Added: 14 April 2014
The High Sheriff and Ipswich Building Society celebrate Suffolk's voluntary sector
Ipswich Building Society is proud to have once again sponsored The High Sheriff of Suffolk's Volunteer of the Year award held recently at University Campus Suffolk. Mr Dawson Pratt, a retired Colonel in the Royal Signals was the winner, raising over £200,000 to refurbish a community centre at Sutton Heath.
The community centre is in use most days and includes an all-weather sports centre and various other facilities such as a coffee shop, mother and baby play area and clothes exchange all of which have proved highly popular with the local community. Dawson has also enhanced the transport from the barracks by organising a small bus manned by volunteer military drivers. His next project is to construct a skate board park.
Speaking about the awards, the High Sheriff Sir Edward Greenwell said, "I should like to congratulate all tonight's winners and runners up. It was very difficult task to choose winners out of so many excellent nominations. During my year in office it has been a privilege to have met so many people who devote their lives to making Suffolk a better and safer place in which to live."
Paul Winter, Chief Executive of Ipswich Building Society, added, "We are delighted to sponsor the Volunteer of the Year Award, to acknowledge those individuals who give up their time to help others. Out of all the applications received there were many worthy candidates, but Dawson has shown true dedication and commitment to help those in his local community. His efforts have created a harmonious, cohesive community, bringing together those from military and civilian life."
Suffolk Community Foundation who manage the High Sheriff's Fund organised the event which was compered by BBC Radio Suffolk's Lesley Dolphin, to recognise and reward the work of the many voluntary groups and unsung heroes who do so much to make Suffolk a safer, healthier and more vibrant county in which to live.