Recognition for a life of giving by unsung Sussex hero
A Sussex man who has dedicated his life to supporting the community has been awarded with the prestigious Certificate of Achievement by the Lord Lieutenant and the Chairman of West Sussex County Council for the outstanding contribution he has made.
Bob Phillips was presented with the certificate by Pat Arculus, Chairman of West Sussex County Council, during a special ceremony in front of his proud family and friends.
Having been born in Peckham in 1936, Bob was evacuated to Shipley in 1939 with one of his sisters and two brothers. After attending Shipley Church of England School until 1951, Bob remained in the area and studied woodwork in Billingshurst. He then trained as a gardener on a local estate, where, except for a small break to complete his national service, he remained until he retired in 1995.
But it’s Bob’s dedication and commitment to a number of organisations in the area that earned him the thoroughly deserved award.
Having joined the 1st Shipley Scouts as a Cub in 1944, Bob has remained devoted to the group ever since and was one of the first in the troop to receive the Queen’s Scouts Award in the early 1950s. As well as becoming a troop leader in 1958, Bob has dedicated his free time to the group by taking on many other duties, including driving the minibus to collect and drop off children for meetings, maintaining the land surrounding the Scout hut at the base at Dragons Green, arranging the restoration of several village ponds and wells and organising the annual Christmas carol singing group who visit local residents to raise money to help support 1st Shipley Scouts.
In addition, Bob was a member of Shipley Parish Council from 1972 to 2015 acting as Chairman for four of those years and has been a Governor at Shipley CofE School and a committee member at Weald School.
He became a church sidesman at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Shipley in 1984 and became the Vice-President and Coach at Shipley Football Club in the 1960s and 1970s. Bob is also an active member of the Shipley History Society and organises talks and walks of local historical sites.
Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Councillor, nominated Bob to receive the Certificate of Achievement. She said:
“One of Bob’s greatest attributes is his modesty and willingness to help anyone. He has always been one of the first to volunteer for any projects in the parish and there is not much he does not know about it or its history. Bob has always been supported by his wife Josie.
“He is a very kind and generous person and deserves recognition for the contribution he has made to the Shipley and Coolham community over the years. Typically he was shocked by winning the award and commented:
“It was a complete shock to find out that I had been nominated for the award, let alone to have won. I love the local area so I’ve always been, and will continue to be, keen to work with the community, both young and old, to ensure it stays as amazing as it is. I would like to say thank you to my wife Josie, who has always helped with everything I’ve been committed too. She is also extremely active in the local community so I share this award with her.”