A voluntary worker who “always has time for people” has been nominated for this year’s Citizen of the Year award.
Richard Clarke has become a mainstay of the community in Sydenham over the last few years, particularly the Syndi Centre.
The 46-year-old, of Fallow Hill, helps organise events, works on the Syndi Centre reception and helps out in the kitchen.
His voluntary work includes helping youngsters, disabled groups, the elderly and treasurer of the Fallow Hill Residents’ Association.
Richard also “looks out for the elderly” in his neighbours, and if he can’t help, one of his four sons, aged from 20 to 10, will.
His neighbour Lillian Brocklehurst nominated him, and said: “Richard goes that extra mile for everybody.
“He organises community events, helps at events and on the reception.
“Richard never moans or whinges and always has time for people. ”
Richard said he felt “honoured and surprised” by the nomination. And modestly said: “It’s not just me that helps at the Syndi Centre. I’m just a small part of large group of volunteers.”
Richard started his voluntary work after becoming unemployed after suffering a serious injury in a car crash.
“Rather than sitting around getting bored, helping out was something to keep me occupied. Someone was interested in starting a football and asked for a bit of advice, and it just snowballed from there.”
Helping at the Syndi Centre is also a bit of a family affair – his wife Tracy is cafe manager on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The campaign to find the Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year - which recognises individuals most deserving of the awards - is now in its third year, and managed by The Brakes Trust in conjunction with the Leamington Courier, Warwick Courier and Kenilworth Weekly News
Nominations of no more than 150 words listing the qualities of the individual must be marked “Coty” including the name, address, phone number of the sponsor and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or hand delivered to Courier offices at 32, Hamilton Terrace, Leamington Spa CV32 4LY no later than Monday, September 2. Any young citizen must be no older than 16 on the closing date. There were over 20 nominations last year and the quality was so high that the judges’ panel encourages readers to nominate the same individuals again.
The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance is this year’s charity. The Gala Award ceremony will be at the Guy Nelson Hall, Warwick School, Warwick, on Sunday September 29.