Mayors don’t usually get awards. They get elected and then devote themselves to their town for a year and then go back to civilian life. Which is almost exactly what former Bridgwater Mayor Diogo Rodrigues said when he was presented with an award for ‘Community Hero’ at this years Pride of Sedgemoor gala evening at the McMillan theatre. “I was just doing what I was elected to do” said the 29 year old Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group and Town Council Portfolio Holder for Youth. “I was quite literally shocked when I was told of this”.
The Pride of Sedgemoor Awards are organised by the Bridgwater Mercury and sponsored by local businesses. Indeed each contributing business gets to nominate their own winner for the category in question and so it was the Solicitors firm Amicus Law that nominated Diogo in the ‘Community Hero’ category saying “When taking the Mayoral Chains in May 2018, Diogo also took on the responsibility for promoting Bridgwater-and his efforts have beennothing short of astounding. He is a real community hero.”
Diogo said “For me it was seeing people engage with the issues. Everyone I met genuinely cared about their town.”
The Pride of Sedgemoor
The evening was hosted by Mercury editor Paul Jones and the guests were welcomed by College Principal Andy Berry.
The winners took to the stage to receive their awards and, as Paul said, “a pat on the back by the community”.
Isla Macrae from Robert Blake Science College won the ‘sporting achievement’ award winning a county-wide competition in her chosen sport Table Tennis.
Joanna Clement won the ‘Care Award’ for setting up ‘Charley’s Haven’ a safe place for vulnerable people with mental health issues and inspired by the memory of her son Charley who took his own life aged just 18.
Lorna Edwards won the ‘Charity Hero’ award raising 1000’s of pounds for a multi-use recreation field in Wembdon.
Richard Culverhouse collected the ‘Charity of the Year’ award on behalf of the ‘Bridgwater Talking Newspaper’ which is a volunteer run newspaper for the blind and partially sighted and comes out weekly.
Rage Against Rubbish won the ‘Environmental Award’ for their excellent work inspiring the community to get involved in keeping the canals and waterways of Bridgwater free of litter.
Julie Murphy won the ‘Volunteer Award’ raising money for the Stroke Association after spending months at her fathers bedside before he succumbed to the illness.
Uwyn Llewelyn won the ‘Young Person of the Year Award’ after setting up the ‘Gift of Giving’ appeal following an incident where he used his pocket money to feed a homeless person which inspired an ongoing project bringing in his entire family.
Mark Studley picked up the ‘Business of the Year’ award for his Cow ‘ n’ Bun initiative which started as a hobby to feed freinds and relative and escalated into a novel town centre business. Sadly his fiance had become a vegetarian.
Malcolm Cattle won the ‘Carnival Hero’ award after a lifetime devotion to the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ and stepping down this year as President.
Michelle Boddington , Bridgwater College’s Transport Co-ordinator, won the ‘Education Award’ showing that logistics was an equal element of delivering education provision as teaching was.
And finally French national Aymeric Huguerre,won the ‘Outstanding Award’ for saving the life of 8 year old Brian who was visiting the walled gardens at Cannington when he had a heart attack. Aymeric gave him CPR and kept him alive until the air ambulance arrived.