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Cllr Derek Sales presented Gravesham Community Awards last week

By Lizzie Massey

It was a night of awards for unsung heroes and community groups as well as mayor-making.

The previous Mayor Cllr Derek Sales presented Gravesham Community Awards, giving glass trophies to people who live or work in Gravesham and have made an outstanding contribution to the community.

He said: “Presenting the awards to these amazing people that have done so much for our community was a lovely way to end my year as the Mayor of Gravesham.”

Young Person of the year for the girls went to Shelley Young, presented by former mayor Cllr Derek Sales. Picture Sarah Knight

Two inspirational youths were recognised as part of the Young Person of the year award.

For for the girls it went to Shelley Young who saved her mother’s life twice and now cares for her.

When she was six years old after her mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, passed out at the wheel of the car and it was Shelly who came to her aid.

Last year the same thing happened and the pair were involved in a car crash, but Shelly cares for her mum on a daily basis.

Young Person of the year for the boys was Lewis Samways. Picture: Sarah Knight

For the boys it was Lewis Samways who won after doing more than 200 volunteering hours with St Johns as well as a sheltered housing charity for the elderly and the Kenwood trust.

Higham scout master for over 25 years Peter Allinson picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In his time there around £42,000 has been raised for Children in Need and the group has swelled to 71 members.

Former mayor Cllr Derek Sales presenting The Best Group of the year to the Christian Fields Community Hub. Picture: Sarah Knight

The Best Group of the year went to the Christian Fields Community Hub, whose volunteers run a weekly homework club and a range of activities for young people as well as coffee mornings and events for older people.

Solicitors Hatten Wyatt was awarded with Community Business of the year after supporting events including the classic car festival, Gravesend in Bloom, the Elf world record attempt and the annual pancake race.

They also sponsor Gravesend Rugby Club and the Paul Greengrass cinema at The Woodville as well as running their own business-related groups and drop in sessions, and workshops for school pupils.

Former mayor Cllr Derek Sales presenting Jason Owen with Sports Achiever of the Year. Picture: Sarah Knight

Gravesend Rugby Football Club’s liaison officer Jason Owen was awarded Sports Achiever of the Year.
He has worked tirelessly in the borough to promote sports and organise sports festivals and is also the founder of the Wheelchair Rugby section of the club.

The club itself also picked up the Special Sport Recognition Outstanding Achievement award after promotion to the National League and winning the Kent Cup.

Former mayor Cllr Derek Sales presenting Community of the Year to The SAFE Group. Picture: Sarah Knight

Community of the Year went to The SAFE Group, a team of people aged 16 -19 years who volunteer as peer mentors for other young people. They are trained to support them, talk through things like exam stress and raise awareness of mental health.

Marilyn Keating won the Gravesham Civic Award for her continued support of local charities over the past 27 years.

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