Michelle Salter writes:
The winner of the Hart District Council Chairman’s Award to Fleet Pond Society’s Volunteer of the Year was announced at the Society’s AGM held on Saturday 18th February 2012.
This is the third year of the award, set up by Councillor Sharyn Wheale, to recognise a volunteer or group of volunteers, who members consider has done exceptional service to Fleet Pond or the Fleet Pond Society.
Councillor John Kennett presented the winning trophy to Mandy Saxby for her contribution to the pond in 2011. Mandy ventures out in all weathers to monitor water levels in the marshes, joins the monthly work parties, and manages the Society’s stock of branded clothing. In 2011, she raised £1600 for the Clearwater Campaign after walking for a staggering (literally) 24 hours around the pond.
Geoff Baker, of W C Baker & Son, who was unable to attend the AGM, was named as First Runner-Up and will receive a framed certificate. Geoff, along with his family and staff, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Fleet Pond Society and personally sharpens and services the large stock of tools used by their volunteers, for free.
The Second Runners-Up award was presented to the Last of the Summer Wine team, led by Terry Austin. As Cllr. Kennett commented, “They are named mainly for their dishevelled appearance after a hard mornings work under Terry’s command, rather than for ages that reflect those of the infamous TV oldies of that name.”
This intrepid team have repaired fences, cleaned and repaired the tern islands, erected bat and bird boxes, and built the boat jetty at Kenilworth Road viewpoint. Members include Mandy Saxby, with occasional help from son, Ryan, Cathy Holden, Geoff Dee and Nick Keeley.
Other nominees included Brenda Brown, who won in 2009, Nicolette Pike for her remarkably successful Garden Party in 2011, Vicki Jull for her organisation of the Cattle Lookers, the Christmas Card Campaign and water gauge reading, Jim Storey for his work for the Clearwater Campaign and researches into grant aid, Pat McKenzie for her overall support and amazing quizzes. And finally, Colin Gray…for being Chairman for so long!
Photographs: Michelle Salter