Volunteers are celebrated at special awards ceremony

From left, Mayor of Fareham Mike Ford, David Cockshoot and Anne Ford
From left, Mayor of Fareham Mike Ford, David Cockshoot and Anne Ford
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VOLUNTEERS were recognised for their commitment to the community at a ceremony, as an award in honour of a dedicated former volunteer was introduced.

The people of Fareham, represented by mayor and mayoress Mike and Anne Ford, took time to say thank you to the many volunteers in the area.

Les Ballard, after whom a community award has been named

Les Ballard, after whom a community award has been named

In total, 82 volunteers representing 31 local groups were recognised.

A special award was introduced in memory of the late Les Ballard who died in May and was a long-standing volunteer and supporter of the charity Community Action Fareham, and many others including Fareham Stroke Club and Fareham Lions Club.

The Les Ballard Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteering Contribution to the Fareham community was presented this year to David Cockshoot.

He was recognised for his exceptional volunteering activity, which has seen him drive minibuses for Fareham Community Transport, become a trustee director at charity Abbeyfield Fareham, visit isolated elderly people for Good Neighbours, and become a school governer for St Jude’s Catholic Primary School.

David said: ‘I’m delighted and humbled to have received the award.

‘I very strongly believe in community and I think that society has become driven by money and cost-effectiveness but if you step back and look at the problems around us very little has anything to do with cost-effectiveness. People who are desperately lonely and just need someone to talk to need help.’

‘It means a lot to win the award though there are others in Fareham working just as hard as me.’