The Whitchurch Award

The Whitchurch Award is a community award introduced in 2019 and made annually to give recognition and thanks to one or more village residents who have given exceptional voluntary service to the community. Nominations are invited in advance from village residents. A short list is then drawn up by the Whitchurch Society committee and the final choice is made by the chairman of the parish council.

At the Annual Village Assembly in May 2019 the first award was presented by the chairman of the parish council to Eric Hartley of Swanston Field, for his remarkable and successful efforts over many years as a champion of local walkers. The Henley Standard published this article about the winner.

At the Village Assembly in 2020, held online, the Award was presented jointly to Sally and Peter Woolhouse of Hardwick Road for their work over many years in a huge range of village activities. The Henley Standard again published an article.








At the Village Assembly in 2021, again held online, the Award was presented to the Whitchurch Web team for their work in developing and maintaining the village website over the previous ten years. The picture shows Richard Wingfield (News Editor), Hilary Jensen (Page Editor) and Pam Scott (Events Editor and Message Board Moderator). The website is hosted by IT specialist Phil Weir. The team also includes Nature Notes Editor Sally Woolhouse and photographer-at-large Nick Brazil. The Henley Standard again published an article.

At the Village Assembly in the Village Hall on 26th May 2022 the Award was presented to Gill Williamson of Eastfield Lane. Presenting the award, parish council chairman Jim Donahue congratulated Gill for being the driving force behind not only the successful Saturday Art Café, now in its sixth year, but also the Crafty Knit & Stitch group. Asked how much the Art Café had raised for the charities that participate, she said it was around £60,000. Gill mentioned that the toll bridge was being decorated by a Knit & Stitch team with bunting and with royal portraits made by children, as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Village Assembly on 25th May 2023 saw the Award presented to Jean Marc Grosfort for his much appreciated activities, especially in the refurbishment of the Village Hall. Jean Marc arrived in Whitchurch with his wife Ann in 2012 after 44 years in the hotel industry. Whitchurch Society chairman John Bradon commented: “I’ve worked closely for several years with Jean Marc on the village hall and firstly want to say what a pleasure he is to work with. He really wants things to succeed, is enthusiastic and very generous with his time. He organised the whole refurbishment, successfully applying for four grants (£6,000 in total). He worked out what was needed, including many carefully considered practical items. He wanted the hall to be used for meals and this has come to fruition with his monthly afternoon teas, offering delicious hand-made cakes.” (Full text in News archive, 26th May 2023.)