A County Durham town honoured a stalwart of community life at a ceremony earlier this week.  Angela Bannister was named Sedgefield’s Citizen of the Year, recognising over 40 years of voluntary work in the town.

The Sedgefield Citizen of the Year Award is organised through a partnership between Sedgefield Town Council, Sedgefield Rotary Club and Sedgefield Development Trust.  Residents were invited to nominate candidates and then a panel of judges (including the immediate previous holder of the award) selected the winner.  The judges chose Angela Bannister for the work she has done during four decades of volunteering for local groups, such as Sedgefield in Bloom, Days In Days Out (DIDO) and a local walking group.

The award, along with a scroll and crystal decanter, was presented during Sedgefield’s Annual Town Meeting in the Parish Hall.  In announcing the award, Mayor of Sedgefield Cllr Chris Lines described Angela as someone who “has selflessly contributed to our community in a huge number of ways over many years” and “a shining example of the many people who make Sedgefield such a special and wonderful place to live”.  

In accepting the award, Angela Bannister confessed to being “totally surprised and overwhelmed” and “for once, speechless”.  Angela had been asked to attend the meeting, ostensibly to collect a cheque for DIDO from the Mayor’s Charity Fund.  Unbeknown to her, family and friends had also been gathering at the back of the Parish Hall to hear the announcement, and were then able to celebrate with Angela.

The evening began with the formal business of Sedgefield’s Annual Town Meeting, with Cllr Mel Carr, the Chair of Sedgefield Town Council, overseeing proceedings.  During the meeting, the town council and other community organisations gave updates on their activities during the last 12 months, and took questions and comments from residents.

On the same evening, Cllr Chris Lines, Mayor of Sedgefield, confirmed that he had raised over £7,200 for good causes during his term of office.  The bulk of the money will be donated to three charities that he has supported throughout the year – the Lullaby Trust, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Friends of Sedgefield Harriers.  At the Annual Town Meeting, Cllr Lines also presented cheques from the Mayor’s Charity Fund to almost 20 local community groups.  For more information about the town council visit www.sedgefieldtowncouncil.gov.uk.