25th Jun, 2022

Unsung heroes recognised by the High Sheriff of West Midlands

UNSUNG heroes who pull out all the stops for the benefit of others in their communities have been recognised by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands.

Louise Bennett OBE DL presented a series of certificates and medals at the High Sheriff’s Summer Reception and Presentations Evening at the Telegraph Hotel in Coventry city centre and was attended by some 75 guests.

Guests at the reception included the Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Coventry, the Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Birmingham, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton and the Mayor of Solihull.

The presentations recognised young people and community leaders from across the West Midlands, with the High Sheriff choosing to host the event in Coventry during its year as UK City of Culture.

A local community stalwart receiving recognition who is renowned for bringing together the residents of Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry was Raymond Stabler.

For more than two decades Ray has organised a range of fun activities for residents of all ages in the area, from fetes to talent shows and day trips to the seaside.

More recently he established a local food hub to help neighbours who were shielding or self-isolating, and the hub is now part of a network in Coventry working with City Council referrals to receive emergency food parcels.

Katie Bladon, aged 18, of Solihull, was recognised for her selfless efforts in caring for family members throughout her childhood from the age of 10.

Using a Bursary Prize she won as part of a competition, Katie has since established a book club for other young carers to help benefit their literacy and social skills.

Other award winners included Ricky Lowther, aged 23, of Wednesfield, a key figure in The House Project, which helps young people leaving care to live independent lives and Tiffany Bateman of Dudley and Tia Siviter of Cradley in recognition of their contribution to Total Respect Training to benefit young people in their area and to inspire hope and create opportunities.

The final of the award of the evening went to Hitesh Mehta, Louise’s own personal choice for an award.

Hitesh has dedicated half his life, since the age of 18, to volunteer as a Special Constable with West Midlands Police.

Growing up in an area with high anti-social behaviour and crime rates, Hitesh is committed to supporting the police in his community. Also a full-time carer for his parents and working for HSBC, Hitesh was promoted to Special Sergeant in January this year.

The event was also attended by David Burbidge CBE DL, the last person from Coventry to hold the High Sheriff of the West Midlands position in 1990. David is also Chairman of Coventry City of Culture 2021.

He said the City of Culture events had started with a bang and presented a number of benefits not just to the city but the region as a whole. The packed programme of events he said will all help to promote the as a young, diverse city and a great place to live and work but are also bring an expected £250m to the region as a whole.

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