October 5, 2015
Burnham and Highbridge Civic Awards presented to trio of residents

Three residents from Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge were presented with Civic Awards on Sunday (October 4th) in recognition of their service to the local community.

Les Barber, Alun Davies and Neville Jones received the honours during the service at St Andrew's Church, led by Mrs James Nelson, the High Sheriff of Somerset.

The service was preceded by a special procession by local dignitaries through Burnham town centre from The Princess Theatre to St Andrew's Church.

The Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge, Mayor Cllr Michael Clarke, led Sunday's ceremony and praised the trio, right, for their "commitment and dedication" to the community.

He said Les Barber had "worked tirelessly" to ensure that Burnham-On-Sea's Project Coach has delivered benefits to the town through extra coach visitors and also enabled it to gain 'Coach Friendly' status.

Alun Davies, a key organiser of the Burnham and Highbridge Food Bank, was recognised for his work "day-in, day-out ensuring that the emergency food is there to help local people through a short-term crisis."

Neville Jones OBE was also awarded a Civic Award in recognition of being "a driving force" behind many local groups in Burnham and Highbridge, and 30 years as a Town Councillor of which he has served as Mayor on four occasions.

Sunday's Civic Service was led by Rev Sharon Eldergill and included readings by the Mayor's Cadet Corp Daisy Kilduff, Town Clerk Denise Emery and BARB Chairman Mark Newman. An address was given by Rev Graham Witts and prayers were also led by Rev Steve Ayers.

There was also musical entertainment from talented local singer Gracie Wickens-Sweet, who starred on Britain's Got Talent earlier this year, and gave powerful performances of 'Hallelujah' and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Band also gave stirring performances of several musical pieces, including 'I Dreamed a Dream' and the 'National Anthem'.

The service was followed by a Civic Reception at The Princess Theatre where refreshments were served.

Flowers were presented by the Mayor and Mayoress, Michael and Maria Clarke, to Gracie Wickens-Sweet and Mrs James Nelson, the High Sheriff of Somerset pictured here.

The Mayor said he was delighted with how the event had gone. He told "It was a fantastic day - I'm very proud and it's nice to see the communities fully represented with such a great turnout."

"The service was very special - brought to life by the super singing of Gracie and the performances by the town band - and everything came together to make it a memorable, special day."

Alun Davies, a key organiser of the Burnham and Highbridge Food Bank, is pictured here thanking Sue Loxton for nominating him for the award.


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