Community Volunteer Awards scheme
Leighton-Linslade Town Council is thrilled to announce the launch of its new Community Volunteer Awards scheme, to thank and recognise those who have given at least five years of voluntary service to the benefit of the town.
The closing date for the 2021 awards was 31 October 2020 so we cannot currently accept any further nominations. We will be inviting nominations for the 2022 awards from next summer.
The Council was thrilled to receive nominations for nine Community Volunteers for the 2021 awards. In a normal year, up to three awards will be presented. The Council is currently considering nominations and successful awards will be announced in January 2021, for presentation in February 2021.
Throughout November we are welcoming nominations for our Young People Awards (age 12-19) Do you know someone who deserves to be recognised? Find out more and submit your nomination here.
General Grants can be used for specific projects to benefit the community, which can be completed within twelve months. General grants are up to a maximum of £500 (£250 for start-up organisations). General grant applications are considered twice per year, in April/May and in November. The types of projects to be funded could include purchase of equipment, training of volunteers, marketing activity or subsidising a trip or visit.
Grant applications are now closed. The six applications received in October 2020 were considered by committee on Monday, 2 November 2020. We are thrilled to be making grant funding available to 1st Linslade Rainbows, 7th Leighton Buzzard Brownies, Friends of Greenleas School, T.S. Ocean Naval Cadet Corps, 1st Leighton Buzzard Scouts and the 1st Bedfordshire Inclusive Girlguiding Unit.
We will be inviting new General Grant applications for the financial year 2021-22 from early 2021.
Guaranteed Grants for amounts over £500 per year are available for a four-year period. Twelve local organisations received this funding for the four year period 2016-2020, enabling the continued provision of events and services in and around the town.
In May 2020, new applications for the four-year period 2020-2024 were considered by committee. The applicants and projects being funded can be seen here:
Beyond the Grants detailed above, the Town Council is proud to support Leighton-Linslade Citizens Advice and Leighton-Linslade Music Centre with grant funding to allow them to maintain their services to the local community. Both organisations have agreed funding for a 5-year period to the end of the current financial year.
The Town Council established a scheme in 2007 to recognise the voluntary efforts of up to three individuals per year who have served a wide sector of the community. Recipients awarded the title of “Honorary Burgess of Leighton-Linslade” receive an engraved badge and a scroll at a presentation ceremony as well as having their names added to a board in the Council Chamber at the White House.
At a meeting of Leighton-Linslade Town Council held on 27 January 2020, it was unanimously agreed to present the 2020 Honorary Burgess award to Mary Cheshire and John Halstead. Mary was nominated for her work litter picking along the river in all weathers and John was nominated for his many years as a local school governor, his involvement in the Town Twinning Forum and his years as a member of the Rotary Club of Leighton-Linslade. The awards were presented by Town Mayor Councillor David Bowater at the well attended annual Civic Service, which took place at All Saints Church on Sunday, 23 February 2020.
The 2020 awards mean that a total of 28 “unsung heroes” have received the Honorary Burgess award since its inception. All recipients have undertaken at least 5 years of voluntary service to the benefit of our town – and in many cases, significantly longer. However, a change in legislation regarding parish council powers in recent years means that 2020 will be the final year of the Honorary Burgess award in its current form. The same legislation permitted the Town Council to award its first ever Honorary Freeman award to Mr Walter (Wally) Randall in November 2019. The Honorary Freeman is now the only civic award the Town Council is empowered to give.
Leighton-Linslade Town Council voted unanimously at an extraordinary meeting held on Monday, 14 October 2019 to confer the title of Honorary Freeman of the parish on Mr Walter (Wally) Randall.
Mr Randall is the first ever resident of the town to be given this title, which was presented by Town Mayor Councillor David Bowater after the annual Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday, 10 November 2019.
The suggestion to confer the title on Mr Randall was made in recognition of his years of voluntary service to the community. On being told of the honour, Mr Randall said “I am delighted and honoured to be receiving this title from the Town Council”.
Read more about the Honorary Freeman presentation.