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Home / Mayor, Council & Democracy / Mayor of Bournemouth / Mayor's Diamond Jubilee Award 2012

Mayor's Diamond Jubilee Award 2012

To celebrate HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012, the Mayor established the above one-off Award to recognise and celebrate the individual achievement or significant service to the Town by one of Bournemouth’s residents.

The Mayor announced the short-listed nominees at the Full Council Meeting on Tuesday, 12 June,  and the Winner was presented with the Award by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset.


The Winner - Mrs Paddy Williamson


Photo:  © copyright - the Mayor's Office.


Paddy has been active within the West Howe community since she moved to the area nearly 40 years ago. With a background in social work, Paddy volunteered in Youth Clubs and set up an Arts & Crafts Group for Mothers and a Parent & Toddlers Group at the Henry Brown Youth Centre.

Paddy is probably best known for her involvement with the Fernheath Play Association which she helped to establish in 1976 and has helped to run ever since.  The Association provides a play environment for children aged 5-15 years, safe from the dangers of the street and home. Due to Paddy’s dedication, the Association is suitable for children of varying abilities, and to ensure that the Association receives the maximum revenue, she has not taken a penny for herself.

Paddy is a tireless fundraiser, writing to Trusts, grant-making bodies and other charitable organisations, and through her determination the Fernheath Play Association secured the building of two new premises between 2005 and 2008.

Paddy’s positive influence on the children can be seen through those who have gone on to run their own Youth Groups and become Youth Workers themselves.


The Finalists

The other short-listed finalists were as follows (not all were able to attend the presentation so some photographs are missing): 


Mrs Jo Baker

Jo has taught thousands of children to swim over the last 20 years. Over and above her full-time job, Jo teaches after work every day and runs 4 classes on a Saturday.


Mr Ron Hands

A keen supporter of AFC Bournemouth Football Club since 1961, Ron was President of their Supporters’ Club in 1999 and played a part in saving the Club in 2006 when it went into Receivership. 

When Ron lost is his wife to cancer in 1989, he set up the “Mary Hands Trust Fund” to provide vital equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and to date has raised over £100,000. In 1990, he received the Bournemouth Humanitarian Award, and in 1993 he won the Daily Echo New Years’ Honour Award.


Mrs Julie Lankshear

Julie works with Caring Canines, the Bournemouth-based Dog-Assisted Therapy Group, which she co-founded and Launched in 2006.  As their Secretary and Treasurer, she is involved in the recruitment of volunteers and assessment of venues. 

Once established, she co-wrote the Group’s programme – “Be Dogwise” – which teaches children how to stay safe when in a dog’s company. Later, she participated in the production of “Charlie’s Storybook”, the simplified version for 5-year olds. After studying the beneficial effects of dogs helping children with literacy problems, Julie helped to launch the “Be Bookwise” project which links specially-trained members and their dogs on a one-to-one basis with children who struggle with reading. In January 2012, Julie contributed towards their latest project – “Signwise” – which is designed to ensure that people with hearing loss can fully participate with the support of a registered British Sign Language interpreter.


Mrs Maureen Rouse


           Photo:  © copyright - the Mayor's Office


Maureen joined the Bournemouth in Bloom Committee in 1983 on her retirement from the Hotel business, and in 1996 she took over the organisation of the Bournemouth in Bloom floral competitions. When Bournemouth was nominated in 1995 for the inaugural Entente Florale (European floral competition) by Britain in Bloom, Maureen was responsible for the Westbourne area – and Bournemouth won! 

In 2006 & 2007, Westbourne was nominated for the South and South England in Bloom Competitions and won Silver on both occasions. To run Westbourne in Bloom, Maureen is responsible for fundraising events and for collecting the necessary sponsorship every year. 

She is also a keen supporter and collector for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.


Mrs Rosemarie Veale


              Photo:  © copyright - the Mayor's Office


Rosemary has run a weekly meal delivery service for over 15 years with the Salvation Army in addition to providing practical help and nursing care for the homeless, the lonely and those hurting and in need of emotional support. She is a Founder Member of Michael’s House, the first Night Shelter in Bournemouth.


Mr John Walker


         Photo:  © copyright - the Mayor's Office


John, a noted local historian, is a member of the Bournemouth Civic Society and has been an official registered Bournemouth Tour Guide since 1992. He has developed a number of themed Guided Tours of Bournemouth and Boscombe for visitors, gives regular talks to local businesses/organisations, and assists the University & College students with their projects. 

In 2006 he was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award at the Bournemouth Tourism Awards, and he wrote and performs the commentary for the Bournemouth Balloon. 

He has published three books on Bournemouth’s history and a booklet on St Peter’s Church.


Mrs Sheila Welch

Sheila entertains with her team of singers from the Bournemouth U3A, aged between 60 and 89 years, singing Old Time Music Hall songs. They circulate amongst Residential, Nursing & Rest Homes, Day Centres, Hospitals, etc, and through her dedication and support, have raised several thousands of pounds for local charities.


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