LOCAL people who go above and beyond for their community and councillors who give of their time were recognised at Calstock’s annual parish meeting.

A spread of cream teas and savouries, decorated with wildflowers, was part of the thank you following the presentation of awards.

Citizen of the Year was named as Steve Derbyshire, whose good deeds include saving the Calstock playship for many more children to enjoy.

The Community Champion Award went to Ruth Wilson, described as the go-to person in Harrowbarrow and a much-valued member of several organisations.

Calstock Parish Council’s Citizen of the Year for 2024 was described as “kindness personified” by his nominator, Councillor Phil Spurr.

Steve Derbyshire, who originally built the playship on the waterfront, has been at the helm of a team working to bring the boat back into service after it came close to being condemned.

A very talented carpenter, Steve has been more than willing to lend his time and skills to the community over the years, notably to maintaining the village hall.

“Steve’s expertise and commitment have helped ensure that the children from the village and beyond will be able to play safely together,” said Cllr Spurr.

“He has also been involved in environmental projects and was part of our Forest for Calstock Parish tree planting scheme. He has had more than his share of hard times but has always kept a positive outlook on life and provided help and support to others.”

Calstock Parish Community Champion of the Year was awarded to Ruth Wilson, a woman described by nominator Councillor Tracy Ledger as a well-loved and valued member of the community.

Ruth, from Harrowbarrow, has held many voluntary positions over the years, including school governor, and has had a long-term involvement with the Albaston Chapel and Sunday School.

Running the lunch club in the village hall for some 20 years until her retirement, Ruth was the person responsible for making sure the Environmental Health department were kept happy: under her watch, the hall always had a top rating.

For many years Ruth judged various classes in the WI and Village Hall shows and at one time was a timekeeper for sheep shearing with a stop watch in each hand. Always involved in the fundraising that the village does for Cancer Research, Ruth is well known for taking anyone who needs a lift to hospital or the hospice.

“It is obvious that Ruth is held in high esteem for her work behind the scenes and is a reliable and unsung hero in our community,” said Cllr Ledger. “Helping other people in so many different ways has always been part of Ruth’s life. People like her need to be celebrated.”

Chairman Jim Wakem and Calstock Parish Council also said a huge thank you to Councillor Ian Beech, who is stepping down after more than 12 years’ service.

Ian has brought valuable experience from his career in the Transport Police and his time volunteering on conservation and environmental projects for organisations such as the National Trust.

He has also represented the parish council on the Delaware Pre-school committee and supported their work. 

Cllr Wakem said: “We wish Ian and his wife Penny all the best and hope Ian makes a good recovery from his recent ill health.”