DAVID Jones has been named as Knutsford’s Community Hero for 2014.
The Knutsford Lions Club member was handed the title by the judging panel on Friday.
David beat fellow Knutsfordians, Dave Thompson, Marie Fox, Robert Newton and Debbie Jamieson, to land the prize of £500.
He has also decided to share £500 between Knutsford Lions, Knutsford Talking Newspaper and Knutsford Good Neighbours.
Sonia Amos, who nominated David, will also receive £100.
This year’s competition has once again been sponsored by Equilibrium Asset Management.
David worked for Chubb Lock and Safety Company for 25 years, moving to Knutsford in 1977 to take up a position as an area manager.
He then spent time managing a Leonard Cheshire home before his retirement.
He has been a member of the Lions club in the town for more than 30 years and was instrumental in setting up the Knutsford Talking Newspaper and the vital Good Neighbours Scheme, which helps people who are having problems attending hospital appointments.
He told the Guardian that the sense of community in Knutsford was one of the reasons he and wife, Shirley, first moved to the town.
“Knutsford is a real community and when we were looking at where to live, Trafford, Stockport, Bramhall, they are all part of Greater Manchester but Knutsford isn’t,” he said.
“You get to know people in Knutsford. I knew about the Lions before I moved here but I thought they would be a good way to get to know people and so it has proved.
“Helping out people has been a highlight and you meet lots of people and you make good friends as a result of that.”
David said the idea of the Good Neighbours Scheme – that has proved to a lifeline for many Knutsford residents – came after a visit to a relative.
He said: “My sister-in-law was a practice nurse in Shrewsbury and they had started a scheme there.
“I thought that was a good idea and that it would work in Knutsford.
“There was quite a few people in the community who didn’t drive and when they turned elderly had mobility problems. The question was how do they access medical services and it’s a real problem.
“The Lions funded it then I applied for a grant from the National Lottery and got it. The system works and when you take somebody you get a donation and, by and large, the donation covers the cost.
“We take them to the hospital, stay with them and then take them home – that’s the beauty of the service.”
Congratulate David on his award on our website at knutsfordguardiangrp.co.uk.
IN her own words, Sonia Amos, describes why David was the worthy recipient of the Knutsford Community Hero Award for 2014:
“As a new member of Knutsford Lions, I have learnt of the amazing dedication that David has given to the town over the years, and I enclose a shortlist of some of his many achievements.
“He has given generously of his time in helping the local community, and been a member of the Knutsford and District Lions Club for over 30 years. In 1980 he was one of the key Lions members to launch the Knutsford Talking Newspaper, which still gives weekly service to those with visual impairment.
“In 1999 he had the idea of and, with the Lions, set up the Good Neighbours Scheme which gives great help to those having difficulties in attending surgery and hospital appointments. Until very recently he was the treasurer of the Good Neighbours Scheme and also serves as a co-ordinator and driver.
“David is secretary of Knutsford Lions. Always cheerful and with a wealth of common sense, he continues to give hands on service to the community within the activities of the Lions and the Good Neighbours Scheme.
“This includes helping with the lunch given on Christmas Day for those who would otherwise be on their own, the Senior Citizens’ Variety Show, help with Event Mobility at the RHS, fund-raising for local charities etc.
“David maintains a vigorous zest for life; he grows his own vegetables on an allotment and goes walking in the local hills twice a week.
“Over the years David has consistently given excellent service to the community.”
COLIN Lawson, managing partner of Equilibrium Asset Management, congratulated David.
“He is certainly a deserving winner of the Community Hero title,” he added.
“He has shown great dedication, generosity and kindness to the community over many years, giving up his time to help with local charities, the Lions and the Good Neighbours Scheme, all helping to make Knutsford a great place to live. He works tirelessly to help others in the local community.
“I would also like to congratulate all the short-listed nominees in this year’s competition, who are all appreciated as community heroes in their own way. It was a tough one to judge as there are so many people in Knutsford who contribute massively to the community.
“I am pleased to say that Equilibrium will be making a donation to the three causes chosen by David.
“There is also a well-deserved £500 personal prize for being crowned Knutsford Community Hero 2014, and a £100 prize for Sonia who nominated David.”