The achievements and contributions made by young people in Basingstoke and Deane have been recognised by the borough’s Mayor with a special award.
At the Mayor-making ceremony on Thursday 17 May, outgoing Mayor Cllr Paul Frankum added a new ‘Mayor’s Youth Award’ to the four others he presented to local people. The presentations were made at the council meeting after Cllr Sean Keating was officially made Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane for 2018/19.
The new Youth Award was given to 19-year-old Zander West from Basingstoke who impressed Cllr Frankum with his drive and determination to support young people, charities and local lesbian, bisexual, gay and trans people and their allies.
With support from the former Mayor and the chairman of the Pride 245 group Simon Bound, youth and community officers, Zander helped to launch Pride 245, a two week celebration in Basingstoke.
In addition, Zander has raised money for Shopmobility Basingstoke by scaling Basingstoke hospital walls dressed as Spider Man; he has taken part in a dance-a-thon with his gran to help a cancer hospice and held a fundraising concert for Merton Pre-school, where he also created a beautiful garden with his friends.
Cllr Frankum said: “During my year as Mayor I met a number of brilliant young people and was impressed with the contributions they make to the borough’s communities. As a result, I have introduced the new Youth Award to the council’s annual presentation.
“I found Zander to be an exceptional young man and therefore decided that he should be the first person in the borough to receive the new award.”
Basingstoke Voluntary Action received the Mayor’s Award for Business in recognition of its tireless work supporting local charity, voluntary and community organisations and in particular, its support for the Mayor’s Community Chest. Kevin Laing and Andy Taylor were presented with the award.
Individual community awards went to Julie Shepherd, a Tesco Chineham Community Champion who also served on the Mayor’s community chest committee; Steven Edney, for his work in the Scout movement and his fundraising efforts for the Brittle Bones Society; and Paula Vallance, who works tirelessly for the Basingstoke Foodbank at Trinity Methodist Church in Sarum Hill.
In total, over £37,000 has been raised for the Community Chest over two years – from May 2016 to May 2018 by Cllr Jane Frankum and Cllr Paul Frankum in their Mayoral roles.
Cllr Paul Frankum said: “These awards aim to recognise just a few of the people and just one of many organisations in the borough who make a huge contribution to the community and regularly improve residents’ lives.
“It is wonderful to celebrate the dedication of all the award winners in helping others, and it’s what makes our borough so great.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane.”