County’s community heroes celebrated

Photo of Buddies
Photo of Buddies

The hard work of local volunteers from across the county has been highlighted at Lincolnshire County Council’s annual Good Citizens Awards.

Our winners represented a wide range of good causes, demonstrating their vital role in our communities.

The presentation was hosted by Lincolnshire County Council chairman Cllr Eddie Strengiel, who said:

“I am proud to say that our county has a great tradition of volunteering, so, with that in mind, the county council created the Good Citizens Awards to give us the opportunity to recognise our own unsung heroes.

“This year's winners are truly inspirational and make a huge difference to their communities through their unstinting commitment.

“The winners were chosen from a host of nominations covering all corners of the county and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to tell us about the unsung heroes from their communities.”

There are four categories of awards:

  • Individual
  • Young Citizen
  • Community Group
  • Pair or Couple

Individual category -

Photo of John mould

John mould

John Mould joined a local initiative looking for support, but ended up spearheading a campaign to expand it and keep it open!

He has complex post-traumatic stress disorder and joined Boston Men’s shed in 2021 – an initiative that provides mutual support for local men struggling with a variety of personal issues.

However, the project was in danger of folding unless they could find the money to pay the rent to the community centre where it was originally based.

John has led a massive fundraising effort to ensure the project’s future and as a result it’s now moved to larger premises. This is with the aim of increasing its current opening times of two days a week so that it can support more men and get involved with more community projects.

Members of the Boston Men’s Shed have gained a great sense of purpose and helped the Boston community as a whole through working on projects for organisations such as The Salvation Army, Women's Refuge, Marie Curie and Boston in Bloom.

Young Citizen – Alfie Coombes from Branston

Photo of Alfie coombes

Alfie coombes

Alfie overcame severe pain and disability to raise money for a much-used community facility.

Last year 10 year-old Alfie, decided, in his words that he “wanted to raise money for people who don’t have enough food”.

Alfie suffered a brain injury at birth and has diagnoses of cerebral palsy, hypermobility and global development delay.  He has chronic pain and requires support with a wheelchair when walking long distances to assist in pain management. Following his bike ride he was in immense pain for four days.

He planned and completed a sponsored bike ride, where he biked 20.1 miles in a single day, and raised over £500.

This was donated to the Lincoln Community Grocery run by Message Trust in partnership with Alive Church which stocks good food that would have gone to waste and makes it available for members from just £5 per shop. For that, they can fill their basket with fresh fruit and veg, pantry items, chilled and frozen food and toiletries. His selfless act has benefited countless families.

Community Group: Buddies Dementia Café, Nettleham

Photo of Buddies

Since it was established seven years ago, Buddies Dementia Café in Nettleham has gone from strength to strength.

It’s original membership of just 12 has soared to 80 people who attend their bi-monthly meetings at Nettleham Village Hall from local villages and the Lincoln area.

Those living with dementia often find music a powerful way to connect with memories, create positive feelings and encourage social interaction so the meetings always feature a live singer or a small band.        

The committee is supported by a team of volunteers who set up the village hall, greet members, serve refreshments and take time to chat with everyone.

While the meetings do have a fun element, they are also an opportunity to support carers by sharing information and hosting visits from Age UK.

Buddies organise local trips and there’s a team on hand to support carers and their loved ones to help ensure everyone has a good time.

Find out more at

Couple/Pair: Michael and Morag Watkins from Lincoln

Photo of Michael and Morag Watkins

Michael and Morag Watkins

At a time in their lives when many would be putting their feet up in retirement, Salvation Army members Michael and Morag Watkins’ voluntary work continues to have a positive impact on people of all ages.

Michael is a familiar face on Lincoln’s High Street where he can be found most Fridays outside Marks and Spencer selling the weekly Salvation Army magazine War Cry and chatting to passers-by at the store entrance.

Morag leads the church’s weekly CAMEO club (Come And Meet Each Other) on Monday afternoons at the city’s Salvation Army Church which gives the opportunity for social interaction.

At Christmas they both arranged for new toys to be collected beside the Salvation Army hall's Christmas tree.

Michael and Morag both serve at the church’s drop-in facility on Wednesday and Friday mornings where surplus donated supermarket food is distributed to those in need.

And if that all weren’t enough, on Sundays they conduct church services.

Published: 20th June 2024