Town names its community champions of the year
PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 13 May 2019
Community-minded citizens at both ends of the age range have been recognised by being named Diss honoured citizen and junior good citizen for the coming year.
Jim Bidwell, 79, and Zinhle Moyo, 17, were awarded the honours at the annual town meeting overseen by Diss Town Council.
Mr Bidwell, who lives in Roydon with his wife Janet, was nominated for his work with the Diss & District Royal British Legion.
Though he has never been in the forces himself, as branch co-ordinator of the annual Poppy Appeal he has overseen a record collection of over £25,000 this year. He is also Remembrance Sunday parade co-ordinator and helps organise Armed Forces Day activities.
Mr Bidwell, who has six grandchildren and six great grandchildren, said: "I'm so delighted and honoured to be recognised ofr doing my bit. It has come completely out of the blue."
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Andrew Rackham, who nominated him, said: "Jim has made such a difference to the Diss branch of the Royal British Legion and the surrounding community. I believe he has not had any official recognition for the time and effort he has put into making a difference in our local community."
Recognised for her numerous community activities, Zinhle Moyo, 17, who lives in Diss, is charity rep on the sixth form committee at Diss High School, where she helped organise a charity week which raised £4,500 for East Anglian Cildren's Hospices and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
She also spent six months volunteering at Oxfam in Diss, is a member of South Norfolk Youth Advisory Board and Diss Youth Council.
She said: "We are tying to do our bit for young people to help the community, to help change Diss and to make it a better place."
The annual town meeting offered an opportunity for Diss residents to meet town, district and county councillors and hear about plans for the coming year.
A network with local community groups and organisations were also present, as well as the new local policing inspector Laura Symonds and members of the team.
People also got the opportunity to have their say and raise pressing issues about the town during a Q&A session over seen by Diss Mayor Trevor Wenman.