Civic Medal for Eastcote's Scouting stalwart after 80 years supporting young people
Monday 7 March 2022: A Scouting stalwart who's supported young people in his local Scout group for more than eight decades has been awarded one of Hillingdon's highest honours.
Bob's lifelong commitment to helping and supporting young people won over the judges in this year's Hillingdon Community Awards. They not only awarded Bob the 'Outstanding contribution to the borough' award, but he also scooped 'Gold' in the 'Long Service to the Borough' category.
Bob - a nickname derived from his initials - was presented the awards at a special ceremony at the Civic Centre, in Uxbridge, by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Edwards and the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Roy Chamdal, on Thursday 24 February.
Bob refused to let age hold him back and to this day continues to support the activities of the 4th Eastcote Scout Group. Something he's done every Friday night, in a variety of roles, since he first joined the group as a scout aged 11.
Speaking of receiving the accolade, Bob said: "Receiving the award is a great surprise and I'm deeply honoured to have it bestowed on me for doing something which I've enjoyed over my lifetime.
"My service has already been recognised by the Scouting Association but to receive something from the council is very special and I'm delighted to accept it."
Once part of the Scout group, Bob progressed to Senior Scout, Rover Scout, then Scout leader, before finally taking up an advisor/helper role.
Bob explains: "I can't quite do as much as I used to, so I leave that to the younger people, but I go along most Fridays and help out.
"At the age of 65 the Scout Association rules were that I had to retire and could no longer run the scout troop which I'd been doing for a few years. So I said, 'How can I stay on and help?' and they said you can stay on as a helper/advisor, and I've been doing that ever since.
"Whilst I can stand and walk, I'll do what I can for them."
The Hillingdon Community Awards, organised by Hillingdon Council, are an annual celebration of the borough's unsung heroes. Those ordinary friends and neighbours who do extraordinary things - they're the people who help make the borough the place we know and love.
Throughout November and December 2021, residents were to nominate their unsung heroes. More than 150 nominations were submitted, and the winners selected by a judging panel comprised of the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Roy Chamdal; Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Edwards; and Interim Chief Executive of the Council, Tony Zaman.
Speaking of Bob's achievements, Cllr Edwards, said: "It's remarkable. We went through all the nominations and it was very clear that he was deserving of the highest award, the Gold award.
"But the more we reflected on his 80 years of giving to the Scout Association, 70 of them in a leadership role, guiding young people and setting them up for the future, the more it felt that a certificate was not good enough and he also deserved our Civic Medal."
A further 24 exceptional individuals and groups were recognised in the Hillingdon Community Awards alongside Bob. They include Gold in the 'Extraordinary Achievement' award for Susan Setterfield, who helped protect school staff from COVID-19 by making scrubs, hats and more than 450 masks, before donating the money raised to nine charities.
The Tidy Harefield Volunteers scooped Bronze in the 'Keeping the Borough Clean and Green' award. The litter-picking group has cleaned up the community on the first Saturday of the month for more than 10 years, whatever the weather.
David Odonkara was the Silver winner in the 'Keeping the Borough Healthy' award for his efforts promoting mental and physical health during the pandemic by providing free exercise sessions at Colham Green Recreation Ground.
Cllr Edwards added: "These awards recognise and celebrate the best of Hillingdon and I'd like to congratulate all our winners and nominees. You have gone above and beyond to make a difference to the lives of others and it really shows how great our borough is."
To see all the award-winners in full, visit: www.hillingdon.gov.uk/community-awards.