THREE people have been recognised for their outstanding work in Ilminster.

Ronnie McQueen, Bradley Cullen and Steve Penny received awards at the annual town meeting at Greenfylde School last Tuesday night.

Ronnie, who helped to start the town’s Christmas lights 30 years ago, was given the Citizen's Award.

Mayor Emma Jane Taylor said he had put in many hours of service over the years to the project and was a great supporter of Ilminster.

Unfortunately, due to poor health, Ronnie was unable to collect his award.

The family of former Greenfylde First School and Swanmead School pupil Bradley was presented posthumously with The Bradley Cullen Youth Citizen’s Award, introduced this year.

Bradley was 15 when he died last June due to heart failure brought about by the rare Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy disease.

His mother Natasha Cullen and best friend Jack Storey collected the award on his behalf.

Reading his nomination, Cllr Taylor said: “Residents and classmates who nominated Bradley said that from when he first arrived in Greenfylde School through to his time at Swanmead that he was an amazing child who grew into a fantastic young person.

“His year group have always had a great understanding and treated Bradley as just another one of them. This created a ripple effect through to other year groups and family members.

“Bradley will not be in the Year 11 leavers’ school photograph but the lessons on life he taught us will remain with us for the rest of our lives.”

The final accolade of the evening was the Mayor’s Award, which went to Flight Lieutenant Steve Penny, of 2381 Squadron at Ilminster Air Cadets. He has been involved for almost ten years and has seen numbers increase three-fold.

Cllr Taylor said: “Steve has been a steady and dependable leader who continues to inspire and motivate young people from Ilminster and surrounding areas.

“He has performed a valuable service for the youth of Ilminster with outstanding leadership, dedication and hard work.”

Summing up the awards, The Mayor said presenting them was a highlight of her mayoral year.

She added: “The level of commitment the award winners demonstrate, giving help and guidance to others and making Ilminster a wonderful place, is both astounding and inspiring.”

n Others awards o Administration assistant Nicola McIntosh, who passed her level three NVQ diploma in business and administration.

o Open spaces apprentice Corry Samways, who achieved his level two diploma in work-based horticulture.

o Senior open spaces warden Tony Jones passed his level three award in leadership and management.