The High Sheriff of Wiltshire, William Wyldbore-Smith, has given out awards after a year in office and visiting groups and organisations across the county.
They were made in Swindon to representatives of just two organisations on 17 March: members of Zurich Community Trust and to Shirley Ludford, Station Manager of SWINDON 105.5 community radio.
Shirley was recognised for her work in the community since first becoming a volunteer at age 17, teaching English to Polish women. She went on to be a volunteer with Swindon Viewpoint community television, she started the Swindon Talking Newspaper, and pursued a career in radio broadcasting including BBC Radio Swindon, before securing a licence and funding to start the town’s first community radio station.
Latterly she has become the ‘Voice Of The Buses, accepting no fee, in return for occasional bus passes so that radio station trainees who cannot afford fares can travel to the studios to develop their skills.
For the last six years Shirley has been a judge and the compere of the annual Pride of Swindon awards presented by the Mayor.
The High Sheriff said: "Shirley is a wonderful and dedicated leader of a remarkable organisation. She encourages everyone to do their very best and gives so much of her time and experience.
"Recognition for such individuals who help make such a difference to people’s lives is so important. SWINDON 105.5 brings people out, helping them to lead as normal a life as possible and provides opportunities for such a diverse range of our community with incredible results."
Shirley commented: "When such an unexpected acknowledgement is made, it is even more special. I felt very proud and a humbled that the work I do is so valued."