A chair of governors, a volunteer at Shinfield Youth Players youth group and volunteers from charity ABC to read are the recipients of this month’s Wokingham Borough Mayor’s Roll of Honour awards for outstanding commitment and contributions to the area.
John Prior, nominated by Cllr Keith Baker, is the chair of governors at Addington School in Woodley. Addington School is an outstanding Special School for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
John recently announced he would be standing down from this important role at the end of the year after 23 years of service to the school. He first got involved at the school as a parent governor and has carried out almost every governor role in the school. He has been chairman for more than 10 years. He has always gone the extra mile and been a critical friend of both teachers and pupils.
As chair of governors he oversaw the construction of a new purpose-built building and the complexities of moving the school from one location to another. The school has had three consecutive outstanding Ofsted assessments.
The second recipient for the Mayor’s Roll of Honour Award is Gordon Bird, who was nominated by Cllr Ken Miall. Gordon has spent the past 20 years volunteering at Shinfield Players youth group.
Gordon has spent an enormous amount of his time working with eight to 18 year olds teaching them acting skills and this has included under privileged and disabled children. All of his time has been given freely and involves many nights of the week. He even takes the children to Prague each year for an international competition.
Volunteers from ABC to read have been nominated by the charity’s CEO Marcia Rowlinson. The group supports ten Wokingham Borough Primary Schools.
ABC to read helps bridge this gap in the community and give deprived children more of a chance to succeed in their futures. The project relies on the efforts of community volunteers. These volunteers spend half an hour with each pupil twice a week in school. The child and their mentor pursue a range of literacy-based activities, such as sharing books, playing games and enjoying conversation. This encourages the building of the pupil’s literacy skills, as well as their confidence and self-esteem.
In the annual school evaluations survey it was shown how ABC to read volunteers have had a huge impact on the reading performance and self-confidence of the children it helped.
Cllr John Kaiser, Borough Mayor, said: “John, Gordon and the volunteers at ABC to read go well and truly above and beyond to help others in our community. I’m honoured to acknowledge the effort and contributions they all make. This recognition is thoroughly deserved.”
Any borough resident can be nominated for the award. “We are looking for people who make that extra effort for others,” said Cllr Kaiser. “Maybe by fostering, volunteering or being a carer; there are many thousands of such people out there and we need to hear about them. For children and young people, we would like to hear about those who have overcome adversity.”
To nominate somebody, all you have to do is email the mayor’s office at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations (which can only be made by Wokingham Borough residents) should be no longer than 200 words and set out why the nominee should be considered for the award. For the children’s awards, outstanding achievements in sport or arts will be considered.
Each month Cllr Kaiser and his deputy mayor Cllr Bill Soane will select worthy winners from those people nominated by members of the public. There will be children’s and adults’ categories and each winner will receive a lapel badge and scroll to mark their achievements.
The awards will be given out monthly and the next awards will be presented at March’s council meeting.