A council-led Mayor Making community awards event in an Oxfordshire town sees twice as many winners after Covid lockdown.

The Bicester Good Citizens and Grant Aid Awards took place on Monday, as part of the annual Mayor handover event that happens after local elections.

The convention in the town is that the mayor serves a single year in office and then hands over to the Deputy Mayor who will fill the position for the next year.

Before the mayor-making part of the evening, the Good citizens Awards – given to people who have been nominated by the community as an upstanding citizen – are handed out.

Due to Covid, the event has not occurred for the last two years. And as such, a larger number of nominations had been carried over to this occasion.    

The event was held at the Whitelands Sports Pavilion, and where in previous years only 30-40 people would attend, this evening saw over 100 people grace the grounds.

Councillor Nick Mawer said: “The evening is always a celebration of the excellent work that is done in the community by our selfless volunteers.

“I’ve often said that it isn’t the bricks and mortar that makes a town, it is the people that volunteer to help others that build a community. That’s what makes a town.”

Nine people from Bicester were awarded the Good Citizen badge. Including a lady who gave up her time over Christmas to cook and deliver meals to the homeless.

Another was awarded to a man for his commitment to coaching a football team for disabled people.

Councillor Richard Mould said: “It’s a great evening. It’s interesting to see the people that have been put forward and listen to their stories.

“I always enjoy hearing why they have been nominated too. Why others think they deserve the award.”

The evening also includes the awarding of funds to local charities and organisations who have made grant applications to help with various events.

Winners include the Bicester Choral and Operatic Society, who are presenting a Little Shop of Horrors musical.

Along with others such as UCARE, who gained funding to help with 66 supportive cancer care packages, and various schools that want to help empower and educate their students.

Richard said: “We raised the budget for grant aid this year to £20,000, which was dished out to the various groups doing great work.

“We gave out 29 cheques on the evening. All of the applicants are doing really good things, and it’s great to be able to help support them and continue to support our residents.”

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website here