Our 2023 winners

Celebrating our Citizens of the Year 2023

It was truly a night to remember on Friday at the 2024 Civic Reception. Mayor Owen Collins presented the 2023 Citizen awards and in Witney Town Council’s fiftieth year we took a fond look back at some old photographs in a slideshow on the big screen. ⭐

Happily, several former Mayors were able to join us and enjoyed spotting themselves and others among the historic photos. It was a sentimental and heart-warming time and we recalled with affection, the mayors who were unable join us.

Also joining us were current councillors and previous town clerk, Judy White, who started her career at the Witney Town Council from the its very first day in 1974.

The main hall of the Corn Exchange  was stunning with gold themed highlights to further complement the 50 years theme of the event.

These were provided free of charge by @brideandbeautifulevents. Thank you to them for their beautifully designed room.

The proceedings began with the cutting of a huge celebration cake featuring the Gold 50 version of Witney Town Council’s logo.

The mood was also suitably celebratory with current Mayor, Councillor Owen Collins producing some great one-liners and some pretty bad puns as he joked with guests.

The very talented Paul Ashton-Bridges provided music and more laughs with his engaging delivery and selection of guaranteed audience participation songs.

The well -deserved awards began with a special award to the Rev Toby Wright, who has been Witney’s Team Rector since 2009. He has supported Civic events and been generous with his time despite being extremely busy. Later this year he will be leaving the parish to serve as the Dean of Wells.  We will miss him and there isn’t an award big enough to convey our thanks to him!

Next up Witney Vikings were awarded Sports Team of the Year with acknowledgments paid to the hard work of all the incredible volunteers that support the club, and the young people that bring such enthusiasm to the game.

The third award went to the volunteers at Witney Food Revolution who run the Witney Larder, for which there is a small membership fee and the Fridge, which is free to everyone. This impressive organisation combats food waste and provides the community with access to cheap or free food, by taking and redistributing surplus food and other goods from supermarkets.  The initiative is not about need, but about reducing waste and the tons of food that is going to landfill every week.  The team took home the Community Organisation of the Year award.

Finally, the Citizen of the Year Award went to Squadron Leader Mike Caffrey, the dedicated and popular leader of 2120 Squadron, Witney Air Cadets. Support for this nomination had poured in from across the town, from cadets themselves, colleagues and other cadet leaders  and from Councillors and staff at the Town Hall.  The Citizen of the Year award is the most prestigious of the Citizen awards and Mike was a hugely popular winner, as was very obvious  as he accepted his award from the Mayor.

Congratulations to the well-deserving winners, and grateful thanks to all who gave their time to nominate them. A Citizen award is the perfect way to acknowledge the great work that happens in our town.


Our 2023 winners

Well done to Reverend Toby, Wright, the Witney Vikings Youth Football Club, Witney Food Revolution, and Mike Caffrey.