Olveston verger is a "parish treasure" – South Gloucestershire volunteers are celebrated

Gazette Series: Mrs June Robbins with her certificate and paper weight with Cllr Matthew Riddle at St Mary’s Church, Olveston (6552798) Mrs June Robbins with her certificate and paper weight with Cllr Matthew Riddle at St Mary’s Church, Olveston (6552798)

A DEDICATED Olveston verger is one of several volunteers in the Thornbury area to win a council community award for service.

June Robbins has been verger of St Mary’s Parish Church for the last 38 years.

Her tireless service was recently recognised through a Chair of South Gloucestershire Community Award.

She was one of 37 people commended at the annual awards ceremony at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE Campus on Sunday, May 18.

The awards recognise outstanding contributions residents make to their communities.

Other people in the area to be recognised include Kim Webb, for her work as development coordinator at Thornbury Volunteer Centre – which was last year awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – and landlady of The Swan, Sandra Davies, who has raised over £22,000 for local groups since taking over the Thornbury pub in 2011.

Founder of Thornbury’s Speedwatch programme, Terry Osborne, was awarded for his dedication to the project which sees him complete at least four shifts each week.

Council chairman Cllr Ian Boulton, alongside Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, presented Mrs Robbins and her fellow award winners with certificates and paper weights.

Cllr Boulton said it was a huge privilege to meet many people working for the good of their communities.

Mrs Robbins said she was surprised but happy to have been nominated.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in my work over the years,” she said. “I was asked to become verger by the Rev John Randall, the then vicar.

"He said to me, ‘Give it a try,’ and I have been trying ever since.”

She was nominated by Geoff Chappell from Olveston, who was himself an award winner several years ago.

Cllr Matthew Riddle (Con. Severn) said Mrs Robbins richly deserved the award.

He said: “Her service to St Mary’s Parish Church as verger over so many years has been over and above the call of duty and she is also involved many other local organisations.

“June also visits the sick and residents who need help. She is always is very cheerful and willing to lend a hand. She is a parish treasure.”

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