WIRRAL Council has given an award to a dad who died in the September 2023 earthquake in Morocco.

On March 5, the local authority gave out awards to 12 volunteers as well as the RNLI crew in New Brighton for their work in the community. The Wirral Award is given out for an outstanding achievement over the previous 12 months, or for distinguished service to the community over a period of 20 years or more.

Dave Barden was among the ten recipients and was posthumously given the award for his fundraising work doing a round-the-world trip on a bike for the Red Cross. As well as this, he was a former deputy head at West Kirby School and College, a volunteer for the Secret Gardens of Oxton and was the membership secretary for the Oxton Society.

He was taking part in a charity bike ride travelling 1.600 miles from Agadir to Santander when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco on September 8 2023 killing more than 3,000 people including Mr Barden, just days before his 72nd birthday.

A GoFund me page that was set up by Mr Barden to raise money for the Red Cross has to date raised nearly £10,000. He said he was planning his “most challenging ride yet,” adding: “I am determined to use my personal self-funded challenge to raise money to support desperate people who have very little or nothing in UK and abroad – especially now that so many are living in increased suffering and stress caused by the virus and wars.”

Wirral Mayor Cllr Jerry Williams said: “Although they earned their Wirral Award in very different ways, all the recipients have gone above-and-beyond to improve or protect the lives of local people.

“It was a great privilege to hear about their efforts and, on behalf of the whole Council, to thank them for their hard work, which has undoubtedly helped to make Wirral a better place to live for everyone.”

Other recipients of the award include the New Brighton RNLI crew who have saved 26 lives over the last four years and had 364 call outs and their work to “make our seaways and beaches safe.” Gina Jacobs has also been recognised for her work “helping bereaved parents find the final resting place of their born-asleep babies, resulting in the Council providing a plot in Landican Cemetery to commemorate them.”

Gina’s son Robert was born stillborn in February 1969 but she never saw the baby while her husband was told to collect him from the hospital in a box and leave him at Landican Cemetery. She only found where Robert had been buried 53 years later in 2022 and since campaigned to have a memorial stone placed at Landican and helped reunite other families with their lost loved ones.

Alan Dollery was recognised for his work as chair of the Prenton Tenant’s Association helping raise thousands of pounds for charities, running a community foodbank supporting around 60 families, organising litter picks and leading Prenton in Bloom.

Jack Blakemore has been recognised for his services as the chair of the Wirral Credit Union and helping to raise £100,000 for local charities on behalf of the Claremount Road Methodist Church.

Mike Curtis for his work with different community groups for Greasby Library, Wirral Footpaths and Open Spaces Preservation Society, and as Wirral’s representative on the committee of the Cheshire Local History Association. Paul Dufton, John Hilton, Rose Mullarkey, Chris Morris, and Bill Price have also been recognised for their work in the community.