A COMMUNITY stalwart in Fordingbridge has been recognised with the Citizen of the Year Award.

Bill Edwards was presented with the Fordingbridge Rotary Club award during a ceremony last week at Avonway in recognition of his services to the community. He also received a cheque, which has been donated to the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Bill said: “I must admit when I first heard about it I was very overcome. I felt there were far more deserving cases.

“It was very emotional.”

The award recognised his “active involvement” with local groups over the years. The 91-year-old has been involved with the Scouting movement for many years. He continues to represent the Scouts on parades, in particular Remembrance Sunday.

The award also recognised his “instrumental” role with the Avon Valley footpath and his involvement with the Monday Club.

For many years Bill has run the Monday Club which arranges day coach trips for those who have little chance for getting out – supporting the frail and elderly and those who are isolated and lonely by giving them an opportunity to socialise.

He also raises money for local causes. And last year, instead of having birthday presents he asked for donations for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Speaking of his volunteering he said: “None of it was really intended. It just happened. I’m only too pleased, as a Scout I was told to use your time wisely and help others if you could and that is how I’ve always gone on.”

A transcript prepared for the awards by the Rotary Club said: “He continues to support many other organisations on a voluntary basis, identifying a need, supporting those in need and raising money for causes he believes in.

“Bill remains determined, resourceful, passionate and motivated well into his nineties. An inspiration to us all.”

Recipients of the Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year award also have their name recorded on the board of honour in the town hall.