The Rotary Award, presented annually since 1972, is given to organisations or individuals who contribute time and effort for the good of the community.
This year’s Dunstable Rotary Club recipient is Stephen Parkinson, who has worked tirelessly for the community and has been in the millinery trade in Luton for the past 34 years.
In 1980, at the age of 18, he joined Rotaract and during his 10 years there he became president and in 1990 was awarded the Foster Trophy for “outstanding service to everything Rotaract”.
He attended the International Rotaract Conference in Sheffield and also RYLA at RAF Henlow (a Rotary initiative). He was a founder member of Orbit, a charitable organisation, 27 years ago becoming president on two occasions. He is still a member.
Two years ago he was nominated for the annual Pride of Houghton Regis award. He became an associate member of Dunstable Rotary Club in 2011 and serves on the community service committee.
Over the last 30 years Stephen has done many tin-shakes for organisations such as the Samaritans, RNLI, Action For Children (NCH), the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Keech Hospice Care. He worked for many years on the Dunstable Round Table Christmas float and also the Keech float. He has also helped at Dunstable Carnival.
On special birthdays, instead of receiving presents, he has held a barn dance for charity. Stephen was the joint founder of a board game called Gameopoly and since its inception 20 years ago, has raised £4,000.
His other main interest is the Methodist Church, The Square, Dunstable, where he has been a member for 45 years. He is serving as a church steward for the second time and has attended the World Conference in Brighton.
He often goes on circuit workshops and courses. For nine years he worked in conjunction with Radio Bedfordshire on the Sunday morning religious programme.