Llantwit Major’s Citizens of the Year

By Contributed Item in Local People

On April 8 Llantwit Major Town Council held its bi-annual Citizen of the Year awards in Llantonian Hall to recognise those who do so much for Llantwit Major, and submitted this report.

The Town Council would like to thank the sponsors of the event Principality Building Society, Kingfishers Developments (Wales) Ltd and Llantwit Major Masonic Lodge. An enjoyable night was had by all.

Prizes were presented by Andrew Clarke, Matthew Mazzatelli, Nat Peters, Kathy McCollin, Jacquie Jenkins, Nicky Foster, and Coun Mrs Sally Hanks.

The runner-up in the category of Outstanding Fundraising for Charity was Geoff Mortimer.

Geoff has spent many years raising funds for Marie Curie; he organises all the collection boxes for the local businesses and organisations in and around Llantwit Major.

He regularly gets up in the early hours of the morning to go to Cardiff Airport to try and get holiday makers to donate to the Marie Curie charity.

Geoff has raised last year a total of £22,484 for Marie Curie and for 2017 has already raised £6,000. An amazing achievement.

He has been nominated by Marie Curie for Fundraiser of the Year and therefore we feel it is only right that Llantwit Major recognise this amazing achievement.

The winner of the award for Outstanding Fundraising for Charity/Local Organisation was Micky Dixon.

The success over the last few years of Llantwit Major Amateur Boxing Club is due to the considerable effort, enthusiasm, contribution and coaching skills that Micky Dixon has provided.

In May 2015, Micky was the mainspring in organising a charity boxing event at the Cambrian Club, Rhoose, which raised £6,000 for local charities including the Welsh Air Ambulance.

The event was watched by over 300 spectators who enjoyed 10 boxing bouts. All boxers were members of Llantwit Major Boxing Club.

This well organised open air event would not have taken place without Micky’s outstanding effort and organising abilities.

Business/organisation – Service to the Community award: a Special Commendation certificate was awarded to Brenda Percy.

This ‘young lady’ is an inspiration to us all. At over 80 she is still keeping Llantwit Major clean and tidy. She is seen daily sweeping up the leaves and collecting the rubbish around all parts of Llantwit Major.

Always cheerful, and nothing is ever too much trouble for this very special lady.

A big thank you from all Llantwit Major residents, you provide a wonderful service to the community.

The runner-up in the Business/Organisation, Service to the Community Award was Arthur Thompson. Most of Llantwit Major will know Arthur as the Funeral Director of WA Brown and a fanatical supporter of Manchester United Football Club. However this is only part of the story.

Arthur is a regular volunteer at Llantwit Major Events. He helps the event group to put up all the equipment for their summer and Christmas lighting up events.

He helps at the annual Age Connects Christmas Day dinner at Bethal Baptist Hall.

Each year, Arthur organises a Christmas service at St Illtud’s Church, to remember the loved ones who are no longer with us. He also organises the annual Easter egg collection for Ty Hafan.

Arthur will provide raffle prizes for any good cause. Prizes he has donated include him chauffeuring and paying for two people to have a meal at a restaurant.

Arthur does not let people know of his kindness and generosity and therefore his recognition goes unnoticed.

The winner of the Business/Organisation, Service to the Community was Elaine Smith of the Chocolate Box Shop.

Elaine is an extremely helpful and dedicated shop owner who goes above and beyond to help her customers and other members of the community. This has helped to ensure the distinctive and unique style of Llantwit Major High Street.

She has been described by many as a friendly, bubbly lady who always has time for a chat! I believe there is even a chair to rest upon in the shop if a longer chat is required!

Her kindness extends beyond the shop and she will regularly hand deliver cards and confectionaries to people unable to get to the shop themselves.

Elaine is an outstanding citizen of Llantwit Major. Her business over the years has provided so much more than cards and gifts: it sells a real service to the community.

The runner-up of the Sports Personality of the Year was John Deakin.

John has spent a large part of his working and social life playing sport and deserves recognition for the all time and effort he has given both to football and running over the years.

John was a professional referee from 1980 to 1992 and has many tales to tell of players and managers including interesting conversations with Brian Clough.

On retirement from refereeing, John took up a full time post as the Welsh Football Association Premier League secretary. He was in the role for 20 years and has worked hard to improve the profile of Welsh football.

Since retiring, John has continued his love of sport and at 70+ still runs at least four times a week and is a member of Barry Adults Running Club where he supports and encourages the young, old (and especially the ladies) to continue running!

He is an inspiration to us all and can still run a half marathon in around TWO hours!

He still regularly runs the Barry Island Park Run and hopes to reach 50 runs within the next few weeks. If he is not running he will volunteer at the event.

The winner of the Sports Personality of the Year award is Adrian Abbot.

Adrian is dedicated to sport despite having a learning disability and cerebral palsy. He tackles every event he takes part in with tremendous enthusiasm and drive and always gives 100 per cent, a lesson to us all.

He has represented Great Britain at the Special Olympics and at the Worlds Games in Los Angeles where he won both gold and silver Medals in kayaking.

Adrian has also won Gold Medals playing at the Bromsgrove Golf Course.

He takes part in any sports he can including swimming, bowling and takes part in the Bob Cook games held each year in Swindon.

Adrian is a real ambassador for sport in Llantwit Major and is so deserving of the Sports Personality of the Year award. We look forward to hearing all about his further sporting successes. Well done Adrian.

Young Citizen of the Year award runner-up is Liam Taylor.

Liam is actively involved in the community as a member of Llantwit Youth Council, Llantwit Major Boys’ Brigade as well as recently singing in the Town Mayor’s Charity youth musical events held at St Illtud’s Church.

Apart from all this Liam is being awarded a runners-up award for his charity work. Liam undertook a sponsored bike ride from Llantwit Major Rugby Club to Southerndown and back, to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

He arranged his own JustGiving page via the internet and in all raised £353.75 for the Royal British Legion.

As Liam is only 13, we feel this is a great gesture and makes him worthy of the Young Citizen of the Years runner-up.

Young Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Nat Peters.

Nat’s father, Mike, suffered a sudden and serious illness last May. Nat not only continued with his studies at Bridgend College to complete his BTEC but he became the main carer for his father.

He has taken on all the main household chores: cooking, cleaning, washing, as well as being there throughout the day to support his father while his mum continues to work.

His further education has been put on hold but his positivity, commitment and supportiveness to his whole family is a credit to him. Moving forward he is hoping to continue his further education this September.

Due to such strong nominations for the Citizen of the Year the committee decided to present two runner-up trophies.

The first runner-up award was given to Kathy McCollin. Since moving to Llantwit Major, Kathy has become very much part of the community.

She has gone above and beyond her job as a librarian to support the community, organising many events, for example: the Queen’s Birthday party, organising charity coffee mornings and film nights at the local library. Many of her initiatives involve children.

She runs storytelling sessions in English and Welsh both at the library, schools and local events. She is known to dress up in an appropriate theme for the event.

She is also very creative and organises knitting and crochet classes as well as making things to sell for charity. Her commitment and support to Llantwit Major made her a worthy candidate for runner-up of the Citizen of the Year.

The second runner-up award was presented to Patricia Mears.

Patricia has been the driving force in establishing the Llantwit Major arts and crafts groups. Over her time as chair the group has grown and diversified. She has organised many exhibitions of the group’s work. She is a prolific artist in her own right and has used her art to portray images of soldiers on duty.

In addition to all this Patricia has worked tirelessly to support and fundraise for Help For Heroes. This is a charity close to her heart as both her sons are in the Army and both served tours in Afghanistan.

Throughout all this Patricia has suffered ill health but has carried on regardless with great determination and humour. Sadly, she was unablle to attend the presentation night. An inspiration to everyone and thoroughly deserving of the runners-up award.

The winner of the Citizen of Year Award is Matthew Mazzatelli. Maz (as he prefers to be known) received 95 nominations, totally surpassing any previous nominee. This shows the appreciation of the community for Maz’s achievements over the last few years.

He has worked tirelessly to organise fundraising events for many charities whilst working full time as head steward of Llantwit Major Rugby Football Club.

He has supported organisations such as the British Legion, Macmillan, Welsh Air Ambulance, Marie Curie, Churchill Lines, Help For Heroes and Breast Cancer for Wales.

Maz made Llantwit Major Rugby Club the centre of the community again, it is not just a rugby club now but so much more.

Maz was the main instigator in setting up the Llantwit Major 10k, 5k & 1k Run. This is now an annual event, part of the Welsh athletics running calendar and is anticipated for 2017 to have around 500 runners. It is an event for athletes and fun runners and provides business to the community while raising money for charity.

Also Maz organises each year the ‘Party in the Park’ giving local music bands the opportunity to perform on stage to the Llantwit Major community. A fun family event providing great entertainment to Llantwit Major, during the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The commitment, selflessness, enthusiasm and dedication Maz gives to organising these and many more events made him the clear winner of the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award.

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