Bognor volunteer's work in running community club to be recognised

First published in News by

It is not often your name is spoken in the same breath as film stars, renowned artists and one of the world’s greatest ever football managers.

But this week’s local hero winner will share the privilege when he collects a prize from an awards ceremony that will also honour the likes of Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ron Halls, 66, of Pagham, near Bognor, will be recognised for his work in running a community club for elderly people at this year’s Churchill Awards, held by Churchill Retirement Living.


The awards recognise achievements of the over-65s across the country, with the winners chosen by a panel of judges including Esther Rantzen and chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, Sir Roger Carr.

On March 20, Mr Halls will collect an award for his work in running the Pagham Chestnut Club along with his wife Judy, 68.

The club welcomes locals aged 55 and over once a fortnight for musical events, bingo, afternoon teas and mini-breaks.

The husband and wife duo also arrange monthly rambles for local residents across the beautiful West Sussex countryside.

Mr Halls said: “Judy and I do it because we enjoy it. We don’t do it to receive awards or to get noticed. It has just snowballed from driving a minibus for elderly people one day to what we have now.

“The club provides an outlet for people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to integrate with their community. We started getting involved about seven years ago when Judy asked me to drive the bus on an occasion. The club has been going for decades but it was dying on its feet a little bit and had only a few members.

“Now though there are 65 members and we have a waiting list, which is great. But like I said Judy and I don’t do it for praise – we just enjoy seeing people being given the chance to get out and about.”

Last year the group enjoyed a Turkey and Tinsel weekend at the Southdowns holiday village in Bracklesham Bay, near Chichester, and are planning a summer break this year too.

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