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Festival president wins Somerset Volunteer award

Martin Bax MBE receives his award.

Martin Bax MBE receives his award.

FORMER Frome Mayor and president of the Frome Festival, Martin Bax, has been awarded winner of the 2014 Somerset Volunteer ‘Star’ award in the Mendip area.

The first Somerset volunteer ‘Star’ award was made at County Hall on Thursday 17th July.  Cllr William Wallace, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, made the presentation.

To coincide with National Volunteer week Somerset County Council decided to celebrate volunteering in Somerset. The event was organised by the Somerset ‘You Can Do’ team on behalf of the Somerset ‘Celebrating Support’ group.

They invited people to nominate volunteers in their area and a winning nominee from each of the districts was picked by cllr Wallace.

Serving as a town and district councillor and a former Mayor of Frome, Martin is the president of the Frome Festival which he founded in 2001. He was the director of the festival for the first seven years of its existence. He was also a founding trustee of Rook Lane Arts Trust and is currently its chairman. Over the years he has been involved in various organised fundraising events for local charities and organisations.

Martin said, “When I first heard that I had been nominated for this award, I was completely taken aback. My first reaction was that there must be more deserving people in the caring sector. However, the organisers informed me that one of the objects of the award was to highlight the wide variety of volunteering work that is done in Somerset. I am also pleased this award will highlight the good work done by so many volunteers in Frome. I like to think I am accepting this award on their behalf.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony, cllr Wallace praised volunteers for their efforts. He said, “It is fantastic that we can recognise just a few of our dedicated volunteers here today. These individuals can be extremely proud of the selfless work they undertake in our county.

“Volunteers are unsung heroes that do so much without asking for anything in return and I would personally like to thank all volunteers in Somerset for their work.”

Bryan Mitchell, manager of the Somerset ‘You Can Do’ team said, “It’s been a fantastic privilege to have coordinated Somerset Celebrating Volunteering and particularly the Somerset Star Volunteer awards. To have over 150 nominations in the first year has been amazing and shows how much people in Somerset value volunteers. I am looking forward to next year and the chance to meet even more Somerset Star Volunteers.”

The prizewinners will each have a star named after them, an imaginative and memorable way of commemorating their achievements. To find out more about the awards and the winners see

Pictured: Martin Bax (left) receives his Somerset Volunteer Star award for the Mendip area, presented by cllr William Wallace.