Citizenship Awards to ex-mayor, and a former headteacher

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Former Leighton mayor Alan Brandham and retired headteacher Caroline Birch were among a group of 17 residents and three community groups to receive The High Sheriff of Bedfordshire’s Citizenship Awards.

A ceremony took place at John O’Gaunt Golf Club, near Sandy on Wednesday evening, with High Sheriff Colin Osborne presenting awards to adults and young people from across the county who give their time unstintingly to their local community and who nominators felt deserved to be recognised for their actions.

Mr Osborne said: “I have visited many voluntary and community groups during my term of office, and have been inspired by the work others do for the good of those most in need, and also in need of engagement or inspiration.

“This awards event gave me the opportunity to thank individuals, groups and the community as a whole for their fantastic work in improving the lives of others in Bedfordshire and Luton.”

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation managed the event with the High Sheriff and its spokesman Jonathan Siegler said: “We work with the High Sheriff each year to try and increase awareness of the positive role models there are in our society.”

> With his wife, Alan Brandham has fostered children for 20 years. He has also run a badminton club and was town mayor of Leighton-Linslad for 2012/13, raising £7,500 for charities including Macmillan Cancer Care, Hospice at Home and Marie Curie.

He is the current chairman of the KidsOut charity in Leighton, raising money for disadvantaged children.

Alan was previously a governor of Cedars Upper School previously and is currently a governor of Pulfords School.

> After retiring as headteacher at Eaton Bray Lower School, Carolyn Birch has been treasurer to Leighton Buzzard Scout Group. She has been a Citizens’ Advice Bureau adviser in Leighton for several years, and has served as a school governor at Linslade Lower School.

She has also edited the newsletter for the University of the Third Age, and served as treasurer and chairman of the group too.