Sleaford Town Awards - we profile shortlisted nominees of Sleafordian of the Year

Doug and Jean Harrison. EMN-190503-142116001
Doug and Jean Harrison. EMN-190503-142116001

The nominations are now all in and the closing date is past and so over the next few weeks we will be profiling those shortlisted for the 2019 Sleaford Town Awards.

The awards are brought by Sleaford Town Council in partnership with The Sleaford Standard and the eventual winners will be invited to an evening ceremony on Thursday, April 25 at Sleaford Town Hall.

David Marriage. EMN-190503-145017001

David Marriage. EMN-190503-145017001

Our flagship award is that of Sleafordian of the Year and we have three shortlisted candidates for this.

Jean and Douglas Cornford

Jean and Douglas Cornford, who are also nominated for the Community Award, helped set up and took on the running of the Cameraderie Club in 2017 at the Legionnaires Club, starting with 20 members but now, two years later they have over 70. It serves as a means of social interaction with like-minded retired members of the armed forces.

All the members enjoy getting together every Tuesday. They enjoyed a Christmas lunch and go out to breakfast - all arranged by Jean and Doug, who is retired from the RAF. Jean said they are organising trips to the National Arboretum.

Cara Jade Sandy. EMN-190503-152903001

Cara Jade Sandy. EMN-190503-152903001

The couple for many years have been volunteers and members of St Botolph’s Church, serving on the PCC, running the 200 Club, and last year supporting its 800th anniversary.

Jean is usually in charge of the catering and handles ticket sales.

She said she is currently getting inviolved in supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan, supplying clothes and blankets.

She was a volunteer and supporter of the Sleaford Toy Library for 14 years while Doug was on the committee helping behind the scenes.

They are also good friends to many older residents with Doug known to have responded on a cold night to an accidental alarm call at 3am.

Jean said: “It is always something I have always done, I just want to help and do things for other people.”

David Marriage

Another nominee for the Sleafordian of the Year Award is David Marriage.

David has had, and continues to have, a remarkable influence on the town. Having previously been involved in the successful restoration of national historic buildings at Bletchley Park, he plunged all his skills, energy and enthusiasm into making Sleaford a better and more interesting place for all of us.

He has been involved in improving the fabric and wellbeing of St Deny’s Church and the Alms Houses in Carre Street and has done charitable work in other areas.

The establishment of, and continuing success of, Sleaford Museum is owed largely to David’s vision, determination, drive and total commitment to the project. He is said to have provided Sleaford with an award winning facility.

More recently he has demonstrated the same levels of energy and determination in leading the renovation of the unique Market Place water fountain, resulting in achieving substantial funding from the Heritage Lottery in order that another important part of the town’s heritage can be renovated and refreshed to be enjoyed by everyone. As Vice Chairman of the Civic Trust, David is now deeply involved with all aspects of the Trust’s work on Sleaford’s heritage, in particular plans to bring Sleaford Castle back to life.

David lost his wife Barbara in 2018, but continues to provide a shining example of what can be achieved to make Sleaford ‘a better place for us all’.

Cara Jade Sandy

Cara Jade Sandy is our third and final nominee shortlisted for Sleafordian of the Year.

Cara set up a Facebook group after the Christmas Market of 2017 urging local people to get on board and positively work to improve the event for the coming year, leading to the success it was in 2018.

She said a lot of people had been disappointed by the quality of the market in 2017 and said: “I simply put out a post on Facebook saying that instead of moaning we could all band together and make the market bigger and better. It literally flew from there.”

This developed into a group of volunteers taking charge of steering the organisation of the event with Town Council support. Cara said: “It’s been amazing and I’ve enjoyed it so much. We’ve just started working again this year and it’s going to be even bigger and even better.”

She said: “We feel an injection of optimism and a lot of pushing forward for things everyone in Sleaford wants is what this town needs. We really can shape Sleaford into a beautiful town. I’m really hoping we can make a comeback of the normal weekly market as well as the Christmas market. Sleaford can be put back on the map and I’m willing to put in the hard work to make that happen.”