Annual Town Meeting & Citizen Awards 2023
22 June 2023
ATM / Citizen Awards
The Annual Town Meeting took place on Wednesday 24th May at the Diss Youth & Community Centre (DYCC). A well-attended event, members of the public joined the mayor, town councillors and representatives from local organisations to network, find out more about ongoing town projects and put questions to the panel. The evening ended with the presentation of our Honoured Citizen Award to worthy recipient, Gabrielle Pagan.
During the presentation of the awards, Roella Trudgill spoke about her reasons for nominating Gabrielle. These included her tireless work for the Welcome Café at the United Reformed Church where people attend to meet friends. She also organises the Dove Dementia Café & Dove Song, which provides a safe space for patients and carers to undertake art activities and have some much-needed respite and Churches Together events such as lent lunches.
On receiving her award, Gabrielle spoke of her Christian faith motivating her, her loyal volunteers without whom what she does would not have been possible, the support with encouragement through donations (which mean there are no charges to user groups), the money raised for charities and the beautifully restored church building which is a warm & welcoming space which can be adapted for many uses. She also thanked Age UK who made Diss a dementia friendly town 8 years ago. She spoke of her joy getting to know everyone involved, the generosity of Diss folk and her delight in accepting her award on behalf of all.
A special long-service award was also presented to Yvonne Hensen by former Mayor, cllr Taylor, for her considerable contribution to the school community in Diss. The Executive Head of Diss Infant & Junior School explained that she and her colleague had nominated Yvonne for an award because of her phenomenal character that the whole community alongside the children get to experience every day regardless of the weather in her longstanding role as lollypop lady.