Brave Morecambe teacher among volunteer award winners

Martin Ashby.
Martin Ashby.
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A former teacher who beat cancer three times is among the winners of the Volunteer Achievement Awards.

Martin Ashby took the Fundraiser of the Year award for his work with CancerCare.

Brenda Flanagan.

Brenda Flanagan.

Mr Ashby cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats last year to raise money for the Lancaster-based charity.

Other winners at Friday’s awards, held at the Trimpell Club, included Simon Das, chairman of the West End Million Partnership.

Mr Das, who heads a team who are working to improve the West End of Morecambe, won the Volunteer of the Year award.

Brenda Flanagan, longtime fundraiser for St John’s Hospice, won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

After joining in 1980, Brenda later chaired the Lancaster Support Group to raise money to build the hospice. In 1985 she established and developed a volunteer programme and was Chairman of the Friends of St John’s.

She became a trustee in 1995 until retiring in 2013.

Young Volunteer of the Year was Jason Caton-Humpage from LGBT Out in the Bay, a charity organisation that works specifically with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Rebecca Joy Novell, a Lancaster city councillor, won the Community Inspiration award for her work with The Priory Church in Lancaster.

And another councillor, former mayor Jon Barry, won Trustee of the Year for his work with the Marsh Community Centre.

The Volunteer Achievement Awards celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers across Lancaster district during the last 12 months.

Yak Patel, chief executive of Lancaster Community and Voluntary Solutions (CVS), said: “Altogether we received over 60 nominations across all categories, and in addition to presenting certificates to all winners and runners up, we also presented certificates of recognition to groups and individuals from a range of local volunteer involving organisations.”

The mayor of Lancaster, Coun Robert Redfern, presented the awards.