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Outstanding Contribution to Sussex Award - supported by American Express®

IT IS the time of the year where we seek to honour the very best of our community, and these three are at the top of the class.

The Argus is proud to announce its three contenders for this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Sussex Award, supported by American Express ®.

The judges managed to whittle the shortlist of the best of the best down to three finalists and now it is up to you, The Argus readers, to decide who deserves this prestigious accolade.

Andy Winter, the veteran housing campaigner who rose through ranks from being a support worker to becoming the chairman of one of the county’s top charities, is the first.

Brian Fitch, who has retired after a career spanning more than 40 years serving his community, is the second.

And the third is Roger Marlowe, who has helped put Brighton and Hove on the map as one of the country’s fastest up and coming international foodie cities.

Mike Gilson, editor of The Argus, said: “One of the most outstanding things about the community we serve is the sheer variety within it, something all three of these worthy nominees personify.

“In their unique ways they have all helped to better Sussex, whether that is helping those who need it the most or doing their best to put the county on the map.

“Whoever claims your vote will take a well earned place among an already star-studded list of names.”

Last year’s winner was David Samuel, who founded the now internationally renowned Paddle Round the Pier event which has raised £2million for charity since its founding in 1996.

Other past winners include crime writer and philanthropist Peter James and chairman of Brighton and Hove Albion Tony Bloom.

Ivan Mainprize, vice president at American Express, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Outstanding Contribution to Sussex award, recognising the huge efforts made by noteworthy individuals to our region.

“All three nominees on this year’s shortlist deserve to be awarded such an accolade, they’re outstanding individuals.”


The Argus:

HE STARTED out as a hotelier but his passion for food and drink has spawned the biggest celebration of great gourmet offerings in the south of England.

The twice-yearly Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival is the brainchild of Roger Marlowe.

Starting out with a handful of stalls, the festival has blossomed into an event which sprawls across the city as it contributes £4 million to the city’s economy.

The festival is also leading the march of Brighton and Hove’s ever growing food scene – promoting the city and Sussex as a world class destination for foodies.

Now reaching international audiences with a global chef exchange, the food and drink festival is now one of the premier events on the city’s calendar.

Annually the festival engages with 160,000 consumers and 350 food, drink and hospitality businesses with its ever expanding menu of attractions and events.

And at its core is a not-for-profit community interest company which relies on the ongoing support of volunteers, goodwill and foodies across the city.

The festival promotes Brighton and Hove and Sussex, good food and healthy eating and ran for the 13th time this year. The festival also spawned the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Awards, which dishes out coveted titles to the cream of the city’s food crop. 

Roger has also worked closely with the Brighton and Hove Hotels Association, runs environmentally friendly seafront hotel Paskins and is a respected member of the county’s business community.


The Argus: "

ANDY Winter started out as a hostel worker on the frontline of housing services back in 1985.

But over the past 30 years, he has risen to the top of one of the county’s most vital charities as he helps those who need it most by housing people in need of a home. 

The Brighton Housing Trust’s reach extends along the coast to Eastbourne and Hastings and helps thousands of people every year.

The charity offers homelessness services, legal advice and representation, alcohol and drug interventions, mental health services, work and learning opportunities and resettlement and housing services.

After starting out on the frontline Mr Winter then became an operational manager for mental health and substance misuse services.

He then took the reigns of the charity as chief executive in 2003 and BHT now helps 12,000 people each year.

Since his appointment the charity has grown with innovative programmes to combat the housing crisis.

Mr Winter has remained a vocal figurehead, campaigning for affordable housing and on alcohol and drug misuse.

Working as a city councillor in the 1980s, he also chaired the council’s licensing committee working with the police to reduce alcohol related violence.

Mr Winter is also a member of Sussex County Cricket Club and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Still as dedicated as ever while celebrating his three decades of service, Mr Winter says his only regret is that BHT is needed more than ever as it works to combat housing and substance misuse issues.


The Argus: "

A LONGSTANDING public servant who this year hung up his mayoral robe and chain for the last time.

Brian Fitch is a well-known colourful character in Brighton and Hove and has been in the public eye for more the 40 years.

Since first standing, Brighton born Mr Fitch has lived and breathed this city for the majority of his adult life.

Among the highlights of his political career are improving sports facilities in the city, such as the building Moulsecoomb Leisure Centre, and investment to the seafront.

He has also served as a peace messenger and promoted closer links between countries at various international gatherings.

In his final year in office, which ended in May, he did not stop giving as he led the mayor’s charities to a record-breaking year – gaining nearly £50,000. 

Mr Fitch was first elected to Brighton Borough Council in 1973, representing Elm Grove before also serving on East Sussex County Council. 

He has also represented Hanover and Hollingbury before being elected to serve Hangleton and Knoll in 2003.

A keen swimmer, sport and physical activity have always been close to his heart as he campaigned on a number of relevant issues in the city.

Mr Fitch has also put his passion for Brighton and Hove into his work, tirelessly campaigning, fundraising and representing his community.

Current mayor Lynda Hyde admitted she had a “hard act to follow” when she took over the role this year.