Honours for our unsung heroes

New Years Honours: Matlock Mercury editor is pictured with the award winners at the Matlock Mercury New Year Honours awards ceremony.
New Years Honours: Matlock Mercury editor is pictured with the award winners at the Matlock Mercury New Year Honours awards ceremony.

Awards were presented to a record number of recipients during a special ceremony on Friday.

The Mercury’s New Year Honours were handed out to deserving members of the community at the Imperial Rooms in Matlock, with over 40 people in attendance.

Mercury editor Amanda Hatfield was on hand to give out the accolades, along with special guest Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin and even the Darley Dale Brass Band, who helped provide a fitting soundtrack for the occasion.

She told nominees and their guests that it was vitally important to recognise the work of unsung heroes in the community, those who give up their free time for worthy causes and often get little recognition in return.

Readers had been asked to put forward those who they thought were most deserving, and with the awards now in their fourth year, there was a new record set with 14 people taking the awards.

Speaking at the ceremony, Amanda said: “This is the fourth year we have presented the awards. The first ones were even more informal affair at the Mercury office in Firs Parade and then we branched out to the Imperial Rooms for the last ones and these today.

“As we explained in the paper over the week’s leading up to the new year these awards were to honour the people in our own community who have done something for others.

“We wanted people in the area to have the chance to say thank you to those who may have otherwise gone unsung.

“Time and time again we hear comment such as it wasn’t just me it was the whole village or group. I guess that is true and in one respect that is what these awards are for.”

Those who received a certificate this year were Keith Sheldon for his 65 years dedicated to Darley Dale Brass Band; local character Ken Forbes for his dog-walking work; Doreen Britland’s work for the Bank Road Methodist Church, former bobby and Royal British Legion stalwart Frank Woodings, Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer Margaret Kenworthy, Age UK voluntary trio Dorothy Keir, Margaret Cox and Judith Arnell; Lea and Holloway Scout leader Duncan Davis, Darley Birth Centre campaigner Pam Wildgoose, Royal British Legion’s Graham Gill; Bo Boon’s hard work towards maintaining the Lumsdale Valley and John Herbert for his time spent serving the parish of Sheldon.

Finally, an award was given posthumously to Joan Way Jones who passed away in April of last year. She was heavily involved with the British Legion, the Women’s Institute and the Hospitals of Bakewell supporters club prior to her death at the age of 83. The certificate was collected by her husband, Charles.