Finalists of Bury's Best Allotments and Citizen of the year
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TWO people share this year’s annual St Edmund’s Day Citizen of the Year award.

The Citizen of the Year Medal and Young Citizen of the Year Shield are awarded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council to people nominated by their communities. Council chairman Bob Cockle said at the awards evening on Tuesday that it had taken the judges one-and-a-half hours to go through the nominations and decide that two medals should be awarded.

They go to Janet Ely and Simon Harding.

Janet’s was for her work with the Mildenhall Road Estate’s Residents’ Association, Women’s Community Group, children’s holiday club and youth group and for managing the Anselm Community Centre. She said: “I was so surprised.”

Simon, who was on holiday, received it for fundraising for local charities via Church Walks Charities.

Other nominees, who received certificates, were Kathleen Fleming from the Just Traid fair trade shop at The Centre, St John’s Street; Ciaran Manning for helping run the 654 Anselm Youth Club; Richard Mortlock for work for the Mildenhall Road Estate community; Thomas Murray for raising more than £1 million for charity with his photographs and for his campaign to get young people permitted to use Newbury Community Centre and Marian Shaw for her work in the Churchgate area.

The Young Citizen Shield went to 17-year-old Jake Cutting for his coaching work with St Edmundsbury Primary School’s football team, particularly his passing on a sporting attitude. He said: “It makes me feel I’ve done something for these kids.”

The other nominee for the shield was Kira Mark for obtaining a grant from the Youth Opportunities Fund for a drama club for youngsters as well as helping to run Anselm Community Centre’s children’s holiday club.

The evening also saw Cllr Stefan Oliver presenting the council’s annual Allotment Awards. First prize went to Steve Ohlsen for his plot on the new part of Cotton Lane allotments, which he only took over three months before the judging.

Cllr Oliver said: “We were amazed at what they had done. It was a jungle this time last year.”

Steve and his wife Gill said their whole family had helped, including four-year-old grandson William, but he also praised the friendliness of other allotment holders.

He beat Jim Bowden, whose Nowton Road allotment has won for two years, while third place went to Chris Cole, also on Nowton allotments.