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Mayor's Civic Awards

Published Friday 2 February, 2024
Last updated on Thursday 8 February, 2024

Nominations are now open to recognise the contributions of community heroes in Swale.

The Mayor’s Civic Award is asking for people to nominate hidden heroes who work to help others.

Nominees can come from all ages and backgrounds; they just need to have made a difference to their local community and live in Swale.

The nominations are open until Sunday 31 March and the winners will be selected by the Mayor of Swale, Cllr Sarah Stephen, and a panel of councillors.

Winners will be invited to an award ceremony at Swale House, in May, followed by an afternoon tea with the Mayor, last year’s awards saw five local heroes recognised.

The Mayor and other members of the judges panel are looking forward to seeing all of the nominations and rewarding the unsung heroes of Swale.

The Mayor of Swale, Cllr Sarah Stephen, said:

“I am very proud to be presenting the Civic Awards this year, as it is a chance for us all to recognise and commend the efforts of people doing good in our community.

“I am really looking forward to reading the nominations and being able to reward the winners for their amazing acts of kindness and charity in Swale.

“Meeting the winners will be a fantastic opportunity for me to hear about the wonderful achievements and work they have been doing for people in our community.”

Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of the community committee, said:

“Sometimes we can take for granted the people around us who offers support to people in need, this award gives us the opportunity to stop and admire their hard work.

“If you know someone in your life who is working hard to help people, please nominate them for this award.

“No matter the person’s age or how big or small their accomplishments may seem, anyone living in the borough is able to be nominated.

“My fellow councillors and I look forward to seeing all the nominations and relish the opportunity to offer praise and recognition to these hard-working, kind people.”

For more information, including how to make a nomination visit and for any queries contact


Last year's Civic Award winners were:

  • Anna Stonor, secretary and cofounder of the Friends of Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond, worked hard to improve and protect her local environment, with the group winning the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

Her nominator said:

“I don’t know anyone quite like her. She is kind, determined, inspiring, caring and passionate about life. She is willing to share experiences, knowledge, understanding and support.  She always remains positive, even during challenging times. When others would struggle - she is there, holding everything together.”

  • Yvonne Crawford, director of Sittingbourne Park run, helps people stay fit and healthy by organising free community running events. She, amongst others, helped save someone's life, with CPR, following a medical emergency at one of the events.

Her nominator said:

“She has made a real effort to ensure Sittingbourne Park run is one of the friendliest park runs in Kent. She has encouraged new runners and volunteers and helped grow a community where many lifelong friendships have been made. She has used parkrun to promote other worthwhile causes in the community and inspires many to volunteer and get involved in local activities. She is an unsung local hero who deserves to be recognised for all her hard work and kindness.”

  • Rebecca O’Neill, founder of a community interest company that helps the youth of Swale feel supported, especially those with learning difficulties. She runs multiple youth projects, including: Craftworks college, Vibe Youth and Brogdale CIC.

Her nominator said: “Young people in the whole of the Swale area benefit from her vision and belief that all young people should feel respected and heard. She works incredibly hard and believes in the value of every single human being and champions the underdog – always. She absolutely deserves recognition for her achievements over the past 12 years.”

The Highly Commended Award winner was:

  • Mike Brown, president of Rotary Minster on Sea, helped fundraise for both international and local initiatives such as the war in Ukraine and the Sheppey foodbank.

His nominator said:

“He always has a smile on his face and welcomes everyone - all ages and backgrounds - with open arms. He is truly inspirational and campaigns for charities locally and internationally. He is always suggesting ideas to help others and puts everyone’s needs before his own.”

The Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to:

  • Dale Howting, The Whistling Postman, fundraised for numerous charities and spread goodwill and community spirit.

His nominator said:

“He is the most amazing man I have ever met, 45 years of daily devotion to sitting on his pedal bike in town through rain and shine collecting every day for charity, even through covid. To raise £330k from just loose change in the town is amazing. He is always happy and jovial and at 89 years of age he is an inspiration to all.”

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