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Frank is Wirral's volunteer of the year
AN 82-year-old granddad described as being an inspiration behind the development of a local football club has been crowned Wirral’s volunteer of the year.
Heswall businessman Frank Heseltine was asked to help support Neston Nomads FC when it formed 30 years ago.
Since then he has helped the club grow. He has been vice chairman, chairman and is now president.
His many roles include ordering training equipment and sorting out trophies for annual end-of-season awards.
He also buys selection boxes, handing them out to children every year dressed as Father Christmas.
For his efforts, Frank took the award for Volunteer Of The Year during a ceremony at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Thursday night.
The father-of-two and grandfather-of-two also walked away with The Oak Award for over 65.
On his success, he the Globe: “I’m honoured, but this is really all about the club. I’m just one of 60 volunteers who run the club.
“I feel this is all about community and its wonderful that work such as this in the Neston community has been recognised in this way.”
On the awards ceremony he said: “It was an emotional night, and I want to say thanks to the organisers for putting on a a super show. “It was interesting to see so many people who have given up their time helping the community.”
Nominating him, club chairman Bruce Munnerly added: “On a personal note, it’s absolutely fantastic.
“Frank has been with the club right through since it started 30 years ago.
“ He’s been an inspiration to many of the lads. We’ve now got lads who are managers, who started at the club as five or six year olds and are now managing their kids teams.
“So, there’s a real family atmosphere at the club and it’s all down to Frank.
“He’s meticulous in what he does and is always willing to help and show you the right way to do things, that goes from a five-year-old footballer to a 65-year-old chairman.
“He’s just a nice man who does everything the right way, and the children appreciate that.”
Organised by Volunteering Wirral and established by Wirral CVS, the Globe-backed accolade is now in its 19th year and salutes those whose voluntary work often goes unnoticed.
The recipients were chosen from 82 by a panel featuring representatives from Volunteering Wirral, the Globe’s Craig Manning and last year’s winner George O’Donnell.
Recipients of six award categories from which the overall volunteer of the year was chosen were:
The Elm Award for unwaged volunteers aged 21-65 - Dougie Wood.
The Aspen Award for employed volunteers (for volunteering in their own time) - Andrew Pickersgill.
The Oak Award for volunteers over 65 - Frank Heseltine.
The Willow Award for younger person (aged 21 and under) - Jordan Morgan.
The Poplar Award for individuals with a disability - Matthew Thompson.
Josh Rotherum recieved a special award in memory of the late Peter Caine who died in tragic circumstances in 2011.
The Peter Caine Memorial Award was awarded to the nominee who, in the opinion of the judging panel had made a huge contribution to volunteering in Wirral whilst overcoming significant personal challenges.
Josh is a peer educator at Wirral Youth Theatre Arts, helping with dance sessions four days a week.
After announcing Frank as Wirral volunteer of the year, mayor Gerry Ellis said: “It was a wonderful night and a pleasure to congratulate them. We have an amazing number of volunteers.
“In my time as the mayor one thing that has really amazed me is the number of voluntary organisations and individuals who are out there helping the young, elderly and sick.”