The Knutsford community celebrated its heroes last week at the 10th Annual Knutsford Town Awards.
The award ceremony took place at Knutsford Little Theatre, with Town Mayor Cllr Mike Houghton and Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business, announcing the winners of the 2023 awards.
First up was the Youth Award, with a joint award being made to twin sisters Liv and Jess Johnson, who received the award for their voluntary work with 7th Knutsford Brownies as part of their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The Community Award shield was presented to the Knutsford and District Talking Newspaper who for over 45 years have been supporting the visually impaired community by providing a free audio recording of the Knutsford Guardian to ensure they are kept informed of community news. The Talking Newspaper has only ever missed four editions (due to Covid) over the past four decades!
Three recipients were presented with a Civic Award; this award goes to individuals or groups of individuals who work to make Knutsford a better place.
The first award went to Rob Lyons for over a decade of leadership at 1st Knutsford Scouts and volunteering his skills as a joiner and plumber to undertake much of the fit out of the new 1st Knutsford Scout Hut.
The second Civic Award was for Judy Clifford who was described in a nomination as being a “mother figure and friend to many” at the Welcome. Judy, who has also taught many people to knit and supported neighbours through challenging times, was unable to attend the award ceremony.
The final Civic Award of 2023 was presented to Gemma Jackson, founder and leader of the Wrap Up Knutsford group. Gemma’s many nominations praised her dedication in supporting local families and ensuring good coats are recycled for those who need them
The 2023 Business Award was presented to Tatton Perk. Proprietor Mark Lee-Kilgariff has ensured Tatton Perk is a central part of the local community, using their Moor Park site as a warmth bank over winter, introducing free bike checks for visitors and supporting a number of community organisations with prizes.
Before the Business Award was presented a Mayor’s Special Award was announced for Dan Belcher of Guy’s Barbers. Dan received the award in recognition of delivering outstanding customer service whilst battling challenging personal circumstances.
Tatton Perk was called back onto stage for the Knutsford School’s for Sustainability Award, and was presented this award by Alison Hooper, head of Egerton School, on behalf of the local schools. This award recognises sustainable business practices.
The final award was the Extra Mile Award which goes to someone who, in their paid employment, has gone above and beyond for the benefit of the local community with the 2023 award going to Jack Street of Johnsons the Cleaners. Jack was singled out for his kind and patient support to customers which has enabled the older members of the community who may struggle with some of the technology they are asked to use to access the various services on offer.
Speaking at the awards, Town Mayor Cllr Mike Houghton said “I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to submit a nomination this year. These awards would not happen without you. I know previous Mayor’s have said this too but it really is true – those who were shortlisted should be so incredibly proud.”