No Sidmouth or Ottery winners in county transport awards

THE winners of this year s community transport awards have been announced.

THE winners of this year's community transport awards have been announced.

Several new categories were included for the first time at the ceremony, organised by Devon County Council, which honours those who have made outstanding contributions to community transport.

Pauline May was named the first winner of the Outstanding Lifetime Contribution award, recognising her 16 years of service with Newton Abbot Shopmobility, where over the years she has been everything from a volunteer, trustee, part-time employee and full time employee.

Paid staff were included at the awards for the first time with the new category of Employee of the Year going to Terry Chapple. Ring and ride driver Terry, who has worked for Go North Devon for the past 12 years, was particularly praised for his efforts during this year's harsh winter. Terry went above and beyond the call of duty by arranging a house swap from his home in Loxhore to Barnstaple town centre to ensure he was available for work. He also collected prescriptions and delivered essential shopping on foot for passengers he could not get to safely by minibus.

The Best Fundraising Campaign/Event went to independent charity KingsCare League of Friends, based at Kingsteignton Medical Practice, for raising funds for a new vehicle for people with serious mobility problems.

The award for Outstanding People Development went to Exeter Community Transport Association for putting volunteers through NVQs in Customer Service and Business and Administration, and the Most Innovative Project was awarded to the North Devon Theatres Transport Group for its work to provide a wheel-chair accessible minibus for disabled theatre goers to travel to the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe and the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple.

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Ann Wilson was named Community Transport Volunteer of the Year.

She was recognised for her voluntary work with Tavistock Area Support Services over the past three years, dealing with everything from drivers to CRB checks, induction programmes and raising funds.

Volunteer awards were also presented to:

Bert Cloke of Torridge Community Transport Association, Barbara Davies of Ivybridge and District CTA, Nina Dutton of Tiverton and District CTA, Jean Harris of the Friends of Mount Pleasant Health Centre, Fred Lang of Kings Care League of Friends, Arran Wilkins of the Exeter Community Transport Association.

All nominations were considered by a judging panel consisting of representatives from Devon County Council, the Community Council of Devon & Involve - Voluntary Action in Mid Devon.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "We received plenty of nominations that were worthy of an award so there were certainly no easy decisions for the judging panel. This award ceremony is a small way to recognise the efforts of those involved in community transport and this year's new categories provided even more opportunity to honour those who made such important contributions to our local communities. Not everyone can win an award but all of those involved have shown outstanding dedication and commitment that deserves our thanks.