Mayor James Palmer presents awards at Lions ceremony ‘celebrating those who do things in the community’
Community spirit was recognised at an awards ceremony organised by the March Lions at the town hall on Friday, January 18.
The annual presentation evening aims to highlight the achievements of local people who help out and work in the community throughout the year.
Members of the March Lions discuss who should receive awards at meetings ahead of the big ceremony which this year saw Mayor James Palmer make an appearance.
A spokesman for the Lions said: “We are celebrating people who have done things for the community and we also celebrated 100 years of the Lions.
“The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, came along with the Mayor of March, Jan French, who both helped hand out the certificates to the winners.”
Amongst the winners was Cllr Rob Skoulding who started a fundraising initiative to buy defibrillators for the town in May 2015 when he was elected mayor.
Since then, Cllr Skoulding has continued his fundraising efforts and had bought dozens of defibs for the people of March – he won the ‘Centennial Certificate’.
Another group of winners were Kayleigh Ashkettle, Eden Arnold, Jessica Davies, Kylan Nightingale and Max Louth, Gordon Parsonage, Jamie Hamilton, Ryan Price, Samantha Field, Keira Birkett and Anya Levicki of local arts organisation 20Twenty Productions.
They all scooped ‘Young Leaders in Service Certificates’, including Leah Bass, Matthew Fletcher, Ethan Stalker and David Keteringham of Young People March.
Bartosz Alichper, known locally as Barty, also won a ‘Centennial Certificate’ for his work over the Christmas break. He provides a free festive lunch for those in need.
Barty also organises a handful of ‘special weeks’ where some of his Paninis Coffee Shop takings are donated to charities such as the Parkinson’s Society and MacMillan.
Also to receive a ‘Centennial Certificate’ was Patrick Bennett of the Positive People Care voluntary initiative which supports people with long-term illnesses.
They provide art classes, games and social activities in March and Wisbech for people and adapt to individuals specific conditions.
The group also provides three holidays a year for members who wish to have a break away. The group has been to destinations from Butlins Skegness to the Scottish Highlands.
The Lions spokesman added: “Without the positivity and enthusiasm of Patrick it is highly likely that this organisation would not have come into being and many people’s lives would have been less enjoyable.”
Certificates of appreciation were handed to Sarah Housley-Stott, Jayne Manders, Geri Crooke, Katherine Nightingale and Karen Coppin.