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Issue 319 – Vote for your Person of the Year!

The nominees for Frome Times’ Person of the Year 2010 competition have been compiled, and now Frome Times readers are being asked to cast their vote on who they think should be crowned the winner.

Last month, Frome Times asked readers to nominate their ‘person of the year’ – somebody in the town who deserves recognition for their outstanding actions over the past year or who has had the biggest impact on life in the town. The nominees are as follows:

Diana Bowen
Current chair of the Coalway Lane Residents’ Association, Diana Bowen, who will see her eleventh year in the post this year, volunteers to work in support of the Coalway Lane residents. Diana was responsible for ensuring that the commercial development, Commerce Park, is developed in a way that does not adversely impact the lives of the hundreds of families there.
Her nominator said, “Her efforts in leading her committee and co-ordinating their efforts have been applied to the site and that the development is continually monitored to ensure that the quality of life of the residents is not harmed by default. Her work during the last year has been as energetic as ever. Many people living in the area are unaware of the huge amount of hours that she has contributed to keep their home lives from being spoilt by the development.”
Diana said, “I’m caught a bit off guard! But it really is a community thing, one person couldn’t do it. There is a brilliant group of people and an excellent committee involved. We have an acoustics engineer who completes a large proportion of the technical work, a real asset. Everyone on the committee or who has been involved deserves all the praise.”

Diana Burroughs
Diana has volunteered her time to helping young people and church groups in and around Frome. Diana volunteers at the Arkade Youth Club, where young people can meet on Friday nights and gives her time to help out with Healing On The Streets, an opportunity to pray with people on the streets of Frome. Diana also helps out at St Mells First School, providing a ‘Bible and Buns’ after- school group. She is also a keen member of HOPEFrome; a Christian group who volunteer their time to provide practical action in Frome, such as assisting at the Food Festival and collecting at the carnival.
Her nominator said, “Since she came to the Frome area, Diana has thrown herself whole-heartedly into many volunteering activities organised by the Christians of Frome. Di can always be relied upon to help at any event that is running. She is also someone who does her best to live out the ideals of Christianity and does not hesitate to help anyone in need.”

Val Carpenter
When Val moved to Frome 35 years ago she was determined to get involved in the community and since then has been involved with many local groups, organisations, and causes. Val spends much of her time at Frome Community Hospital, where she works part-time as a receptionist. She is also a Friend of the Hospital and for the last 14 years she has organised the summer fete, raising money for the hospital.
Val has been involved with the Frome Carnival since 1975. She was secretary for a period and then took on the role as chaperone to the junior carnival queens for many years. These days, s­­he still dresses up “as something silly and goes out with a collection bucket.” She has also been a Poppy Appeal collector in the town for five years.
On being told of her nomination Val said, “I’m quite taken aback! I just generally help anybody. My husband would say it’s because I can’t sit still for 5 minutes but it’s just because I enjoy it all. I just help anyone who wants help, I enjoy doing it. I moved to Frome 35 years ago and I love it. I tried from day one to get involved in the community and I love everything I do.”
Val’s nominator said, “To her friends and neighbours Val is supportive and kind. People like Val do the voluntary work which often goes unnoticed.”

Rosie Eliot
Rosie Eliot works as the community fundraiser for Frome-based charity Positive Action on Cancer (PAC). She has held the role for two years, fundraising for the charity which offers a free counselling service to those in the area who have been affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses.
Rosie said, “I’m flattered [to be nominated], that’s the main word. It’s so kind and I’m so excited! As a community fundraiser you do everything you can to involve the community by raising funds in order to help the charity survive. It’s basically having lots and lots of ideas and carrying them out.
“I particularly like the fact it is a varied post, and I meet lots of people every day and do lots of different things on a daily basis, and I’m constantly being challenged.”
One of Rosie’s latest fundraising projects is a recipe book “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner,” with chefs around Frome contributing to the book.
The nominator said, “She is endlessly enthusiastic and creative in her approach and has really put the spotlight on the charity, raising a huge amount of money and awareness in the process.”

Mike Hall
Mike has been employed to clean the streets of Frome for the last six years. However, his work for the town often goes far beyond the call of duty. Just one example of his contribution to Frome was seen at the end of last year when he worked tirelessly on a Saturday morning to clear the pavements after heavy snow, so that people could get to the shops and facilities in the town centre. He is also often seen out on Sunday mornings picking up the debris of the night before.
Mike’s nominators described him as being “always so happy, cheerful, and thoughtful about people,” and “always giving a word of enquiry or support when needed to residents of Frome.”
Mike said, “I do it because I work for the people of Frome. If you’ve got a place clean and tidy, people actually respect it all. I don’t get paid for everything I do – sometimes I’m out when I shouldn’t be out and if I see litter I try and sort it.
“It’s quite nice [to be nominated] after all this time. I really thank the Frome Times and the Frome people for this.”
One of his nominators summed up, “Mike is a truly rare individual, and one of Frome’s treasures; someone who carried out his public job – and a hard, dirty one at that – way beyond the call of duty and with cheerfulness and a genuine care for Frome and its people.”

Marjorie Morris
Marjorie Morris has dedicated much of her time to voluntary work in the community since moving to Frome 12 years ago. Her main commitment is running Frome S.O.D.A. (Society of Disabled Artists), who meet weekly and give an opportunity for artistic expression and socialisation for people of all ages in Frome and the area who have physical disabilities which make it difficult for them to attend other classes.
Marjorie also volunteers with the visually impaired pottery group, is a member of Frome’s branch of Save the Children, and also stewards for the Frome Festival.
Marjorie explained, “I’d retired from being head of special needs at a large comprehensive of 1,500 and we moved here not knowing anyone. Volunteering is a good way of getting to know people! I enjoy what I do, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. SODA is my big commitment, they’re such a fantastic group and I look forward to our sessions. We always enjoy the involvement with the Frome Festival and we’ve had an exhibition for the last few years at St Johns.”

Trevor Phillips
Trevor has worked at Lloyds Pharmacy in Stonebridge for around three years. He has around 30 years of experience, including dispensing prescriptions at the busy branch.
His nominator said, “He is unrecognised but always there and available, even on call if need be, available without appointments, can be consulted after only a few minutes’ wait, Whose services are free to the patient, and who saves so many lives?!”
Trevor said, “It’s a shock [to be nominated], but I’m pleasantly surprised! It’s the personal contact I enjoy, and the ability to use my talents to help people. I really wouldn’t want to sell timeshares!”
Trevor is also involved in local choirs in Frome and Corsley.

Helen Sprawson-White
Mayor of Frome, cllr Helen-Sprawson-White was elected as a councillor for Frome in 2007, representing the Oakfield ward. In May 2010, Helen was appointed by her fellow councillors as Mayor of Frome, making her the youngest ever female mayor. Helen, who has lived in Frome nearly all her life, raises money for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, with fund-raisers and events throughout the year.
The nominator said, “The work as mayor that she carries out for Frome is absolutely incredible, she has really raised the profile. She also has her own facebook page and spreads the word that way.”

Scott Whittock
Old Ford resident Scott will be celebrating his tenth year as a postman this month, delivering to the Market Place, Bath Street and Catherine Hill.
Scott’s friendly app-roach to delivering the post has won him many friends on the round and he is popular among traders in the town.
His nominator said, “Scott is always cheerful and is wonderfully efficient at his job. Our mail has never gone astray with Scott on the job!”
Scott said, “I do enjoy the work. I pop my head in and talk to those I deliver to. We have a laugh and talk about the weather. They know who I am, it is great fun.”

Dave & Shirley Wort
This year marks 10 years of fundraising for Frome couple Dave and Shirley Wort, who have been working to raise funds for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). In that time, they have raised £28,000 for the charity, which has bought valuable medical equipment for the town.
Dave and Shirley’s son Julian died suddenly at the age of 28 in March 2000, after suffering from an undiagnosed heart problem called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. They started fundraising the year after, and over the years they have run events from discos, coffee mornings and tombolas, while members of the community have come forward with events and donations.
The money they raise for CRY goes into a special ringfenced fund in memory of Julian, which means that what they raise stays local. They have donated two ECG machines, one to Frome Medical Practice and one to Frome Community Hospital, as well as two defibrillators for the hospital.
Shirley said they are “ecstatic” to have raised so much. “If what we’ve raised to help get a piece of equipment only saves one life, that makes us happy. And it raises awareness,” she explained. “We’ve done it just by plodding on, we’ve not had any big committee members behind us. It’s keeping Julian’s memory alive, he had so many good friends and all our family.”

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