This year the award went to Christina Stuart

This year the Bob Abson Community Service Award, presented annually since 2002 in memory of Rotarian Bob Abson, to the local person judged to have made a significant contribution to our community by giving “Service Above Self” goes to Christina Stuart. Normanton born and bred Tina as she is known, works hard to look after her husband and two grown up, but sadly disabled sons, yet still finds time to be the guiding light of the Normanton Branch of The Royal British Legion and Normanton Baptist Church.

At the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Normanton, on Wednesday 15th  June 2016, Tina, accompanied by son William, received the award from Bob’s son Stephen Abson: along with the award is a donation to a charity of her choice and a personal gift which this year Tina asked to be added to the donation to the Royal British Legion.

Rotarians heard that Tina was chosen from a list of nine people nominated by Rotarians, local organisations and members of the Public. She is the Secretary of the Legion, Public Relations Organiser, takes charge at funerals for ex-servicemen and has recruited her son William as one of the Legion’s standard bearers. She also acts as the Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator, in which role she can often be seen around the town with a car load of collecting tins, boxes and wreaths.

There is another side to her life, that of the Normanton Baptist Church which she has attended since a child. She helps to organise the evening services and a car shuttle, to make sure the elderly and infirm get to the services. Following the devastating fire that tore the heart out of the building, along with others, she made sure the church should rise from the ashes. The refurbished church is now central to the heart of the town, where Tina & the Baptist Team provide a “Drop in Centre” facility, on Tuesdays & Saturdays, supplying cakes and coffee, that allow many lonely and disadvantaged people to come together for a cuppa & chat, when Tina, behind the counter, provides a smile, a hug and a big welcome to all.

Rotarians heard that William, accompanying his Mum, did not let his disability interfere with his life. An outgoing young man, never afraid to strike up a conversation when walking round the town, he takes pride in his British Legion duties and is also a regular at the Baptist “Drop in Centre”.

Presenting the award and cheque, Stephen Abson said his dad would have been proud of her community service. The photograph shows Tin

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