Winner of Citizenship Award 2020
This year’s Citizenship Award was presented to Kathy Embleton-Smith.
A university lecturer, her research for over 30 years focused largely on livelihoods and rural development in parts of East Africa and India. It was a short step to apply this technique locally and away from work she is closely involved with St Mary’s Church, Brabourne.
A quote from her nomination: “She is a tower of strength and reliability ….. and is always so kind and thoughtful….. She has the energy and enthusiasm to encourage others and is a real example of someone who values and encourages community life.
Kathy was delighted to receive the award and expressed her thanks as follows:
Thank you to everyone who put my name forward for this year’s Annual Citizenship Award. I was truly astonished to receive an email from Sue Wood informing me that I had been chosen. I simply couldn’t believe it as to my knowledge, I’m not a particularly special citizen (and this is not said with any false modesty). I do enjoy supporting Brabourne Church, not least because it is a lovely building and has been a place of worship since before the 12th century. In my view it would be a tragic loss to let that tradition slip through our collective fingers. Apart from working to keep Brabourne Church up and running, I do very little.
At the Parish Council meeting when the award was presented, Mike was kind enough to comment on the book that Christine Gurr and I wrote – together with an enormous amount of community help. You may remember it – Archives & Anecdotes (2013). I can say with all honesty that collecting the information for the book from about 170 local people was one of the highlights of my life. In few other circumstances could I ever have been so nosey about people’s lives – and be allowed to get away with it. It was such privilege and such fun meeting so many people – all with very different stories to tell. Were it not for so much willing public participation I would never have had the opportunity to understand, in depth, the ties of community which have developed over generations and which have underpinned life in our villages. My receiving this award is thus a consequence of the generosity of spirit of so many others, and they are the one’s who must share in it.
Again, thank you very much for the Award with which I am delighted, not least because it is given in memory of Chris Goodall who remains a model of citizenship to us all.