Top fundraiser Ray Johnson

The Town Mayor of Folkestone, Councillor Michelle Keutenius, and Past Mayor (2019/20), Councillor Jackie Meade, presented the Town Mayor’s Community Awards and For Merit Award at an Afternoon Tea on 25 August 2021.

The annual Town Mayor’s Community Awards provide an opportunity for the Mayor to show his/her appreciation to members of the community who have done something particularly noteworthy in Folkestone within their year in office. Members of the public are asked to put forward the names of individuals that they would like to be considered for an award.

Councillor Jackie Meade said “Finally, after an unprecedented year, I am delighted to have the opportunity to present, in person, the Town Mayor’s Community Awards from my year as Mayor during 2019/2020. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to show appreciation to members of the community who have done something particularly noteworthy in Folkestone”.

The following recipients of a Town Mayor’s Community Award 2019/2020 were presented with certificates and gifts from the Past Mayor.

Roman Cascino for the work carried out helping to provide a record of the history of the mayoralty each year.
Steve Shaw for the support provided to local Veterans and dedication in raising significant funds for many charities.
Sally Tritton for the work carried out in the Folkestone Museum, helping to deliver high quality events and activities to people of all ages.
Pam Jones for the tireless work undertaken supporting those in need within the local community.


Councillor Michelle Keutenius said “I am sure you will all agree that we are very lucky in Folkestone to have so many people that are active in our local community making our Town a safe, supportive and positive place to live. A huge thanks to all the volunteers that give up their time – I only wish I could give an award to every selfless individual. However, I am delighted to have the opportunity to be able to acknowledge and thank a few individuals across different sectors within our community”.

The prestigious Merit Badge


The following recipients of a Town Mayor’s Community Award 2020/2021 were presented with certificates and gifts from the Town Mayor:

Alan Taylor and Francis Bond for their hard work and relentless dedication in supporting projects to preserve the heritage of our Town’s fishing industry.
Bob Hyslop in recognition of his long-term commitment as a Tree Warden for the Town of Folkestone.
Streetz to Streetz owners, Jane King and Jackie Gamble in recognition of their hard work raising funds for local homeless projects and providing free meals throughout our community.

The following recipients could not be in attendance but were recognised for the following:
John Gale for his hard work and relentless dedication in supporting projects to preserve the heritage of our Town’s fishing industry.
Jacqueline Nazer in recognition of her dedicated work improving the lives of those living in our community.
Ricky McNeice in recognition of his hard work and dedication to the continued success of the Folkestone & Hythe Sea Cadets & Royal Marine Detachment.

Councillor Michelle Keutenius said “In addition to the Community Awards this year, we also had the honour of being able to present a For Merit Award to someone within our community.

Folkestone Town Council present For Merit awards to those who are, or have been, a role model for good citizenship in Folkestone demonstrated by either Positive achievements or actions worthy of praise and reward.
Long sustained service to the community or part of it, Achievements or actions of an inspiring nature to the townspeople of Folkestone,
Activities which have reflected credit on or brought benefits to the town or its townspeople.

The group of recipients at the Afternoon Tea


In March, we were able to present, virtually, a For Merit Award to Mr Ray Johnson, who the Council agreed unanimously was certainly a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

Ray is known locally for his many years of commitment as a member of the local Rotary Club and for establishing and organising the Folkestone Rotary Half Marathon and the Folkestone Coastal 10k which combined have raised a total of £966,000. Ray has also raised £102,000 for the Kent Association for the Blind having participated in the London Marathon on 20 occasions (!) and £9,500 for Cancer Research, completing the New York Marathon in 2002
for both charities.

Ray has provided lots of support to many other local charities, more recently to the NHS in their recent time of need and has also been a staunch supporter for the Nepalese community both home and abroad, raising significant funds during times of disaster and co-ordinating IT projects for the children in Nepal. Ray has also previously been awarded with Freeman to the City of London in 2018 and Liveryman to City of London at the Guildhall with the Worshipful
Company of Insurers in 2021.

Ray, you are certainly a worthy recipient of this award and I am therefore delighted and honoured to be able to actually present you now with your For Merit badge for outstanding commitment to community projects and charitable activities in the local community and internationally. I hope you wear it with great pride.”

Ray said “I was delighted to receive the prestigious For Merit award recently which acknowledged my involvement within the community with charitable work both locally and internationally. It was a most delightful occasion, particularly meeting other likeminded candidates at the event. I would encourage everyone to assist with good causes if possible and certainly companies to review and engage with colleagues to help the community further.”

The Mayor thanked all of the recipients of the Awards on behalf of the Town Council and local community for the work undertaken, which helps to make Folkestone an attractive community to live and work within.

By Ed

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