Community spirit wins title
Kind-hearted Lesley Ann Byers from Blackburn has been announced as this month’s Local Hero courtesy of The Courier and The Centre, Livingston.
Lesley was picked in recognition of all the great work she has done fundraising and organising children’s events in the community, all year round, for the last 10 years.
Best friend Karen Welsh nominated Lesley Ann in our Local Hero competition where we take the opportunity to recognise and reward people who really have gone the extra mile to help make a difference in their local community.
The nomination by her school friend was not only based on her incredible efforts in organising the well-known Christmas parade and Mr and Mrs Clause visits to people’s homes, which she ropes family members and friends in to help her out, but also her efforts raising funds and helping to organise Blackburn Gala Day every year.
Karen said her friend thoroughly deserved the LocalHero Award.
She said: “Lesley Ann is a pillar of the community and certainly one in a million.
“She works hard to make sure everyone feels part of a strong community by bringing fun events and happiness to everyone around her, especially all the children in the town.
“Over the years she has also really supported me personally when she visited every day to help with my own children, which I am hugely grateful for.”
Lesley Ann is busy organising this year’s Christmas Fayre, taking place at the Mill Centre in Blackburn.
And she is hoping to raise £1000 to allow her to put on another spectacular gala day in the summer.
This year she is hoping businesses will dig deep as well as locals to make sure the day is another huge success.
Lesley Ann said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have been nominated for this fantastic Local Hero Award, never mind winning it.
“Everything I do in the local community to bring a smile to people’s faces, I do because I love it and get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
“Bringing people together in Blackburn to enjoy the two biggest dates in the calendar is a dream come true but would be impossible without the support of friends and family who I can’t thank enough.
“I would also to mention the gala day committee, who work hard all year round.
“Every Christmas we raise as much as we can in order to be able to continue to run the gala day.
“However, this year I am hoping local business will come on board to help make next year’s event even bigger and better.”
Ashley Bisland, deputy centre director at The Centre, said: “Lesley Ann has done an incredible job keeping the community spirit alive in Blackburn by fundraising all year round to make sure local children have a great time at Christmas and at the local gala day, which is why we are delighted to award her with our Local Hero title.”
And Courier editor, Marjorie Kerr, added: “Well done to Lesley Ann, who helps to make sure Blackburn Gala Day is a success every year.
“She is a very worthy winner of our Local Hero award.”
If you know someone who goes beyond the call of duty to help others and deserves recognition and reward for all their efforts, please send an email with the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesley Ann has done an incredible job
Generous Lesley Ann Byers