Borough’s unsung heroes honoured at Mayor’s Civic Awards

Winner of the ‘Mayors Award’, 13-year-old Emma Macklin

Unsung heroes from the world of sport, business, environment, arts, community and education were celebrated at a charity ball last night.

The Mayor’s Ball and Civic Awards took place in front of more than 200 people at the Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill.

The evening, sponsored by Halesowen College, Jewson and MBKB, raised thousands of pounds for three charities – Santa’s Black Country Toy Appeal, Macmillan Cancer Support and Tough Enough to Care.

But it was also an opportunity to celebrate the winners of the annual civic awards, split into seven categories and all sponsored by local companies.

The winner of the William Shenstone award for environment, sponsored by Halesowen College, went to Julia Marks for her excellent work as chair of the Friends of Wollescote Park group.

The Bumble Hole volunteers group took the runner-up award for their work in maintaining the borough beauty spot.

Ian Winfield won the Thomas Attwood Award for Education, sponsored by Jewson. He was recognised for his work over the past decade running British Sign Language and deaf awareness courses in the borough. Donna Haddock – the head of forest schools, stay and play groups, litter picks and gardening clubs in her community - was named as runner-up.

The Duncan Edwards Award for Sport, sponsored by MBKB, went to Chris Dunkley, the founder and driving force behind the fast-growing Dudley Table Tennis Club. Long-serving grassroots youth football coach David Vickery was named as runner-up.

Bee Well Groups, a business which offers mental health support for children and young people, was the winner of the Mike Holder Award for Business, sponsored by Halesowen College. Fast expanding borough firm USP Steels took the runner-up prize.

The trophy for the winner of Cedric Hardwicke Award for Arts, sponsored by Jewson, went to Anand Chhabra for his work supporting and encouraging photography students at Dudley College.

Busker, poet and charity fundraiser Brian Dakin – aka Billy Spakemon -  walked away with the runner-up prize.

Pensioner Mildred Weir was the winner of the of the Frank Foley Award for Community Spirit, sponsored by MBKB. The 86-year-old has spent her life helping others, running a bereavement counselling service for over a quarter of a century and setting up a 24/7 helpline at home during the Covid lockdowns.

Donna Haddock, a school governor, hospital volunteer and constant help to her elderly neighbours, was runner-up.

The final award was the Mayor’s Award, which was this year in honour of Ben Corfield, a teenager who tragically lost his life in a road traffic incident last year aged just 19. Attendees were upstanding for a minutes’ applause for Ben.

It was decided by a public vote between three young people put forward by the borough’s first citizen for their work volunteering and fundraising in their communities. In a close-run poll the award went to Emma Macklin.

Emma, 12, has raised more than £10,000 for Mary Stevens Hospice in memory of her ‘nanna’, completing several long walks and scaling mountains.

The other nominees were Callum Nock, 17, for his work with the Friends of Pensnett Coppice group; and Katie Jayne Wood, 14, a charity fundraiser and helper at Halesowen Carnival. Kevin O’Keefe, chief executive of Dudley Council, said:

“The Mayor’s Ball and Civic Awards is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes of our borough. The folk doing tireless work, often for little financial reward, to improve the lives of people around them.

“I was really pleased to meet some of them on the night and find out more about what they do. I would also like to thank everyone who came tonight and dug deep to take part in games and raffles to help raise money for the Mayor’s charities, which rely heavily on public donations.”


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'