Our mayor, Councillor John Clark, presented this year’s Annual Community Awards last evening in the Gill Nethercott Centre. The yearly awards are given to local people nominated by fellow Whitchurch residents, for their outstanding service, kindness or commitment to individuals or the community as a whole.


This year, three women were honoured: Val Newall, Beth Wright and Jean Watts. Beth’s award was accepted on her behalf by her husband Steve, as she is feeling under the weather at the moment.

Val Newall

Val runs the Whitchurch Barbershop in London Street and received her award for her many good deeds including taking handicapped children away on holidays, her extreme kindness and consideration for sick people, and her visits to housebound and terminally ill people to trim their hair, helping them to retain their independence and dignity.

Beth Wright, in 2009

Beth received her award for her tireless work to protect our environment, including setting up the Whitchurch Sustainability Forum.  Beth is also the driving force behind the “Community Groups Together” forum which brings together the many and varied groups and organisations to co-ordinate events and activities.

Jean Watts

Jean received her award for her varied contributions to our community, people and groups. She was a long serving Governor at Whitchurch CofE Primary School and still takes part in helping children there. She was an active contributor to the Whitchurch Design Statement and is a Trustee and Secretary of the Whitchurch Association. Many first met Jean in the early days of the Gill Nethercott Centre, as she was one of the volunteers who got the Centre up and running. She often gives lifts to people needing to go to hospital and offers other kindly assistance.


Wendy Sperry, just retired as Library Manager

The event is also The Mayor’s Reception, an opportunity for the mayor to express thanks to people in the community who are also worthy of appreciation and thanks. This year, he honoured our local police officers and firemen; representative officers of the Borough and County Councils, and Basingstoke Voluntary Services, with whom the Town Council works closely. The gathered crowd was reminded of the Volunteer Fair being held this Saturday morning in the Gill Nethercott Centre.

The mayor also made a special mention of Wendy Sperry who just retired from her post as Library Manager.

The full text of the mayor’s reception speech and the award winners’ nominations is available on the Town Council website HERE.