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Unsung heroes rewarded for dedication to their communities

PUBLISHED: 15:41 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 June 2018

Special Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory with BBC Radio Norfolk's Nick Conrad. Picture: South Norfolk Council

Special Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory with BBC Radio Norfolk's Nick Conrad. Picture: South Norfolk Council

Archant

They are the people who put in the hard work and never ask for anything in return.

Young Volunteer of the Year Ben Woodruff. Picture: South Norfolk CouncilYoung Volunteer of the Year Ben Woodruff. Picture: South Norfolk Council

Now South Norfolk Council has awarded those who do so much in their community with a special awards ceremony at the Corn Hall in Diss.

More than 100 people packed the hall to celebrate volunteers at South Norfolk Council’s Community Awards.

The awards celebrate the valuable contribution volunteers make to the district, whether running a sports club, hosting events, fundraising, or helping around the community.

Special Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory, 61, from Framingham Earl said: “I was just speechless.

Special Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory. Picture: South Norfolk CouncilSpecial Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory. Picture: South Norfolk Council

“I was up for two awards but I didn’t get either of them so I just thought that I was there to make up the numbers but when they were taking about the Special Recognition Award I released that was me.

“When my name was read out my brother turned to me and said he was so proud and when I was on stage the tears were streaming down.”

Mrs Savory had to balance working in the bakery of a store which demanded a 3am start and looking after her husband David who has dementia.

She added: “We had to put him into a specialist home because he kept running away. I would be driving home from work and he would be walking the other way.

Special Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory with BBC Radio Norfolk's Nick Conrad. Picture: South Norfolk CouncilSpecial Recognition Award winner Sandra Savory with BBC Radio Norfolk's Nick Conrad. Picture: South Norfolk Council

“It was awful as he would try to leave to go home but he was home he just didn’t remember. At least now he is safe.

“I just had to keep going, I don’t think I was doing it any different than anyone else.”

The council received nearly 100 nominations before whittling it down to just nine winners.

Deputy Leader Michael Edney said: “The winners’ stories of selflessness, generosity and kindness are both humbling and inspirational.

Young Volunteer of the Year Ben Woodruff. Picture: South Norfolk CouncilYoung Volunteer of the Year Ben Woodruff. Picture: South Norfolk Council

“They help to make South Norfolk a great place to live and it’s fantastic we can recognise and celebrate their hard work through these awards.”

BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad presented the awards.

Mr Edney added: “They should all be immensely proud of the difference they are making to people’s lives and our communities.”

The 2018 Community Awards winners are:

•Volunteer of the Year- Sandra Merrit

•Young Volunteer of the Year- Ben Woodruff

•Community Group of the Year- Wymondham Dementia Support Group

•Community Fundraiser of the Year- EACH Nook Friends Group

•Business Community Champion of the Year- Rosy Lee’s Tea Rooms

•Community Wellbeing Champion or Group of the Year- Sophie Houghton-Hood

•Environmental Champion of the Year- Graham Moates

•Lifetime Community Hero- Terry Hanner

•Special Recognition Award- Sandra Savory

•Special thanks- Jack Bell and Jamie Scales

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