Arundel welcomed the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Caroline Nicholls, for a tour of the town, ahead of this year’s Community Awards ceremony.
It was an opportunity to meet some of the independent traders and others who do so much to support the town.
Arundel mayor Lucy Ashworth said: “I was keen to invite the High Sheriff of West Sussex and her consort to the town to show them some of the independent traders in the town and how they support our community groups.
“We are immensely proud of what the town has to offer, at all times of the year in terms of heritage, culture, attractions and independent eateries and shops combined with our fantastic community spirit.”
The mayor and High Sheriff were joined by committee chairmen from Arundel Town Council for high tea in front of a cosy wood fire at Belinda’s Tearooms.
They then met residents in the King’s Arms pub, which demonstrates a fantastic sense of community through events for charity.
The group also visited the delicatessen, butcher and Arundel Trophies, which sponsored the new Young Person’s Commendation award this year.
At the Victoria Institute, the High Sheriff met John Paton and learned about plans to develop the building as a community arts centre. They looked at the refurbished Red Room, where plays are performed, and John outlined all the various groups who currently use ‘The Vic’, such as youth theatre, Akin creative group, ballet and yoga.
The High Sheriff later joined residents and community group leaders at the Town Hall to acknowledge their contribution to Arundel life. Guests were treated to a celebratory drink and mince pies, provided by the Arundel Co-op, before the winner of the 2018 Arundel Community Award was announced.
Residents submitted nominations to the town council, which made the final decision and this year’s winner was an active couple, Geoff and Pauline Allen.
Geoff was nominated for his work with the Rotary Club, the Holmes Foundation and as a magistrate. Pauline has contributed to the town through her work with the NSPCC, as a governor at St Philip’s School, committee member of the Arundelles and a trustee of Ford Prison.
The mayor added: “The Community Award night is a wonderful chance to thank the many people who enrich people’s lives through sharing a skill, passion or time they give to others.
“Geoff and Pauline are such deserving winners and have done so much for the town over many years.
“I was also delighted to present a new award, Young Person Commendation, as I am keen for the young people to have a voice in the community and for them to understand they have an important role to play.
“I was glad to have Nigel Lynn, chief executive of Arun District Council, attend as we will be working with ADC to deliver improvements to our local parks and we received over 200 drawings to assist with this.”
Emily Carman from Arundel Church of England Primary School, Daisy Jenkins from St Philip’s Catholic Primary School and William Lintott-Clarke received a trophy and the council thanked all the children who part.
Town crier Angela Standing also received a gift for her continued role in the town.
It was a super evening with music from Colin Baxter and Will Hall, local musicians who are proving to be international stars in Germany.