A VOLUNTEER has been recognised with the Citizen of the Year award for her years of dedication to serving the community of Fordingbridge.

Janet Brown was presented with the Rotary Club of Fordingbridge accolade during a ceremony on Tuesday at Avonway. She said she was “flabbergasted” to be given the award.

Janet is the chairman of Fordingbridge and District Community Association (F&DCA), which runs Avonway Community Centre, but will be stepping down next week. In addition to this she was chairman of Fordingbridge Historical Society for 18 years, until 2020.

Her involvement with F&DCA began 20 years ago when she responded to an advertisement for a minute secretary. She later became a trustee of the association as well as being a trustee member and secretary for the minibus committee. In 2021, Janet stepped forward to take on the chairman role of the association.

Speaking about her volunteering, she added: “I did it for me as much as anything. I’ve made some wonderful friends. I have got far more out of it. It forces you to learn new things and you are challenged and stretched. It is enjoyable that it what people don’t realise about volunteering.”

“I have enjoyed it immensely. I’m glad I have helped other people,” said Janet.

In his nomination of Janet, Iain Kidson, of F&DCA, said she had given a “huge amount of time, personal commitment and nervous energy to ensuring the rebuilding of the governance team at Avonway so that its future, initially threatened by lack of trustees and successor officers, is now secure”.

Her “instrumental role” in revitalising the historical society was also highlighted.

The nomination citation added: “Her personal expenditure of time, effort, and drive has directly resulted in the survival of two ailing community organisations. Both by virtue of the duration and intensity of her service to the Fordingbridge community and by her refusal to allow personal health problems to restrict her in her determination to serve our community, Janet has demonstrated a commitment to our ideal of “service above self” which makes her a very strong candidate for the Rotary Citizen of the Year Award.”

Janet’s name will be added to the board of honour at the town hall.

Rotary Club president Will Peak added: “It is always humbling to meet these fantastic members of the community and do whatever we can do to recognise all their hard work.”

A donation will be given to Janet’s chosen charity, the Rotary Club.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Fordingbridge and the work it does supporting the local community visit: fordingbridge-rotary.org.uk


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