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Community champions earn Mayor's awards

A local estate litter champion, two volunteers who set up a suicide bereavement support group, and a council worker, who organised Mansfield's knitted poppy display, have received civic commendations.

Kate Allsop, Executive Mayor of Mansfield, awarded them Mayor's Commendations for going the extra mile for the district.

Ian Carnell

Among those to receive the awards on Tuesday 21 November at the Full Council meeting, was Ian Carnell, a Forest Town takeaway worker, who was nominated by Deputy Mayor Cllr Mick Barton.

Cllr Barton had spotted Ian, who works at the Forest Town KFC outlet, regularly picking up litter on the estate. KFC has an obligation to clean up its immediate area but Ian was litter picking the whole estate - every morning. 

Mayor Allsop said: "Ian is always the first to volunteer whenever there are clean-up days, whatever the weather, and is always willing to go the extra mile to help to ensure that the estate is lovely and clean.

"His attitude shows great community spirit and civic pride for Forest Town."

Cllr Barton added: "I have known Ian for a couple of years now and he leaves his home in Pleasley to cycle five miles to KFC in Forest Town at 6am and before he starts work, he spends time litter picking the whole area - and he does this every day. He is an absolute star."

Abbey Clarke

Cllr Barton also nominated council Events Officer Abbey Clarke who, working with the Royal British Legion, was the person behind the project to decorate the old Town Hall with knitted poppies for the Remembrance Sunday parade on 12 November this year.

Abbey, who also organised the scheme to "yarn-bomb" the town centre last year for the Queen's 90th birthday, masterminded and co-ordinated the poppy appeal which saw more than 8,000 knitted and crocheted flowers of all shapes and sizes flood into the Civic Centre over eight months, from community groups, residents and schools. 

Officers, councillors and members of the public then mucked in and set about the huge task of attaching the poppies to more than 60 square metres of ex-Forces camouflage netting. The project also raised an extra £1,700 for the RBL. 

Abbey said: "We were overwhelmed by the amazing response from the people of Mansfield and I would like to thank everyone who got involved by making the poppies, attaching them to the nets and even selling some of them to raise money for the Legion. It was a massive team effort." 

Vicki Zurek and Kelly Morgan

Also receiving Commendations, after being nominated by Cllr Sean McCallum and Cllr Stephen Harvey, were Vicki Zurek and Kelly Morgan who set up SSG (Suicide Support Group) in the town in January to help people bereaved by suicide. 

It meets at the Friends' Meeting House every Thursday from 10.30am to 12noon and has helped about 30 people since its inception. It was set up after Vicki lost her brother, Lee Boughton, to suicide last year.

Kelly said: "The family of Lee suffered after his death and felt that there was a lack of support in the Mansfield area for people and family members who have experienced suicide."

"Both Vicki and I felt we didn't want anyone to suffer in silence and wanted to give people who are in crisis a safe place to go where they can feel supported and not alone, and where they can talk confidentially about suicide without judgement, and where they can explore their mental health and emotional well-being."

Vicki added: "It's a self-referral group run by volunteers who are suicide-assist trained. It deals with issues such as grief, stress and bereavement, but most of all it offers support and comfort to those who really need it.

"We would like to thank the Mayor for awarding us the Commendation and for recognising the work we have done in the community."

Mayor Allsop said: "We are very lucky to have this kind of service in the area and I would like to thank them for all the good work they are doing in the community to help people to cope at such a terrible time, with such a tragic loss of a loved one."


The Mayor's Commendations are awarded to a person or a community group which goes the extra mile for Mansfield. Anyone can make a  nomination. 

Email the Mayor giving reasons why the nominee should be commended. Successful nominees will be invited to attend a Full Council meeting to receive their certificate.


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