Outgoing Mayor honours community champions
Four inspirational community champions have been chosen to be given special awards by Basingstoke and Deane’s outgoing Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor. The outgoing Mayor traditionally gives awards to individuals and a business at the annual Mayor Making ceremony. But this year with COVID restrictions, they have had to be presented separately. Cllr Diane Taylor’s awards honoured Lorraine Anstey for her work with the homeless; cadet leader Mike Bowler; round the world adventurer James Ketchell for inspiring young people; and the 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park and Family Farm for innovative ideas, diversity and support for charities. The Mayor welcomed three of the award recipients on Tuesday 25 May at the Civic Offices to thank them for the contribution they have made – and continue to make – to community life in the borough. Mr Ketchell was unable to come and will be presented with his award separately. Cllr Taylor said: “These community champions all share two qualities - commitment and drive - to improve the quality of life for others, lift their spirits and make the borough a better place to live and thrive. Each award is given with thanks to them for making such a great contribution to the whole community.” Lorraine Anstey has worked with homeless and vulnerable people at the Night Light Winter Shelter and is Project Leader of the Dwelling Place – a first home for street homeless people. The Mayor said: “Her award is not just for all her hard work on these projects; Lorraine genuinely cares for every disadvantaged person that she meets. Her solutions see them through difficulties, support them through traumas and ensure that they know they have someone who truly cares. That is real support for the homeless.” Mike Bowler has been an army cadet leader for many years and has given great support at civic events. The Mayor said: “Despite his physical limitations, he has been absolutely steadfast in his support of his cadets. He always helped to organise events at which the cadets are present, and his unfailing service at civic and commemorative events has been really excellent.” The Mayor’s business award went to 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park and Family Farm in Headley for its charity support and providing fun for everybody. Cllr Taylor commented: “4 Kingdoms has increased its attractions to give visitors a varied and enjoyable day out, greatly helped by a dedicated staff who all have a sense of fun and inclusivity and go out of their way to give personal care. 4 Kingdoms consistently use the park to support a variety of charities with their themed events and they demonstrate and teach care and respect for animals.” Round-the-world adventurer James Ketchell’s achievements include a global flight in an open-cockpit gyrocopter in 2019. He previously completed the Ultimate Triathlon – rowing solo across the Atlantic, reaching the summit of Everest and cycling 18,000 miles around the world. He is also a motivational speaker, and his mission is to inspire a million young people to pursue their own dreams and reach their goals. The Mayor said: “James is a true local hero, having been a pupil at Costello School, and his stories of adventure and achievement have inspired young people all over the world. I wish him well with future projects.”
Photo shows: Front from left to right: Lorraine Anstey, Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor, Darren Lamb of 4 Kingdoms, Mayor's Consort Dr Andy Taylor and Mike Bowler. Back from left to right: from 4 Kingdoms Bon Tathong, Darrell Warren, Ashleigh Crouch and Jordan Hiscock.