Chris Lowe Shortlisted For BBC Sussex Award
Chris Lowe, a member of the Friends Of Queens Park for the last ten years, has been chosen as a finalist for Volunteer Of The Year at the 2016 BBC Sussex Community Heroes Awards.
Chris and his partner Audrey have been invited to attend the awards ceremony at the Gatwick Plaza hotel, 28 November.
Mark Carter of BBC Sussex said: “We were overwhelmed by the quality of the nominations. Finalists or not, everyone nominated should feel incredibly proud of their achievements.”
“I would like to think this is an acknowledgement of the work done by all the volunteers in Queens Park,” said Chris, who has organised dozens of volunteer events in the park over the last two years.
“To anyone, and especially those about to retire, I recommend they consider joining or initiating a volunteer activity that fits their individual interests or abilities. The rewards may be creative, physical, mental, spiritual and social.”
Chris is particularly concerned with the natural habitat of the park. Recently, his energies have been directed at the maintenance of the Queens Park pond, taking every opportunity to plant lilies, clear the pond of debris, and remove unwanted infestations of duckweed and algae. He has also helped preserve the Victorian cascade, often through back breaking labour.
“Chris has been invaluable in getting the pond in Queens Park looking good again,” says Park Ranger Lindsay Cattanach. “He has worked tirelessly to recruit volunteers, source and modify tools, design and make plant protection cages and skim off pond weed. He just never stops!”
Chris also makes a vital contribution to all the Friends’ public events like Picnic In The Park; he cares for the clock-tower, maintaining the Swift nest-boxes he installed in 2010; he photographs the life of the park (especially migrating birds); he patrols the wild garden, sometimes clearing away drug paraphernalia. On the matter of the park’s rich Regency history, his knowledge is profound and greatly valued by the rest of the committee.
“I honestly don’t know how we would survive without Chris,” says Johnny Webb, chair of The Friends Of Queens Park. “He is that person that every community group depends on, passionate, kind and knowledgeable. We’re thrilled Chris has been nominated, he thoroughly deserves it.”
Visit the BBC Sussex website for full details on Community Heroes Awards.