Inspirational community volunteers from Milton Keynes received official public recognition at a glittering ceremony in the new city last night (Monday).
Four recipients of the British Empire Medal (BEM) and a string of highly motivated and dedicated cadets and miltary reservists received their awards from the Queen’s personal representative in Buckinghamshire, Lord Lieutenant, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.
Sir Henry said: “Most messages throught the media are negative but we have seen the best tonight. At last there is a good news story to savour.”
Bletchley swimming stalwart Mrs Doreen Adcock, from Little Brickhill, has taught an estimated 54,000 young people to swim over the last 40 years, including 2,000 children with learning difficulties. She was named the 2009 BBC sports unsung hero in 2009.
Deputy Lieutenant Dr Ann Limb read the citation to Mrs Adcock to the audience of civic, business and military leaders at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, concluding: “This community holds her in the highest regard.”
Lawrence Chapman, of Castlethorpe, was called a “remarkable man” for his unstinting service to the young people and his community. His BEM citation told of a natural mediator who gives clear, non-judgemental advice to young people, helping them to grow into model citizens like himself. He is said to have had a “huge social impact” on reducing anti-social behaviour because he “believed in them” and helped them navigate their teenage years.
Mrs Vivienne Hammer, of Woburn Sands, received her BEM for “selfless service” with the Bomber Command Association and for her support of veterans and their families. She was cited as personally answering many thousands of letters and leading a campaign for a memorial to the sacrifices of Bomber Command.
Milton Keynes Hospital champion Maureen Pruskin received her BEM for tireless fundraising for Milton Keynes Hospital since it was newly opened. She was cited as “truly an inspiration”.
Four cadets from the county were chosen to accompany the Lord Lieutenant on official business, including Royal visits. These Lord Lieutenant’s assitants include Cadet Corporal Kieran Roberts, of the Milton Keynes Sea Cadets Royal Marines Detachment, TS Whaddon, in Kiln Farm. He was cited as a self-motivated young man who instructs and leads by example.
The second Milton Keynes Lord Lieutenant’s cadet is Cadet Company Sergeant Major Emily Jones, of the Bletchley unit, She is cited as “extremely positive”, “inspirtational” and a “model cadet.”
Captain Lynn Ansell, who used to be based at Bletchley Park, eceived a Lord Lieutenant’s Meritorious Service Award. She is a volunteer involved in the training of Buckinghamshire’s Army Cadet Force.
Flight Lieutenant Stuart Buckland, the former commander of Milton Keynes Air Training Corps, who now commands the RAF Halton youth detachment, also received a meritorious service award for his leadership.
There were also awards for cadets who had raised the most money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. Last year cadets raised £30,000 of the £600,000 the appeal raised.
Mike Barry, county chairman of the Royal British Legion, presented the Evitt Cup to Wolverton 2532 Air Training Corps.
Carolyn Cumming, who lives on the border of Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes, received a commission as a new Deputy Lieutenant. She is a champion of greater cohesion and is vice chairman of the Buckingham Society.
To see a slideshow of pictures from the awards night visit http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/media-gallery