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Leigh woman scoops national community award


An inspirational volunteer from Leigh has won a national community award in recognition of her lifelong contribution to voluntary arts in the North West.

Gill David, 71, has been volunteering in the Wigan borough for over 40 years and is a founding member of Turnpike Community Theatre Group which encourages local people of all ages to get involved in the arts. Her remarkable voluntary work has been recognised this week in Yorkshire Bank's Spirit of Community Awards.

Gill's love of theatre inspired her to set up Turnpike Community Theatre Group in 1984, but she also works tirelessly to support community based and professional artists all across the borough as chairperson of the Arts Exchange.

As well as the award, Gill has been presented with £1,000, £500 of which is being donated straight to the Turnpike Community Theatre Group.

Gill said: "I was surprised and delighted when I found out I'd won Yorkshire Bank's Spirit of Community Award. The prize money will go a long way towards supporting the theatre group's next production and will benefit so many people in the community who can get involved in a number of ways."

"We have got lots more exciting productions in the pipeline including our annual pantomime and a production of The Wizard of Oz next year which we hope will bring local people of all generations together, so the more support we can get the better! There are so many other fantastic projects in the borough which I always look to support and I shall also be donating some my prize money to Wigan Youth Brass Band."

Yorkshire Bank launched the Spirit of Community Awards this year to reward superstar neighbours and unsung heroes who are keeping community spirit alive and the judges were particularly impressed by Gill's dedication to visual arts, performance and musicians in the borough.

Jacqui Atkinson, community affairs manager at Yorkshire Bank said: "Gill is a fantastic example of someone who goes that extra mile in the community and we felt she was a particularly deserving winner. We are delighted to be able to celebrate Gill's achievements in Wigan and to reward her for the selfless work she has done to enhance the lives of hundreds of local people and encourage them to get involved in the arts."

Yorkshire Bank's Spirit of Community campaign was launched in May to reward and recognise individuals who make a positive contribution to their communities. Seven deserving people have been selected as winners across the UK.

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