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Town awards for Rotary in Frome and ‘tireless’ volunteer

THE winners of Frome’s Group of the Year and Person of the Year 2021 have been revealed!

Frome Times editor Ian Drew presents the Group of the Year trophy to Dot Cretney and members of
Rotary in Frome.

The three Rotary Clubs in the town; the Rotary Club of Frome, Frome Town Rotary, and Frome Selwood Rotary; known collectively as Rotary in Frome, have been awarded Group of the Year and local volunteer Pam Curtis has been chosen as Person of the Year.

The winners of the competition, run by Frome Times, were chosen by Frome’s mayor, cllr Andy Wrintmore, and Frome Times editor, Ian Drew, following nominations made by local people.

Group of the year winner, Rotary in Frome, was nominated for its wide-ranging service and fundraising activities, which have benefited the Frome community as well as local, national and international charities.

In 2021, Rotary in Frome opened a ‘pop-up’ charity shop in the Westway Centre, which helped the group raise money for local charities, and provided a shop for residents to obtain bargains, as well as stop unwanted materials going to landfill.

Throughout the year they supported numerous community events including Glow in the Dark, Frome Cheese Show, Frome Carnival’s Fete, the Frome Half Marathon, and the Christmas Float. 

And last year they provided over £71,000 of financial support in the local community, with over £65,000 going to 22 local schools, charities and support groups; and £6,000 used to support 22 families in need of help.

Their nomination said, “The diverse and extensive work carried out by the three Rotary Clubs is unique to a town of this size and shows a real commitment to the community as a whole.”

Person of the year, Pam Curtis, was nominated for her numerous volunteering roles within the community. 

Person of the Year, Pam Curtis with editor, Ian Drew.

Her nomination said, “All through the pandemic she has been a volunteer driver, taking people to appointments; volunteered for long hours in the Covid testing regime at the college; worked as a Trustee of Frome Men’s Shed, including assisting with strategies and improvements to prepare the Shed for safe opening in the face of Covid restrictions; worked to organise and develop the Frome Women’s Shed; volunteered at the Dorothy House charity shop; helped Syrian neighbours with language and literacy skills and hospital trips; worked to keep the town notice boards up to date; worked as part of the Frome Litter Warriors group, and the railway station group; delivered prescriptions; designed, and organised teams to make banners for the Town Hall out of recycled materials. 

“And all through this, she behaves in as environmentally conscious a manner as possible. She is a modest but tireless contributor to the welfare of this town.”

About her award, Pam told Frome Times, “I am shocked, dumbstruck, disbelieving and amazed!” 

All three Rotary clubs which make up the group ‘Rotary in Frome’, have told Frome Times that they would like to thank their members, family, friends and supporters for the hard work and commitment in making Rotary a true success in the work it does.

President of Frome Selwood Rotary, Guy Parkinson said, “It is good to think that the service and support that Rotary has given to Frome over the years has been recognised. This award will raise Rotary’s profile in the community, enabling us to do more work and show potential recruits and new members the opportunities there are to support and give something back to their communities.” 

President of Frome Town Rotary, Becky Bird said, “We owe a big vote of thanks to our supporters throughout the town as without their help, we could not have the same positive impact in supporting those in need.” 

Joint President of the Rotary Club of Frome, Jerry Lewis said, “Rotary in Frome is important because the three clubs have different approaches, with the same goal of supporting and helping a wide range of people within the Frome community and in a variety of situations. Working together allows us to pool resources when necessary and therefore to be far more effective in our support of other Frome charities and deserving causes. In particular this year, Rotary in Frome have come together to open and staff the charity shop in the Westway Centre. 

“Rotary in general is a fantastic way to use some of your spare time to help others and to make great friendships here, nationally and overseas. Anyone who would like to join Rotary is most welcome.”

Joint President of the Rotary Club of Frome, Chris Page added, “This year, Rotary in Frome has come together, in addition to the charity shop, to support many events such as the Half Marathon, the Cheese Show and Glow in the Park.  

“Rotary in Frome working together is looking forward to organising and supporting many new events in the coming year.”

Runners up 

The other nominees for Person of the Year 2021 were: Lucy McMahon in recognition of her work for Frome Birth Talk, co-ordinating their free counselling service for pregnant and new mothers on a voluntary basis; Rose Santucci, the manager of SK Fruits, for her “endless good humour, desire to please and supply of smiles”, throughout the pandemic despite the challenges small businesses were under; Heather Cox for her work as a safeguarding assistant at Frome College, her volunteering work for Dorothy House Hospice Care, and her active role in the community; from fashion shows to supporting local theatre; Maureen Ballam for her 50 years of service to the Oxfam charity shop in Frome; and Morag Stewart for her role at Frome Community Cars, and for taking people in her own car to appointments.  

The other nominees for Group of the Year 2021 were: Frome Community Cars, the volunteer service that provides transport for people who have difficulty accessing local bus services or are unable to drive, for going “above and beyond” during 2021; and local charity, The Pod – who run several projects supporting young people with additional needs and their families – for adapting to changing Covid-rules and restrictions to ensure support was always available.


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