Mavis Gray Voted Fleet Pond’s Top Volunteer

Mavis Gray with Councillor Colin Ive

Cathy Holden writes:

Mavis Gray has volunteered for the Fleet Pond Society since 1985 and this dedication was recognised when she was honoured with the Hart Chairman’s Award for ‘Fleet Pond Society’s Volunteer of the Year 2010’.

Hart Council Chairman, Councillor Colin Ive presented Mavis with the award at the Society’s recent AGM.

In the citation, read out by Councillor Ive, it was noted that in her support of the Society Mavis wears a variety of hats. Over the years Mavis has manned information stands which raise the Society’s profile in the community and recruit new members, spent many hours preparing and providing food and refreshments at social events, at the Executive Committee meetings and at the monthly work parties, where her special energy cakes are legendary.  On the administration side, Mavis proof reads the quarterly newsletter and is a great support to her husband Colin Gray, the Society Chairman.

Mavis’s reaction on receiving the award was one of shock and pleasure:

‘This Award has come as a complete surprise to me and I am both honoured and proud to receive it. I feel privileged to have been nominated and I thank Councillor Ive for coming along to present it to me.  I have enjoyed all the years that I have been a part of the Society.’

Three nominations were received for ‘Volunteer of the Year 2010’ and the other two were:-

Colin Gray (Chairman FPS) with Nick Keeley

Nick Keeley for his impressive sponsored cycle ride to Liverpool and back in July 2010 which has raised more than £4,000 for the Clearwater Campaign aimed at funding the preparation work for the restoration programme for Fleet Pond.  Nick had no support team for the ride, relying on his own initiative in finding food and overnight accommodation at each stage. Only on one occasion did he need to call on his wife Margaret to take him to the nearest hotel when there was none available at one of his stops.

The ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ Volunteer Team

The ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ volunteer team led by Terry Austin, for their dedication to on-site management works while the Fleet Pond Ranger needed to devote all her time to writing the Management Plan.  The team regularly performs numerous week day support tasks around the Reserve including: building the new boat jetty at Kenilworth Wood, clearing the overgrown paths along the Brookly Stream, putting up protective fencing and repairing broken fencing as well as helping the Rangers with the reed bed project, amongst many other tasks.

As Chairman of Hart Council during 2009/2010, Councillor Sharyn Wheale donated this trophy to the Society to be awarded to the volunteer that the Executive Committee decided had contributed most to the Society either in the year in question or over several years leading up to the award. On this occasion the Executive Committee had a long debate over the merits of each nominee, all considered very worthy of nomination, but the vote for Mavis Gray to receive the award was unanimous.

If you would like to learn more about the Fleet Pond Society and the Clearwater Campaign please visit the Society’s website at


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