Cream of the Woking crop honoured at Civic Reception

THE cream of the Woking crop were toasted at the Mayor’s recent Civic Reception.

Recognising the men and women who make the borough tick, pillars of the community young and not so young were bestowed top honours at the HG Wells Centre during an evening of glamour.

“These awards recognise local people who go above and beyond to give their time selflessly to help others within our community without expecting anything back,” said the evening’s host, Mayor Derek McCrum.

“During my Mayoral year, I have met many extraordinary people and groups who make a significant contribution to our
community, making Woking a better place to live.

“I am therefore extremely proud that we can, as a community, honour these extraordinary people and give them the recognition they deserve. They are a true inspiration to us all.”

Scooping Eminent Citizen of the Year was none other than Jean Follet, in recognition of her extensive volunteering exploits. A life-long Old Woking resident, Jean’s love of family history led her to join the West Surrey Family History
Society in 1985.

She began by assisting others in researching their families and by 2005 had become a trustee and treasurer with the
responsibility of organising their annual fair.

She later became a trustee and treasurer of the Friends of Woking Palace in 2007 and, since then, has organised three open days each year, which have allowed  many visitors privileged access to one of the area’s most important heritage sites.

It was while serving on the council’s Consultative Panel for Woking Palace in 2007 that the Friends of Woking Palace received a small Heritage Lottery Fund grant which allowed four years of excavation, supported by Surrey Archaeological Society, over three weeks each year. Jean was involved in two years of research needed to apply for a much larger grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund that was successful in 2013.

The project has seen 26 different activities and a permanent display installed at The Lightbox over the past three years.

But Jean wasn’t the only super star in the spotlight.

Now in its 20th year, the Young People’s Civic Award Scheme aims to reward young people who make an outstanding contribution to the community, whose work or achievements may not normally be recognised. The winners are listed below:

Outstanding Contribution to the Community: The Peer Education Project, Woking Community Youth Work Service, namely Katrina Georghiou, Marcus Afonso Martin, Gina Marie Munday and Megan Rogers of  Lakers Youth Centre in Goldsworth Park.

Outstanding Achievement: Joe Cross.

Triumph Over Adversity: Christopher Balcombe.

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