Pride of Malmesbury: Civic Awards are given to the town’s leading lights!

The annual Civic Awards for Malmesbury have recognised individuals, groups and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to the town in the past year.

Organised by Malmesbury Town Council, the ceremony took place on Thursday (April 25th) in the Town Hall’s packed theatre, as Malmesbury Mayor Cllr Gavin Grant handed awards to those who had won the coveted trophies and praised the worthy runners up.

“The Civic Awards ceremony is one of the most enjoyable and important events of the year,” said Cllr Grant. “I particularly enjoyed the awards to our two younger age group winners. Our young people contribute so much that is good in our community and this is a great opportunity to celebrate their positive achievements.”

Winners of the 2024 Civic Awards were:

Junior Citizen of the Year (under 16), Freya Knight, 14, who volunteers twice a week at Malmesbury Animal Sanctuary, and also fundraises for them by baking and selling cakes.

She was nominated by Janinka Diverio, who runs the Sanctuary, and said: “We are really proud of Freya. She goes above and beyond and is a real asset to the sanctuary.”

After receiving the Exton Cup, presented by Cllr Phil Exton, Freya said: “I love going to the sanctuary and am very grateful for this award.”

 Freya Knight and Cllr Phil Exton, Deputy Mayor and sponsor of the The Exton Cup.

Young Citizen of the Year (age 16 to 25), Hannah Pitman 16, who volunteers at Oxfam and was nominated by Dan Baker, Assistant Head at Malmesbury School who said: “We are immensely proud of Hannah for giving up her time to support Oxfam and our local community.”

In accepting the John Poole Cup presented by Sue Poole, Hannah said: “I love going to Oxfam and meeting the other wonderful volunteers.”

The audience also warmly applauded runners up Emily Carter, who won this year’s Air Cadet 992 Squadron community engagement award and Frazer Dykes-Brown whose quick thinking and prompt actions save his mother’s life when she collapsed outside Malmesbury School and is an active promoter of CPR and defibrillator training.

Sue Poole, Sponsor of The John Poole Cup with winner Hannah Pitman.

 Frazer Dykes-Brown and Emily Carter runners-up for the Young Citizen of the Year with Hannah Pitman.

Organisation of the Year, HEALS of Malmesbury Community Fridge Team. The community fridge in the Town Hall is stocked seven days a week by a team of 20 HEALS volunteers.  Food is collected from Aldi and the Coop that would otherwise go to landfill. Since it first opened in July 2022, some 14.6 tonnes of food have been provided, the equivalent of 27,000 free meals.

Mayoress Liz Cook, who nominated the team for this award said; “The fridge team work collaboratively in their own time to benefit others and eliminate so much food waste – they are just brilliant!”

Accepting the Paul Dove Trophy, presented by Lisa Huntley, Julia Godwin, one of the fridge team members said, “We are a very merry team and it is a pleasure to accept this award on behalf of us all. The fridge fills up in the morning and is empty soon after, providing an essential service for people in Malmesbury.”

Runners up were 1st Malmesbury King Athelstan Scout Group, Malmesbury Luncheon Club and Malmesbury Women’s Cricket Team.

   Lisa Huntley (L) Sponsor of the Paul Dove Trophy, presenting Heals of Malmesbury Community Fridge Team Members.

 Runners up for Organisation of the Year, 1st Malmesbury King Athelstan Scout Group, Malmesbury Luncheon Club and Malmesbury Women's Cricket Club.

Citizen of the Year, Paul Overton. Paul is co-chair of Malmesbury Carnival, a role he took over five years ago when the future of the Carnival was under threat.  Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, raising some £94,000 for local good causes. Paul is also a trustee of HEALS of Malmesbury, responsible for major grants, and a member of the Athelstan 1100 celebrations, for which he is writing a live multi-media performance to be performed in Malmesbury Abbey.

Nominated by Carnival team member Linzi Renshaw who said: Paul is such an asset to the town. He’s an all-round decent person whose quiet, tireless and conscientious work has achieved so much for so many.

In accepting the Patrick Goldstone Silver Salver from Frances Goldstone, Paul said: “I am deeply honoured to receive this award. The Carnival, of course, is a real team effort.”

Runners up were Steve Cox, Julie Dart, Janinka Diverio and John Fairhurst.

  Winner Paul Overton with Cllr Catherine Doody, Frances Goldstone and Cllr Campbell Ritchie.

 Citizen of the Year Runners up (L-R) Cllr Phil Exton representing Steve Cox, Corrie Darker on behalf of Janinka Diverio, John Fairhurst and Julie Dart.

The Paul Smith Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Charles Vernon.

Charles is a published author, local historian, champion of Malmesbury’s historic buildings through the Civic Trust and Malmesbury Conservation Group, a leading light with Movies@Malmesbury and a former Mayor and Town Councillor.  He is also at the heart of the Royal British Legion.

In presenting the award, Cllr Gavin Grant said: “Charles is a very worthy winner. He has done so much for our community, not least the leading role he plays in Malmesbury’s Remembrance Day services, ensuring we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedom, when he reads the names of the Malmesbury fallen which makes such an impact.”

In accepting the award, Charles said: “I am an incomer, because I moved to Malmesbury when I retired. I am fascinated by Malmesbury and if anybody has any more old photos, I would love to write a second book about the town.”

Charles Vernon and Mayor, Cllr Gavin Grant.

Also presented on the night was the 10-year volunteer award certificate to Christine Mace, of Athelstan Players, an active member who has performed, directed and served on the committee for many years.

 Christine Mace with Cllr Robert Hastings.



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A wonderful place to visit with a wealth of attractions right on the doorstep.


MALMESBURY is a vibrant, market town, steeped in history going back to medieval times. Currently home to many famous & popular musical, cultural, and festival events throughout the year, visitors can browse the charming streets with independent retailers, or stop at one of the lively cafes, restaurants, pubs, and bars.

Attractions to visit include the stunning 12th century Malmesbury Abbey, 15th century Market Cross and the Athelstan Museum with a painting of Malmesbury Abbey by JMW Turner. There are also lovely walks along the River Avon.



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