The Aylesbury heroes who do our town proud

Former mayor Ranjula Takodra presents an award to Callum Hilton, 11
Former mayor Ranjula Takodra presents an award to Callum Hilton, 11

Stars of Aylesbury’s communityhave been recognised by the town’s mayor.

People who received awards from outgoing mayor Ranjula Takodra’s awards have all gone well beyond the call of duty in their commitment to helping others less fortunate than themselves.

One such person is Martina Stewart, 43, of Conway Close, who despite suffering from Cerebral Palsy since birth, consistently gives up her time to help the Royal British Legion.

She won the adult award for her support of the poppy appeal, fundraising activities and supporting the legion.

She said: “It’s not just me that does things there’s others out there.

“I like helping people, we have all got to give something back in life.

“I’m very privileged in my life.

“There’s always someone who’s worse off in life than me. If someone comes to me and I don’t know the answers I will go find out for them.”

She said she got involved after the support they offered when she lost a close companion who was in the forces.

She added that having medically retired in 2000 she now relishes getting involved with the community.

Shirley Allen, who nominated Martina, said: “She is very courageous and brave, thinking of other people.

“She needs to be recognised, not just as a young women sitting in an electric powered vehicle but because of all she does.

“She has touched many peoples hearts.”

Eleven-year-old Callum Hilton, of Coventon Road, acts as a primary carer to his mum and received the child/youth award.

Despite his mum receiving assisted care for an hour each day, it is Callum who provides more full-time care.

His mum said “I couldn’t be prouder of my son, especially as he’s going through so many changes himself.

“He very rarely complains.”

Richard and Shoshana Willetts were recognised for their community events scheme which the couple run in Quarrendon.

The scheme, Community Unity Projects, has been running for nine years and puts on events for all ages such as community breakfasts, lunch groups, music lessons and dance groups and pantomimes, as well as managing their own media facilities.

Mr Willetts said: “We have a little team of people who help us out.

“Most of the projects are free or very low priced.

“We wanted to make a difference in the community.

“When you do stuff locally you start to influence a lot more people.

“You see hundreds of people through the door.

“ I find it tremendously rewarding.”

Linda Lewis won the last award for her role in providing support to many of her neighbours by organising and supporting senior citizen parties held each year.

She also helps her neighbours simply by cooking or just being there for a chat with them.

Neighbours and those who nominated Linda said that she is understanding and considerate, someone they can trust and rely on.

She is an incredibly selfless individual and the often unsung member of a community who knits together a whole group of people who may feel alone or vulnerable.

Mrs Takodra said she was very proud to see the differences these people had made in the past year.

The Liberal Democrat councillor said: “These exceptional people make a real contribution to the friendliness and co-operation found within our communities.

“All the people recognised by the awards have proved that by just giving that little bit extra time and commitment they have made a big difference to the community life in our town of Aylesbury.

“They are an example to us all. ”