The pride and joy of the West Lindsey community have been feted at an annual awards ceremony.
For the sixth year running, West Lindsey District Council’s community awards raised the profile of work carried out by volunteers, groups and local heroes, all of whom ask for nothing in return.
However, their hard work and dedication has not got unnoticed – as they have been nominated for the community awards by the people whose lives they have enriched and supported.
Leading the way and being named as Citizen of the year was Caistor resident Cliff Rust.
A retired firefighter, Cliff was nominated for his ‘tireless and enthusiastic’ voluntary work on behalf of the Caistor community.
He works on a whole range of community projects which directly help the town, such as litter picking and assisting older people with DIY jobs, as well as being a stalwart of the Caistor in Bloom group.
Presenting the award, Coun David Cotton said: “Cliff uses his wide experience of 30 years in the fire service to good effect in getting people motivated and organised - there is no job too big or small for him.
“His dedication has lifted civic pride enormously within the town, and makes Caistor a better place for residents and tourists alike to work, live and play.”
Accepting the award, Cliff said: “I am over the moon.
“It is so nice to be recognised, although you don’t do it for that.
“You need volunteers that want to get involved and in return you do get something out of it, and the town also benefits.”
Market Rasen residents were also recognised, with two of the town’s groups receiving awards.
The Contribution to Sports award went to the Market Rasen and Louth Rugby Club, and in particular Edward Timmins.
The Club runs on the good will of a lot of volunteers and has a positive impact on many young people and adults.
People come from all over the district - as well as further afield - and benefit from the huge amount of time and passion put into the club.
Coun Giles McNeill, who presented the award, said: “It provides a community hub for people to meet, and encourages excellent behaviour in everyone.
“The club is a focus for so much more than just playing rugby. It gives people a focus, keeps young people off the streets, and fills their time with sport and friendship.
“The dedication shown from the volunteers really encourages everyone to take part and it really is an inspiring and vibrant place which has a positive impact on mental wellbeing.”
Edward Timmins said it was great to receive the award and that he wasn’t expecting to win.
He continued: “It is very rewarding because you can really see a difference in children.
“Rugby is more than just a sport, it teaches discipline and respect, and it suits people of all abilities and there is a place for them at the club.
“It is like one big family.”
Market Rasen’s station restoration project has received a lot of attention, including a Royal visit, and now the Market Rasen Station Community Project team has received the award for Contribution to Arts and Culture Award.
The completed refurbishment of Market Rasen Station has allowed local people to visit this much loved building and see it brought back into everyday use.
Presenting the award, Coun David Cotton said the building holds a strong memory for many and by bringing it back from the brink, has raised the collective spirit of everybody in town.
He continued: “To see it in a derelict stage was depressing and upsetting, especially for people waiting for trains.
“Now people are proud of their station.
“The restoration of the building involved many people from the local community, and without hardworking volunteers driving the project forward, it would never have happened.”
Ian Hind and Daniel Clark, who are both on the board of the Market Rasen Station Community Project, collected the award.
Ian was the designer on the project and saw it through from planning to completion.
Daniel said his main role was getting the community involved, as well as Lindum, who both Daniel and Ian work for.
He said: “This award is for everyone who was involved in the project and it wouldn’t be what it is today without everyone’s support.”
The awards evening was hosted by West Lindsey District Council Chairman Coun Pat Mewis.
She said: “It was good to see so many people at the awards ceremony, and I thank all the nominees and their guests for attending.
“These awards are a way to honour the outstanding members of our district’s communities and to recognise the numerous people who give up their free time to make West Lindsey a better place.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to The Glanford and Lindsey Lions, who have once again sponsored the trophies.”
Other winners included: Nettleham Festive Market - Community group or Club; Jessica Gibbard - Young Citizen of the Year; Susan Stanton - Good Neighbour; Ellie Hallam - Chairman’s Special Award.