PLATINUM CHAMPION AWARD!

A very worthy winner…!

The UK and its local communities would be a very different place without the army of volunteers that benefit from their contributions.  Most, if not all of them, volunteer for very different reasons, but nearly all of them do it without anyone knowing just how much they do.  Hence why it is so important to celebrate and thank them.

This year that was made easy through the Royal Volunteer Service, Platinum Champion Awards, hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall, and that’s why the EGBA nominated one man in the town who does a lot for East Grinstead….Rex Whittaker!

He was chair of the Mid Sussex Group of local parish councils (24 in Mid Sussex ) for five years.

Has been a Mid Sussex District councilor for 5 years and heavily involved with planning matters.

He has also been the East Grinstead rugby club first team logistics manager for 13 years / Vice President /and arranges all car parking for charity and tournament events. Also started and runs the primary school rugby tag annual tournament.

If that wasn’t enough, he has been heavily involved in EG Sports Council for 11 years being chair for 5 years promoting all sports in the town and District.

He has volunteered for Lions Club for 12 years, helping at all their events such as May Fair / Donkey Derby / Senior citizens party etc.

He was one of the first in the town to sign up to support Covid vaccinations as a volunteer during 2020/2021.

He has been a CARE Charity car driver volunteer for 4 years.

Awarded Rotary Club  Paul Harris Fellow Gold Medal (quite rare) for fundraising & support services to Rotary.

He has been an EGBA member for 11 years and a constant promoter of business and heavily involved in specific local development projects such as Queens Walk and Turners Hill Road.

He became Chair of EG Royal British Legion in 2021.

As a serial volunteer, he has a canny ability to network people who he knows can both unhook and speed up initiatives, be they commercial, public sector or not for profit.  His raft of expertise is only trumped by his vast energy levels and enthusiasm to make positive change and support the interests and initiatives of each other.  That includes bridging the gaps between schools and local businesses and local government to encourage businesses to work closer with schools, and where possible support schools financially where they can.

I think it’s fair to say that everyone enjoys being inspired, and this worthy Award winner inspires everyone he meets and works with. He does not mind awarding prizes at school events to sourcing new Chairpersons for the many committees he supports to raising raising money with young people for their Scout Jamborees to finding the cash from local council budgets to contribute to entry fees for sixth formers wanting to take part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme.

He has been a Town Councilor for 11 years, Leader for 3 years and Mayor in 2018.

He has also been a Trustee of Chequer Mead theater for 10 years, being chair for four years and project managing some £500,000 of building investment works.

Nobody really knows the impact this all must have on volunteers, but it must, especially when they are out of the home so often for so long, but fortunately for this worthy winner this lifestyle choice to stop working to throw himself into a life of volunteering in support of the town East Grinstead was a worthy cause and has finally been acknowledged with a lifetime award, so the winner is………

Well done Rex Whittaker, the EGBA were proud to nominate you for this Award and were delighted to hear that you were only one of 490 people in the country to be awarded the Platinum Champion in 2022.  No mean feat from the thousands that were nominated, hat tip to you Sir!

To find out more about the work of the RVS and the award that they do click

https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/media/5wsp2bwj/platinum-champions-england.pdf

Author: Lisa Thompson
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