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Bury St Edmunds' Town Mayor says Community Awards ‘are a chance to celebrate acts of sheer altruism’




The Mayor of Bury St Edmunds has spoken to the Bury Free Press about looking forward to celebrating acts of ‘sheer altruism’ and a diverse range of everyday heroes at the 2020 Community Awards.

Cllr Peter Thompson, who has overseen a tricky period for the town council amid the coronavirus pandemic, said the awards shone a spotlight on those who regularly helped others with no expectation of recognition.

“The bit I really like about the Community Awards is that other people nominate the finalists, so there will be an individual who has done something, and they’ve done that through sheer altruism,” he said.

Mayor Peter Thompson at last year's Community Awards	Mark Bullimore Photography.
Mayor Peter Thompson at last year's Community Awards Mark Bullimore Photography.

He added: “The people who are thoroughly deserving of these awards, usually in my eyes, are the people who are not recognised on a daily basis, who operate in the background just doing something for the right reasons.”

The awards will be held at the historic Guildhall in March next year, showcasing the building as a community hub and also the new town council’s headquarters.

Cllr Thompson was keen to stress the importance of holding the awards at the building, which was designed for events like the Community Awards.

The Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds, where the awards will be held next March
The Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds, where the awards will be held next March

“This is exactly what the building’s for,” he said.

“It was designed for community engagement, so when we’re doing something like this, then the natural place to do it, and the right place to do it, is there. And it just makes huge sense.”

As in last year’s inaugural awards, there are eight categories to choose your heroes in, recognising a wide range of residents who have done their bit to help others.

Cllr Thompson said since pairing up with the Bury Free Press last year, when the format of the Community Awards changed from just one or two individuals being recognised for their work to a wider range of individuals and groups, the awards had become more representative of the town’s population than was the case two or three years ago.

Cllr Peter Thompson noted the diversity of winners on offer at last year's awards	Mark Bullimore Photography.
Cllr Peter Thompson noted the diversity of winners on offer at last year's awards Mark Bullimore Photography.

For this years awards, readers will be able to make their nominations online via a dedicated website which will go live on December 1.

Voting will close on January 31, and finalists will be announced in the Bury Free Press on March 5, just under two weeks before the awards ceremony.

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