Worthy winners celebrated at Town Awards ceremony

On Thursday 14th July, on a sunny summer’s evening at Thame Barns Centre, seven Town Awards were presented to community-minded individuals, groups, and businesses.

The awards ceremony was hosted by The Mayor of Thame, Councillor Paul Cowell, who welcomed this year’s winners and their guests, people who had nominated the winners, members of the Town Awards panel, councillors, Town Council staff, and sponsors. This year’s Town Awards were generously sponsored by Red Kite Radio, Helpful Hirings, and The HR Agency. The Mayor thanked everyone who had made a nomination this year. The list of everyone who received a nomination can be found on the ‘Thame Town Awards’ Facebook page.

The winners were announced as:

  • Neal Johnson – Mayor’s Special Award
  • Clare Seed – Sporting Contribution
  • The Black Horse, Thame – Service with a Smile
  • Roy Lancaster – Volunteer of the Year
  • Wayne Gibson – Creative Arts Achievement
  • Thame & District Round Table 753 – Volunteer Group of the Year
  • Lucy Electric – Company of the Year

After the awards had been presented, some of the Ukrainian families came to surprise Neal Johnson with homemade gifts, flowers, and cards to thank him for all his support. Tetiana and her son then gave an emotional speech to everyone, thanking the community of Thame for making them feel so welcome.

Mayor’s Special Award – Neal Johnson

Neal received this award in recognition of his huge efforts in coordinating Thame’s response to the Ukraine crisis by setting up a Facebook group to connect people and provide an invaluable support network. Neal is an inspiring, selfless volunteer who has been instrumental to creating a safe and welcoming community for Ukrainians in Thame.

Sporting Contribution Award – Clare Seed

Described as the beating heart of Thame Hockey Club, Clare has been integral to the club’s success through her mentoring of younger players, training, and umpiring as well as being a regular player. She also captains the Ladies 3XI who won the league this year.

Service with a Smile Award – The Black Horse Thame

Nominated by several of their customers, The Black Horse won this award for always giving their customers a friendly and professional service and going the extra mile. Their staff were described as hard-working, welcoming, and always smiling.

Volunteer of the Year Award – Roy Lancaster

Roy gives his time to a range of organisations in Thame. From tending gardens at the Red Kite Family Centre, organising the long-standing coffee mornings for senior citizens at the Masonic Hall – which are much appreciated by their attendees – and giving computer and technology lessons at the library. He goes above and beyond to keep people together and cheerful, particularly through the pandemic. He is kind, positive, thoughtful, and unfailingly generous with his time and many talents.

Creative Arts Contribution Award – Wayne Gibson

Through his helpful nature and technical knowledge, Wayne has been key to helping Thame Players Theatre to develop and modernise its technical facilities. Through his excellent communication, he has shared his skills and knowledge to the benefit of local and visiting theatre productions.

Volunteer Group of the Year Award – Thame Round Table

Thame Round Table have been a long-time supporter of many events and activities in Thame. All of their members selflessly give their time to make a positive difference to our town. Come rain or shine their infamous annual Santa Sleigh and Duck Race bring “pure joy” to everyone, all whilst raising lots of money for local charities and causes.

Employer of the Year Award – Lucy Electric

Lucy Electric are committed to giving back to their community, and offer their employees paid leave to undertake volunteering. They have a close working relationship with 21st Century Thame and Thame Green Living on a range of environmental projects. They work closely with the young people of Thame, from promoting biodiversity and STEM subjects in school, to offering work experience placements and equipment donations to schools, and funding to Thame Youth Projects. Lucy Electric are supporters and sponsors of many town events, including Thame Carnival, Taste of Thame, Thame Swimathon, and Christmas celebrations. They are also a key member of the local business community, as regular attendees at the Business Breakfasts and Thame Business Forum.

View photos from the Awards Ceremony

Pictured (L-R): Neal Johnson, Wayne Gibson, Jessica Yates (The Black Horse, Thame), Trent Phillips (The Black Horse, Thame), Lauren Austin (The Black Horse, Thame), Town Mayor Councillor Paul Cowell, Steve Newbury (Thame & District Round Table), Clare Seed, Roy Lancaster, and Cristiana Padilla (Lucy Electric).

Image courtesy of James Tipping.

Date posted: Tuesday 19 July 2022