“What’s important to me is that Blacon is thriving.”

So said former councillor Reggie Jones after receiving the Joe Rose Lifetime Achievement Award at the Blacon Community Awards.

And judging by the uplifting stories about individuals and organisations, as well as the dazzling displays put on by youngsters from local schools, it seems he need not worry.

Now in its 20th year, the awards were held in the new Blacon High School building last Friday and were attended by a host of residents, volunteers and community leaders, including MP Chris Matheson.

The gongs aim to celebrate the achievements of people of all ages and backgrounds who make a positive impact on the lives of others within the community.

They originally came about after a chance remark by the late Blacon councillor Harold Tomlins who said people only seemed to be commended for their achievements once they had passed.

The late Joe Rose, who worked tirelessly as a volunteer for more than five decades, soon set to work with a group of supporters and the awards were born.

Mr Jones, who represented the Blacon ward for 27 years, told the packed school hall he was “thrilled and delighted” to receive the lifetime achievement award.

“There are lots of people who throw stones at Blacon but they don’t know our community,”
he said. “If I’ve made some small footsteps in the sand of history for Blacon then I’m delighted but it’s everyone in this room that makes Blacon the special place
it is.”

He also paid tribute to the pupils at the local schools, who put on impressive displays of singing and dancing between awards presentations.

“They are our future,” Mr Jones added.

Mr Matheson told the Standard he had thoroughly enjoyed the night, and congratulated Mr Jones and the other winners on their awards.

He said: “It’s always a fantastic event that highlights the astonishing community spirit in Blacon.

“The fact that there were so many nominations for people and groups of all ages and backgrounds really demonstrates the strength of this community.”