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Local resident is finalist in ‘Great Neighbour’ awards

A RESIDENT in Seend, Len Murray, is a finalist in the ‘Great Neighbour’ category in the BBC Radio Wiltshire Make a Difference Awards. The awards show recognition and appreciation for people who love to make life better for others.

Len is the church warden at Holy Cross Church in Seend, a member of Seend’s annual pantomime performances and gets involved in other community activities.

Next week he will be attending an awards ceremony at STEAM, the museum of Great Western Railway, in Swindon on 23rd September, along with the two parishioners who nominated him, where he will find out if he has won his category.

Len said, “The nomination was largely to do with the church because a couple of the parishioners, Jenny and Simon Phillips, nominated me for this, which came as a bit of a surprise really. You just get on with things and suddenly you’re in the limelight.

“As well as being church warden, I am also the tower captain, which means I am in charge of the bells and organising bell ringing and training. I have got a couple of trainees at the moment. I am also licensed by the bishop to administer services. There’s quite a lot going on really. I don’t do it all on my own, there’s an amazing team of people. I see myself as a representative for them.”

Len moved to Seend in 2009 from Bournemouth to be closer to his mother who was living in Devizes. He said that when he moved to the village, he had a change of job role which meant he could get more involved in community activities. “I also get involved with the panto. It’s been going for 40-odd years now and I just love doing it,” explains Len, “All villages have got all these different undercurrents – a church side, a community centre side. It’s nice to get involved in more than one.

“With villages, you either join in or you don’t. You either muck in or you can stay behind your door and don’t do anything. In a village the more people that get involved the better. These days it’s getting more and more difficult to get people to volunteer to do things. People are busy, the pool is getting smaller because people die, but you just have to stand up and show yourself sometimes.

“People in this village are amazing and it’s an honour to represent them.”

Other categories in the BBC Radio Wiltshire Make a Difference Awards include; The Together Award; The Green Award; Bravery Award; Carer Award; Fundraiser Award; Volunteer Award; and Community Group Award.

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