Baroness Wilcox, Chritopher Colledge, Martin Field from Pall-Ex
Since moving to Bournemouth Chris has become immersed in the local community always looking to help where he can, and finding ways to improve the lives of local residents. As an accomplished Sign Language expert he helped a local charity by attending presentations with them so that deaf people could also benefit from the charity’s work. He was instrumental in forming a Local Residents Association and a Local Crime Watch Area where he still serves as Chairman of both. He volunteers with Dorset Police Crime Commissioner and still has time to campaign for local residents. He recently spearheaded a campaign to have a derelict hotel which had become a rat-infested drug den demolished. The work that he undertakes with the resident association extends to keeping the area free of litter and repairing the grass where people have had BBQs, this aside from his administrative duties.
The biggest impact he has had on his community came about on 2014 following the harrowing story of a woman’s body that had lay undiscovered for a number of year due to her dying with no remaining family. Chris instantly set about launching a Tea & Meet group for elderly people to meet their neighbours and make new friends.
The group met in a hotel that Chris had persuaded to hold the launch, it is now their regular meeting place. Chris organises activities such as painting or exercise classes, he arranges talks from visiting speakers and visits from the local school children. He has recently achieved funding from the local authority after lobbying for their support. Chris has devised a system to assess if any member is absent, which triggers an unobtrusive enquiry from another member to ensure the well-being of the non-attendee. In this way Chris is sure that the tragedy that befell the poor undiscovered woman cannot be repeated.
“To know he has made a difference to the lives of other is reward enough for Chris but I do hope you will consider him worthy of a British Citizen Award”.