Hundreds turned out for a garden party at Himley Hall on Tuesday 17th May as the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Anne Millward, and Council Leader, Councillor Patrick Harley, personally thanked frontline heroes for their efforts during the pandemic.
NHS staff, voluntary sector and those working in adult social care, public health, children’s services and bereavement services were all represented.
Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour that a council can bestow, and it has been awarded in the past to the likes of Sir Lenny Henry, RAF Cosford and Roy Richardson.
Frontline staff in receipt of the Freedom scroll now have the right to drive their sheep or cattle through the middle of Dudley town centre.
Councillor Anne Millward, the Mayor of Dudley, said:
“It was an honour and a privilege to present Freedom of the Borough to frontline workers for serving the people of this great borough of ours, Dudley, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the first time in Dudley’s history that we are presenting Freedom to so many people, and it is so very much deserved.
The last two years have been unprecedented and have changed all our lives.
Without the hard work, dedication and commitment of yourselves, and your colleagues in the frontline services, we would not have been able to get through this.
You all have our eternal thanks.”
The decision to grant Freedom was made at a meeting of full council following a vote in July 2020, but restrictions and lockdowns delayed the awarding of the scrolls which took place at the event on 17th May.
2020 was an unprecedented time for us all with the Covid-19 Pandemic. Dudley CVS felt that its virtual 2020 awards needed to recognise and reflect the outstanding contributions made by both individuals and groups, to support those most vulnerable during those challenging times. The 2020 Covid Hero Awards recognised volunteers, paid staff and local groups who had truly gone the extra mile.
Mike Abrahams, Chair of Dudley CVS and Jen Coleman from Black Country Foodbank accepted the award on behalf of the Voluntary Sector. You can download the scroll here.
Amongst the attendees were awardees from Dudley CVS Covid Heroes Awards 2020 – Katie Davies, Rose Cook-Monk, Phil Alliband, Andrea Childs, Carly Grandini-Williams and Shona Gilsennan.
Other voluntary sector groups including Mary Stevens Hospice, Dudley Crossroads and Girl Guiding also enjoyed the afternoon.
There was a practical demonstration on how to walk a sheep, for those considering driving sheep through the town centre!
Thanks to Dudley MBC MarComms, Mary Stevens Hospice, Crossroads, Pom Poms 4 Loneliness, Girl Guiding, Rose Cook-Monk, Phil Alliband, Andrea Childs and Carly Grandini-Williams for kindly allowing us to share their images from the event.