A pair of Evesham based organisations have become the first to receive a new award specially created by the chairman of Wychavon District Council.
Cllr Lynne Duffy decided to create the Chairman’s Award to recognise the enormous contribution various community groups, voluntary organisations and charities make to the district.
Cllr Duffy chose Growers United and Evesham Sea Cadets as the first two recipients of the award and handed them out during Tuesday’s Full Council meeting (21 April).
Growers United started in autumn 2012 when a group of local growers played in a friendly football match against Evesham United to raise money for a local charity, promote horticulture and to unite people from different communities. Following the success of that match it evolved into a tournament the following year and was held again in 2014 attracting teams from across the country.
So far the event has raised more than £30,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Cancer Research UK and they hope to raise at least £20,000 from this year’s competition which takes place on 18 and 19 July. The week before on 11 July they will play a Liverpool Legends side at Evesham United’s Cheltenham Road ground which could include star names such as Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush.
In the last year members of Evesham Sea Cadets have represented the UK at international events in Sweden, Canada and Bulgaria. They have handed out 37 Duke of Edinburgh Awards, nine of which were gold, and supported cadets to achieve CVQO diplomas in marine engineering, music and public services. For the last two years they have been named the best unit in the South West of England region and also won the Captain’s Cup from the head of the Sea Cadet Corps in the UK. Three cadets have also gone on to join the Armed Forces.
Cllr Duffy said: “I have presented many awards during my year as chairman on behalf of Wychavon District Council but these have been chosen by officers or parish councils and I wanted something to present to the groups and community organisations which had impressed and inspired me personally.
“I felt Evesham Sea Cadets were worthy of recognition because they provide a range of opportunities to young people, both in this country and abroad, and they are supported by a fantastic team of volunteers.
“Growers United impressed me because their events are not only fun and they raise significant amounts of money for charity but the work they do in bringing a variety of nationalities and communities together is incredibly important.”
Growers Picture Caption - Debbie Smith, Jennie Harker, Steve Bradstock, Vito Mauro, Bal Padda and Andrew Bille from Growers United receive their award from chairman Cllr Lynne Duffy
Commanding Officer CPO Keith Field, from Evesham Sea Cadets, said: “We have 80 cadets now and 50 adult volunteers which are vital to what we do. It’s an honour to receive this award on behalf of the entire unit.”
Vito Mauro, director of Vale Fresco and part of Growers United Ltd, said: “I’d like to thank the chairman for presenting us with this award, it’s an amazing achievement. We’re incredibly proud of what we have done and it makes us want to keep on going and raise as much money as we can.”
Visit www.facebook.com/GrowersUnited for more information on the tournament. Tickets for the Liverpool Legends game cost £6 and are available from locations in Evesham including Birdseye Sports, Bonk, Pride Clothing, Evesham United FC and Cheltenham Road Post Office
For more information on Evesham Sea Cadets visit www.facebook.com/eveshamseacadets or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @eveshamscc