A SPECIAL award was given to a 21-year-old from Chichester for her outstanding contribution to wildlife in the area.
The second Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group Eileen Savill Award was presented to Stephanie Robinson for her voluntary work helping the education officer at Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve.
“Her commitment to sharing her passion for nature with other young people was recognised as outstanding,” said Joe Savill, who started the awards in memory of his mum Eileen.
“She is an inspiration to others in another way too as she suffers severely from Crohn’s disease, which results in regular spells in hospital.
“That she chooses to spend time helping others while coping with ill health, is truly inspiring.
“Unfortunately she was unable to accept the award in person, as she was confined to hospital, so her mother, Jackie, accepted it on her behalf.”
Runners-up prizes were awarded to Joshua Dobbins, 15, from Sidlesham and the Spaceman Community Project in Selsey.
Joshua was nominated for his enthusiastic hands-on conservation work in all weathers with Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group volunteers.
The Spaceman Community Project is made up of a group of young people who were recognised for taking responsibility for combating anti-social behaviour at East Beach play area, as well as improving the area and its facilities.
The ceremony took place at the Selsey Centre with family members and Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group members in attendance.
Leader of Chichester District Council, Heather Caird, presented Jackie with the award on behalf of Stephanie, which this year was a carved wooden Kingfisher diving for its prey, made by Manhood Wildlife and Heritage member Peter Warren.
The presentations were followed by a talk by Liz Kay from Fixers UK, a charity which supports 16 to 25-year-olds who have a passion to tackle or ‘fix’ issues in their communities. After this there was an opportunity for the winners and their families to discuss issues with Liz and meet Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group members while enjoying tea and cake.
This is the second year of the annual award, which recognises people under 25, who care for their local environment and encourage others to get involved.
The award is in memory of Eileen Savill, a founder member of the group, who devoted her life to encouraging young people while teaching at what is now The Academy, Selsey.