Published Friday, 14th July 2017

Thirty four hard working volunteers and volunteer teams from across the borough have been recognised for their dedication to the community at the Mayor’s annual Volunteer Awards. 

These included 15 awards for individual volunteers, five young volunteer awards (aged under 25), ten volunteer team awards, three trustee awards and two business awards. 

Special recognition

Six of the award winners received special recognition for their longstanding service, having volunteered for their respective organisations for 177 years between them:

  • Volunteer Award winners group photo 2017Geoff Dunstan for 35 years and Val Dunstan for 30 years with Scouting
  • Maria Speller for 30 years with Radio Redhill
  • Barbara Tyekiff for more than 25 years with St John Ambulance
  • Estelle Forsberg for 31 years and Pat Oakley for 26 years with Chipstead Flower Show.

The Mayor of Reigate & Banstead, Cllr Roger Newstead, presented the winners with framed certificates at the awards ceremony on Friday 6 July 2017, which was followed by a reception to thank them for their valuable commitment and contribution to the borough.

Great contribution

The Mayor said: “I want to thank all our volunteers for contributing so greatly to our local area - making the lives of so many other people so much better. Volunteering on a regular basis is not easy. We all have such busy lives and to dedicate time to others is sometimes tricky. However, I know it is also extremely rewarding and appreciated by those that receive their support. 

“Our award winners have played an important part in so many peoples’ lives and that’s why they are so deserving of these awards.”

The annual awards scheme, now in its fourteenth year, is run by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead to celebrate the unsung heroes who do so much valuable work for the borough and its communities and to show appreciation for their time and commitment to helping others. 


Alisdair Semple, Trustee of Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead, said: “It’s so good to spend an evening celebrating good news stories!  Even though these awards have been running for a number of years now, they still have real freshness and vibrancy. Thank you again to our award winners, your generosity, energy and service are inspirational.

“It was particularly engaging to see the young volunteers winning awards for all their hard work and commitment.  They are an inspiration to the next generation of volunteers.

“In order to support young volunteering in the borough Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead is holding two Young Volunteer Fairs; the first Fair will be in Redhill on the 11th October at St Bedes School (3:30pm – 5:30pm) and the second will be in Reigate on the 8th November at Reigate College (4:30pm – 6:30pm). There will be a number of organisations at each event all looking forward to talking about how we can work together to make our community stronger.” 

Mayor's Volunteer Award winners 2017

Individual Awards 

  • Geoff & Val Dunstan for their work with the Scounting movement, particularly 9th Reigate Group (since retired).
  • Ray Connolly, Chairman of Reigate Priory Football Club 
  • Julie Upson, Dyscover 
  • Marian Ingram, Home-Start East Surrey 
  • Jane Crouch a home-visiting volunteer with Home-Start East Surrey. 
  • Maria Speller, Radio Redhill hospital radio station serving East Surrey Hospital
  • Patricia Sherren, Chairman of Burgh Heath Residents Association.  
  • Barbara Tyekiff, St John Ambulance 
  • Dee Marples, Relate shop mid Surrey 
  • Diane Graham, The Children's Trust 
  • Jenny Gunning, The Children’s Trust 
  • Geoff & Jenny Smith, The Children's Trust 
  • Clive Matthews, SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity 

Young Volunteer Award winners

  • Paul Riley and Ben Lacey, students at Reigate School 
  • Ben Hoad for his work with Run Reigate
  • Andrew Webber for his work with the 17th Reigate Scout Group
  • Chelsea Langdale for her work with the Borough Council’s ‘Star for A Night’ production

Volunteer Team Award winners

  • East Surrey Winter Night Shelter
  • Chipstead Flower Show Committee
  • Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council
  • East Surrey Walking for Health
  • Santa Stork by Stripey Stork. 
  • Age Concern Merstham, Redhill & Reigate
  • The Easter Project
  • Gatton Park Volunteers
  • Redhill Day Club
  • Reigate Priory Cricket, Youth Section Management Team 

Trustee Award winners

  • Richard Burford, Friends of East Surrey Hospital
  • John Davis, 17th Reigate Scout Group
  • Peter Brooks, Age Concern

Business Award winners

  • Jon Tabard of JT Snuggs Jewellers in Banstead, for all he has done for Banstead High Street Christmas Lights
  • Canon for all they have done to support Stripey Stork

Special Awards 

  • Geoff Dunstan, 35 years with Scouting, again most recently with his wife, Val in Lower Kingswood
  • Val Dunstan, 30 years with Scouting, most recently in Lower Kingswood
  • Maria Speller, 30 years with Radio Redhill
  • Barbara Tyekiff, more than 25 years with St John Ambulance
  • Estelle Forsberg, 31 years Chipstead Flower Show organising the fruit, vegetable and flower entries
  • Pat Oakley, 26 years with Chipstead Flower Show working with local schools on the children’s categories.

For more information about the scheme see the Mayor's Volunteer Awards page.