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Bury St Edmunds man Kevin Waterson from Search and Rescue Dogs is among individuals and charities to be shortlisted for High Sheriff's Awards 2020




A Bury St Edmunds man is among those shortlisted for the Suffolk High Sheriff's Awards 2020.

Kevin Waterson, from Search and Rescue Dogs, is in the top three people nominated in the Volunteer of the Year (over 30) category, which is sponsored by Ipswich Building Society.

This year, the awards, which are run by Suffolk Community Foundation in partnership with High Sheriff Roz Eminson, saw hundreds of nominations flood in, with nominators keen to highlight the important work people do.

Kevin Waterson gets his dog, Bess, ready for a training session in Woolpit in 2009..Pic - Richard Marsham. (30874684)
Kevin Waterson gets his dog, Bess, ready for a training session in Woolpit in 2009..Pic - Richard Marsham. (30874684)

One of Kevin's nominators said: "Kevin Waterson deserves this award for his longevity, tenacity and public service that he undertakes without seeking the spotlight.

"He has been an active volunteer for around 50 years. Kevin epitomises what it is to be a volunteer; he gets on with it, he is hard to refuse because of his infectious enthusiasm and dedication which has seen him miss many hours of sleep and more than a few important family events."

The Hope After Suicide Loss charity, which originated in Bury and still has offices in the town, is also up for the Suffolk Road to Recovery Award, sponsored by Barnes Construction.

High Sheriff's Awards 2019 (30871475)
High Sheriff's Awards 2019 (30871475)

A nominator said the charity 'recognises that everyone is different and that grief is unique to that person'.

The Green Light Trust, which has a base in Lawshall, is also up for the Road to Recovery Award.

Making the top three of the under 30s Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Birketts, is Connor Cobbold from Stowmarket's Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Saturday Club.

Jam Community Pot, based in Stowmarket, is also one of four shortlisted for the Strengthen Your Community Award, sponsored by the East of England Co-op.

Launch of the Jam Community Pot in 2018 PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (30874718)
Launch of the Jam Community Pot in 2018 PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (30874718)

The High Sheriff said: "One of my key aims was to visit charities who had never received the High Sheriff before.

"I also wanted to make sure we celebrated one of these groups with a new award.

"I have visited some amazing charities during my year in office and met some incredible people working to help the county.

"I wish all those nominated and shortlisted all the best for the future. They really are all winners."

Winners will be announced and awards presented at a special ceremony in Wherstead Park on March 26.

See the full shortlist below:

Volunteer of the Year Award (under 30)

  • Connor Cobbold, Stowmarket ASD Saturday Club
  • Rifaii Al Nayef, Suffolk Refugee Support
  • Sam Kelly, IO Radio, ICM, Ipswich Community Radio

Volunteer of the Year Award (over 30)

  • Grzegorz Kowalczyk, Orwell Mencap
  • Kevin Waterson, Search and Rescue Dog Association Anglia
  • Rachel Wood, Friends of Newmarket Library, Newmarket Tourism Group, Newmarket History Society, All Saints School Governor, Newmarket Music Festival, Newmarket Neighbourhood Plan, Newmarket Schools, Bill Tutt Group, Newmarket Interfaith Group

New Group of the Year Award

  • Emmaus Suffolk
  • Lowestoft Boxing Academy
  • Wenhaston Young People's Film Night

Strengthen Your Community Award

  • Gainsborough Community Library
  • Sax'cess House
  • Westleton Village Hall for All
  • Jam Community Pot

Caring for the Environment Award

  • Farlingaye High School Green Council
  • The River Gipping Trust
  • Fiona Unwin of Rubbish Friends

Suffolk's Road to Recovery Award

  • The Anchor Health and Wellbeing Centre
  • Green Light Trust
  • Hope After Suicide Loss

Long Service Award

  • Surprise announcement on March 26

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