Woking local heroes recognised at Mayor’s Civic Reception


Monday, 9 May, 2022

Outstanding members of Woking’s community celebrated their achievements at the Mayor’s Civic Reception on Friday 29 April 2022.

The event, which recognises the dedication of Woking residents, was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Woking, where the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Liam Lyons, announced Woking’s Eminent Citizen for 2022 and the winners of this year’s Young People’s Civic Award Scheme.

Eminent Citizen

This award is presented annually by the incumbent Mayor, to a local resident who has provided an ‘eminent service’ to the community. This year, the Mayor has selected:

Claire Cummings

Claire was presented with the Eminent Citizen award in recognition for her outstanding voluntary work supporting local NHS providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having set up ‘Horsell Scrubbers’ at the end of March 2020, Claire got to work making over 11,000 items for the NHS. These resources were distributed to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Heathcot Medical Practice and Goldsworth Medical Practice, as well as the wider community. Items included thousands of fabric masks and almost 800 smile masks for front line education staff working with deaf children and children with speech, language and communication needs.

Young People’s Civic Award Scheme

Celebrating its 26th year, the Young People’s Civic Awards Scheme rewards young people who make an outstanding contribution to the community whose work or achievements may not normally be recognised.

The scheme is open to all children and young people, up to the age of 18, who live or attend school or college in Woking, and is comprised of three categories.

The judging panel included representatives from Woking Borough Council, Surrey Police, Sport Woking, and the voluntary sector. The winners of this year’s Young People’s Civic Award Scheme were:

Sara McKenna - Outstanding Contribution to the Community

Sara, a Year 7 student from St John the Baptist School, is a remarkable young lady who has raised money in support of her school’s PTA and Breast Cancer Now charities.

Having joined the school last September, Sara joined the Business Club. She channelled her efforts and enthusiasm into organising a charity fundraising raffle, spending hours of her own time obtaining donations from local businesses, printing posters, promoting the raffle and selling tickets. Thanks to Sara’s dedication and hard work, the charity raffle raised over £6,000 for her two chosen charities.

Rohan Handa and Anoushka Kumar – joint winners of Outstanding Achievement

Rohan Handa is a talented young cricketer from Pyrford. He has represented Hampshire County Cricket since the age of eight and has been with Rajasthan Royals UK Academy for the past two years.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Rohan created a YouTube channel with a series of short videos called ‘Cricket Nuggets’ to help his school and cricket club peers keep active. Through these videos, Rohan was able to reach out to people all around the world, gaining hundreds of subscribers and several thousand views. These have even featured on Sky Sports Kids Coaching Clinic.

Rohan’s love for cricket has recently led to him being awarded a position on the first ever Chance to Shine Youth Advisory Board, allowing Rohan to help to shape the way the organisation supports young people to play, learn and develop through cricket.

Anoushka Kumar is an outstanding young artist who is working hard to fulfil her ambition to become an accomplished artist, bringing joy to people’s lives through her artwork. At just 10 years old, she has already received many international and national awards for her artwork.

Anoushka has been successful in many competitions including, the Royal Society of Biology’s Nancy Rothwell International Specimen art competition, Toyota’s Dream Car art contest, Funky Pigeon’s junior designer birthday card competition and she has received an illustrator award for the children’s book, Shy Sherona & Bold Bill, authored by Josie Dom. 

Lily Hider - Triumph Over Adversity

Lily, who attends Winston Churchill School, is a very resilient and determined young lady.

Lily’s brother has leukaemia and there are times when he can be in and out of hospital. Lily has done incredibly well to manage the emotions of her brother’s health alongside her schoolwork. Despite these challenges, she has shown exceptional resilience and determination to focus on her studies whilst supporting her brother and being an amazing big sister.

About the presentation

Sponsored by The Ambassadors Theatre Group, each winner was presented with a glass trophy, a certificate, and vouchers including Nova Cinema tickets for two people and a £20 gift card.

Speaking about the awards, Cllr Liam Lyons, Mayor of Woking, said: “It is my absolute pleasure to recognise and honour these exemplary Woking residents within our community.

"They have consistently gone above and beyond what is expected of them in their school, work or private lives, especially during the unprecedented times we have found ourselves living through over the last couple of years. They are a true inspiration to us all and Woking should be very proud.

“There are many individuals and voluntary groups in the borough that do fantastic work and make significant contributions to the lives of others. I would like to take the time to recognise and thank everyone who I have had the pleasure in meeting during my Mayoral year and thank them for their hard work and continued dedication to think of the needs of others in the local community.”

Find out more about Woking’s Young People’s Civic Award Scheme