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Sheerness Town Team boss Phil Crowder named volunteer of the year in Tesco 'Pride of the Island' awards


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Retired postman Phil Crowder, who chairs the Sheerness Town Team, has been voted volunteer of the year in the Tesco Pride of the Island awards.

He topped the poll for his environmental campaigning and beach litter-picks.

Phil Crowder of the Sheerness Town Team voted Sheppey volunteer of the year
Phil Crowder of the Sheerness Town Team voted Sheppey volunteer of the year

Phil, 61, from Galway Road, Sheerness, on Sheppey said: “It was a great honour to be nominated for this award and fantastic to find I had made the final three. Winning it was the icing on the cake.”

The Sheppey FM radio presenter added: “Many thanks to all those who voted for me and congratulations to all nominees across all of the 10 categories. Sheppey is blessed to have so many people giving up their time to make our Island a better place to live. I salute them all.”

The contest was put together by Kay Speed, the manager of the Sheerness store, and her team. She said: "The inspiration was Tim Bell who raises funds for the Kent Air Ambulance and joins us at the store across the year regardless of the weather. The past 18 months have been incredibly hard for our community. Yet we have met more people like Tim who have worked really hard to make a difference.

"We wanted to celebrate those people in a way which involved the whole Island. The response was amazing. Sheppey is one of the most deprived areas in Kent yet has a heart of gold.

"We have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some really inspirational carers, fundraisers and local heroes who are using their own time and talent to make the Island a nicer place. It made us want to spotlight their amazing causes to a wider audience. We thank everyone for their feedback. It has been a lot of hard work but it was so worth it."

Inspiration: Sheppey pensioner Tim Bell and his 'mobile helicopter' collecting for the Kent Air Ambulance outside Sheerness Tesco with Jason Tarry
Inspiration: Sheppey pensioner Tim Bell and his 'mobile helicopter' collecting for the Kent Air Ambulance outside Sheerness Tesco with Jason Tarry
Tesco Sheerness store manager Kay Speed
Tesco Sheerness store manager Kay Speed

A committee picked the finalists but the ultimate winners were chosen by a public vote.

The committee comprised store manager Kay Speed; store community champion Kay Boswell; Abigail Cockett (liaison support); Swale mayor Cllr Paul Stephen; Sgt Ryan Chase of the Swale community safety police unit; Garry Ratcliffe of Curly's farm.

Dolley White (Sheerness and Minster council councillor and school governor for Oasis Academy, West Minster and Rose Street schools and Dawn Cockburn of the Harmony Therapy Trust and the moderator of the Positive Life Today on the Isle of Sheppey Facebook group.

There will be a presentation ceremony at Layzells, Minster, on Thursday evening (November 11). Kay said: "The date, 11/11, was chosen as it is the proudest date of the year when, as a country, we celebrate those who made made the ultimate sacrifice to help others."

The full list of winners is:

Kyle, left, and Garry Ratcliffe, founders of Curly's community farm at Bayview. Picture: Phil Lee
Kyle, left, and Garry Ratcliffe, founders of Curly's community farm at Bayview. Picture: Phil Lee

Child of the year: Lexie Braham and Alfie Mathis

Fundraiser of the year (under-18): Joshua Jarvis and Harvey Sevante

Spirit of youth: Leo Jacob

Community heroes: Kyle and Garry Ratcliffe who founded Curly’s Farm. They have four children and were featured on the BBC TV show DIY SOS

Health service award: Pharmacist Manu Mistry

Emergency services award to Sheerness RNLI's Robin Castle
Emergency services award to Sheerness RNLI's Robin Castle

Volunteer of the year: Phil Crowder

Lifetime achievement: Lorraine March and Twiggy Hawes of Kent Wildlife Rescue Services in Sheerness

Emergency services award: Coxswain Robin Castle, who has recently retired from the RNLI Sheerness and been made a Freeman of the borough of Swale

Fundraiser of the year (over-18s): Molly Hope

The committee’s choice award: Aaron Scanlan

Sheerness Tesco store
Sheerness Tesco store
Tesco Sheerness Pride of the Island awards
Tesco Sheerness Pride of the Island awards
Pride of Island banner at Tesco Sheerness
Pride of Island banner at Tesco Sheerness

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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