Mayor highlights the role of volunteers in Stratford

Stratford Mayor Cllr Juliet Short presents the Mayor's Award to Jenny Farrell and Lila Morgan from the League of Friends of Stratford Hospital.

Stratford paid tribute to the army of volunteers involved in the town’s Shakespeare Celebrations last month during a special ceremony at the town hall.

The volunteer reception honoured around 180 selfless individuals, without whose hard work the birthday celebrations would not be possible.

Stratford Mayor Cllr Juliet Short said: “It was humbling going around the room and seeing all these people from all these different organisations who put so much into making the birthday celebrations a success.”

During the volunteer reception, the Mayor’s Award was also presented the League of Friends of Stratford Hospital, in recognition of the group’s critical role in fundraising for the new hospital.

Lila Morgan and Jenny Farrell picked up the award on behalf of the group.

Jenny Farrell said: “It was a complete surprise to get given the award, we had no idea, but it was lovely.

“The people of Stratford have always been so supportive of us and I’m so happy that the new hospital is beginning to take shape. It’s really something for the league of friends to pick up this award in recognition of the hard work everyone has put in over a number of years.”

Cllr Short added: “I decided to give the Mayor’s Award to the League of Friends of Stratford Hospital because I just feel it has been their year. Not only have they excelled in fundraising, but they have been fantastic ambassadors for the hospital, I feel they have gone above and beyond their original remit and I hope they will display their award with pride at the hospital’s new Health and Wellbeing Centre.”

Stratford was not the only town giving out the honours last month, as Tim Porter was named this year’s winner of the Shipston Award.

The winner was announced at last Thursday’s annual town meeting, though Tim was on holiday and unable to attend the presentation.

The award was primarily given to Tim in recognition of the many years of hard work he has put into organising the popular Shipston Proms.

Shipston mayor Cllr Ronnie Murphy said: “It was felt that Tim’s 19-year association with the Shipston Proms, over which time the event has firmly established itself in the town’s calendar, made him a very worthy winner of this award. He’s very modest about his own musical ability, his whole family are great performers and he plays the harmonica with great skill.

“He is a very worthy winner of this year’s Shipston Award.”