Each year a resident or organisation in Burston and Shimpling who has gone ‘above and beyond’ in their service to the Community is presented with an award – The Don Swanton Award.
Don was a great member of the Community, a Director at Tuck’s Mill who quietly helped many people, especially when they were in a difficult place. Described as a real gentleman who drove a Bentley, Don was a real asset to the Parish.
On Saturday his widow, Dorothy Swanton was on Church Green in Burston with a crowd of local residents to see the Don Swanton Award given to Suzi Silva, and said that Don would have been proud to see the award presented to such a worthy candidate.
Councillor Angela Belgrove, who chaired the committee that decided who was to receive the award, made the presentation. Suzi came to the Parish Council’s attention prior to lockdown because of her ‘upcycling’ scheme. She was known for her ability to refurbish unwanted items and pass them on to people who could put them to good use.
When the Covid Pandemic lockdown was introduced many people in this parish suffered both emotionally and economically. Suzi identified the need was greater than just collecting shopping for those isolating. It was often supplying basic items that, for some people, became unaffordable or unobtainable.
Suzi organized a food bank, with donations from Morrisons that she obtained and stored at Burston Chapel. She then set about distributing food and other essentials to the needy at this stressful time. Additionally, Suzi shopped for eight local families who were isolating. Knowing how difficult it was to find items in shops because of panic buying and shortages due to the supply chain, this was no easy task and must have been extremely time consuming for her.
Suzi put the needs of others foremost in her mind and her acts of kindness and community spirit continues as she involved herself and her family recently in the village litter pick vowing to make it a regular event as she could see how it would benefit the village.
Suzi Silva is a deserving winner of the Don Swanton Award 2020 for work in our community.