Community stalwart who fundraises regularly and netball player who voluntarily coaches young people are crowned citizens of the year
- Credit: Archant
A community stalwart Lions club member who fundraises regularly and netball player who has been voluntarily coaching young people for four years have been crowned as Whittlesey’s citizens of the year for 2020.
Phil Knighton and Ellie Nicholls won the Whittlesey ‘citizen of the year’ and ‘young citizen of the year’ awards respectively.
As well as being treasurer of Whittlesey Christmas Lights Committee, Phil took on a similar position with Whittlesey Street Pride two years ago.
He is a member of the Whittlesey Lions, specialising in recycling spectacles, raising funds at Lions events and taking on the responsibility for stocking up outlets with ‘message in a bottle’ information.
As well as singing with Westwood Musical Society and Whittlesey Singers, a voluntary group of social singers who regularly entertain at care homes and at town events, Phil has also taken the role of Father Christmas at Dobbies in Peterborough.
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He is a weekly volunteer at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall in Peterborough, a reader and sides person at St Andrews Church in Whittlesey and a vendor of hot bacon rolls at St Andrew’s Hall on Straw Bear Days.
He is a member of the St Andrews Church Thursday Club which caters monthly for those who may be lonely and volunteers for ‘holiday at home’, providing entertainment, trips and company to lonely people.
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He is now a member of a Whittlesey U3A group and has taken on a role of quizmaster at the annual education quiz organised by Whittlesey Rotary Club.
Meanwhile, having been a member of Whittlesey Warriors netball team for the past four years, Ellie’s love of netball developed at Park Lane Primary School.
After leaving to attend Sir Harry Smith Community College, she took it upon herself to return to her old school to help coach youngsters at their after-school club on Thursdays and Fridays.
Ellie, who has been volunteering in the role for four years, also assists the activity club that the Park Lane School runs for three days a week in the school holidays.
She has also been teaching youngsters to swim through the Whittlesey Manor Dolphins Swimming Club for the past two years.
In 2018 she won a ‘young achievers award’ through Cambridge County Netball Association and followed this up with an ‘Eastern region young volunteers award’, receiving her prize at the ceremony in Liverpool.
Traditionally, the awards would have been presented earlier this year but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic delayed things.