The Leslie D Gale Award was instituted in 1994, as a tribute to the late Mr Gale, who was the last Chairman of Dursley Parish Council and the first Mayor of Dursley, and who served the community in so many ways. The Leslie D Gale Award not only recognises longevity of service to the community but also impact. Dursley Town Council is very aware that young people also contribute to the community, and that their work should be recognised. Nominations do not have to be for individuals; in past years groups have also been successfully nominated.
The recipients of the 2019 awards were announced at the town's Annual Assembly on the 21st May 2019 by the Town Mayor. The recipients are Mr Mike Doughty and Mr David Durden who received their awards on the night.
Pauline Darby, Doris Holbrook, Gwyneth Peglar and Christine Baker were announced at the Annual Assembly as the 2019 recipients of the "Unsung Hero" award.
Nominated by Eve Squire & Linda Cherry
Mike is a vital part of many charities and organisations within Dursley and has had various roles over the years, volunteering his time in many ways. Some of the organisations he has helped include Dursley Rotary Club, where he has been treasurer; the Festive Dursley committee, where he has helped organise and fundraise for the annual Christmas event and Summer Festival; Dursley Town Trust, which he has been the chairman of; as well as volunteering with Dursley Welcomes Walkers, Vale Vision and his 12 years serving as a Town Councillor.
Michael is someone who doesn't wait to be asked to get on with a job, he also doesn't do something for praise or reward, instead he simply does it to help the cause. Whatever the task is, he will always go above and beyond when doing so. He has a wealth of knowledge and information and thus someone you can turn to with almost any challenge or need within the community and on the rare occasion he can't help, he'll be able to signpost you to an individual or organisation who can!
In 2018, Michael had to make the decision to cut down on some of his duties in order to priorities his health, I know that he has been missed from many of these roles and that many were at a loss during the time of his ill health - it was at this point when people realised how much Mike was involved in and what a valuable team member he was. There are many people whowould like to say a great big thank you to Mike and all he has done, and I think this award is a great way of giving him this recognition.
Nominated by Mr Graeme Hawkins
David took over as Chairman of Dursley Running Club in 2013. The club had ticked over for the last few years, with around 120 members. Under David's Chairmanship this has grown to over 300 members. He introduced a "Walk to Run" programme which encouraged new members to the club and over a period of weeks they develop from walkers to runners. Many of these people now race and it has been a massive change to their life. Not only have they got fitter, but they have formed a really sociable and friendly club. One example of how successful the club has become is having 80 out of 451 "Dursley" runnersat last year's Frampton 10k race.
David has also become involved in Dursley Rugby Club and both clubs have been working together to improve the facilities available to their members.
David has encouraged the club to branch out and there is now a cycling group and triathlon group. Most recently he has formed a Junior Section of the Running Club, encouraging volunteers to become UK Athletic Qualified coaches. The club provides a number of opportunities in running and athletic activities for the Junior members aged between 7 and 18 years.
The Dursley Running Club arrange The Dursley Dozen, Berkeley 10K, The Dursley Peaks Races and the weekly park runs in Wotton-Under-Edge.
Each week David produces a newsletter report detailing all the results of races that members have taken part in and other news. Thanks to David, in the Dursley area, there are far more runners , triathletes, juniors participating in local events.
Nominated by the Mr Ralph Darby
Pauline Darby has been volunteering for more than 30 years with the Friday Lunch Club.
Initially, Pauline was the minibus escort collecting members from their homes, taking them to the Community Centre and returning them after lunch. She did this every week in all weathers. She later took over arranging all transport for members by the minibus or by car which she still does.
Pauline gradually became more involved in the running of the lunch club and gave up escort duties because of the time needed for admin duties. She has been the Secretary for the Lunch Club for many years.
Pauline has always put the wellbeing of members as a priority and has hardly missed a Friday meeting for many years.
Doris Holbrook and Gwyneth Peglar
Nominated by Cllr Mandy Woodward & Caroline Marrow (Dursley Business Inclusive)
Doris and Gwen have been nominated for running the Friendship Club which meets each month in the Parish Centre over the last 20 years. They provide entertainment, a hot drink, chat and most importantly friendship for those who attend.
Coach trips and meals out are regularly organised for their members who would find it difficult to do so otherwise.
Doris is also a volunteer at the day centre and supports her niece to look after her disabled son.
Nominated by Eve Squire & Della
Though now retired, Christine has led a life of helping and supporting children, young people and their families. Many people know Christine and are grateful for her work in many job roles in the county at children's homes, family centres and nurseries. Some of these vulnerable people continue to turn to her now in times of crisis or uncertainty.
Christine was also instrumental in setting up the first Rainbow Guides Group in Cam in the 90s. In true Christine fashion she went above and beyond for the Rainbow Guides, they took part in everything that the local community put on: carol services, competitions, sports days, visiting the elderly at Christmas to name but a few. If the Girl Guide organisation arranged events The Rainbows went along to these too - for many it was their first "adventure" . Without Christine, there may not be a Rainbow group in Cam and Dursley now.
Since her retirement, Christine's voluntary work has continued; She is a governor at The Nest preschool and out of school provision. Christine has become a champion for many elderly people and volunteers every week at Dursley Friday Lunch Club and has also done some voluntary work at Dursley Day Centre.
Through her volunteering at the Food Bank, Christine continues to help and support vulnerable people in a very non-judgmental way.
Christine is someone that anyone could turn to in their hour of need. She would always do her best for you. But most importantly she has a knack, some would say a skill, of helping people to help themselves.