Special accolades for Saddleworth’s volunteers of the year

UNASSUMING community champions have received special accolades from Saddleworth Parish Council.

Paul and Pat Clegg receive their award from Cllr Nicola Kirkham (centre)

Paul and Pat Clegg from Dobcross were chosen as this year’s ‘Volunteers of the Year’ while Ben Hill-Wilson was named ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’.

Paul and Pat received their award from chairman Cllr Nicola Kirkham at a ceremony at The Royal George in Greenfield.

Praising the couple’s commitment, Cllr Kirkham, explained they have been carrying out charity work with Dobcross Village Community for more than 20 years.

She said: “Paul and Pat are responsible for writing and organising the distribution the Dobcross Diary every month throughout area. 

“This diary is a lifeline to some residents as it lets people know when events are taking place in the area and is packed full of useful information. This is done voluntarily by them.

“And, as keen gardeners, they are also responsible for the beautiful flower displays in Dobcross Square through the summer months. 

“It is a real honour to present them with the award,” she declared. “It’s long overdue.”

Speaking after the ceremony, Mr Clegg said: “We are both surprised and thrilled.

“Dobcross has many volunteers who perform various tasks solely for the benefit of the village and its residents and while we feel extremely proud of the award, we are fully aware we are just two among many. Dobcross really is the best place to live,” he declared.

Cllr Kirkham with Ben Hill-Wilson

Meanwhile Cllr Kirkham visited ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ Ben Hill-Wilson, 16, at Dobcross Band Club to present his award.

Ben is a dedicated member of the band, having played tenor horn with them for 10 years, and also helps the smooth running of the band.

He arrives early at rehearsals on Tuesdays and Fridays to help with things from setting up to paperwork, and he also tutors some of the younger players.

The Saddleworth School pupil, who is currently sitting his GCSE exams, said: “I just love music and helping out with the band. I was very pleased to win the award.”

Sue Crook, Chairman of the youth band, heaped praised on the modest teenager: “He helps with anything he can do and just gets on with it. 

“He is an asset to the band. And he is also a very good player!”

Cllr Kirkham added: “When I read the commendation about Ben I thought ‘wow, what an amazing young man’. Nothing is too much trouble for him.”

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