Bere Regis Volunteer of the Year Award

Since April 2009, Purbeck District Council has annually recognised the many volunteers of Purbeck who freely give their time, energy and skills to help others. Without these individuals, many local activities would not be possible.

A ceremony is held early in the spring of each year, and town and parish councils are asked to forward details of their Volunteer of the Year to the District Council's Communications Officer in early January.

At the ceremony, the Chairman of the Council awards each nominee (whether group or individual) with a scroll.

Pick a Year from the drop down list, or scroll down...

2013 - Alison Debenham

A local resident was recently honoured by Purbeck District Council with a ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award for her extraordinary voluntary contribution to our community. Alison Debenham was nominated by Bere Regis Parish Council for her work as editor of the Bere Regis and Affpuddle Parish Magazine.

Ian Ventham, Chairman of Bere Regis Parish Council, said in his citation that “…over the last 17 years Alison has worked tirelessly, month by month to grow the magazine, in terms of quality, size, breadth of readership and advertising revenue. She not only edits the publication, working for several days full time each month to get it ready to go off to the printer, but is also responsible for finding advertisers and collecting the advertising revenues. It has grown from a 60 page mag to 80 and sometimes 100 pages, plus an occasional centre page spread colour supplement.”

With a cover price of 75p per month or £8 per year, plus its advertising revenue, the magazine now pays for itself, and makes a profit for the parish churches. Its print run is now about 600 to the two parishes.

In November 2012 it was judged ninth out of 890 in the National Parish Magazine Awards.

It is hard to imagine a better, more diverse, more interesting, more widely read and informative community publication than our very popular and much loved Parish Mag, and its success is entirely due to the unflagging month by month commitment of its volunteer editor, Alison Debenham.

Previous recipients of Volunteer of the Year Awards have included Christopher Maunder, Alison Bennett and the late Terry Vine.

Ian Ventham
of the Parish Council


2012 - Terry Vine (decd)

Terry was given the Award for his great contribution to the village over the years, especially his role as Leader of Lennys Youth Club.


2011 - Christopher Maunder

Christopher was given the Award for his years of Service in a variety of roles, including as a former Chairman of the Parish Council.


2010 - Alison Bennett

Alison was given the Award for her active involvement in many Village Organisations, for example the Pop in Place.


2009 - Kath Jeeves

The annual volunteer of the year award was held on 8th April at Purbeck District Council in Wareham. Bere Regis was represented by our very own Kath Jeeves. Jim Parsons (Parish Council Chair) gave a short acceptance speech (below) on behalf of the parish Council and the people of Bere Regis.

“Kath as she is known throughout the village has worked tirelessly for over 30 years for the good of the village and the district community as a whole. In the earlier days, she recognised the need to establish a club for older people so that they could get together and keep in touch with their friends. The club is still very active and continues to provide a most valuable service to the community.

As a pianist, Kath has formed a choir of ladies who, in many cases, would not have considered themselves performing musicians. Her enthusiasm brought them together and formed a talented group who perform to audiences young and old, regularly performing at old folks clubs, nursing homes and sheltered housing. Kath also accompanies on the piano for the Pop in Place choirs for younger members of the community.

Kath has also enthusiastically guided the Village Hall Committee as its Chairman, inspiring the committee to make great improvements to the elderly Village Hall and today it is a welcoming meeting place for all who care to use it.

Over the years, Kath has set a very high standard for voluntary work in the village and surrounding areas, quietly getting on with things, including taking elderly folk on shopping trips, giving friendship and companionship to all. Kath is an outstanding example of a very good citizen, well deserved of this award.”

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