On Tuesday March 24th 2020, the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Awards were due to take place where 23 award winners were to meet and have their awards presented . But, due to the current COVID-19 situation and the subsequent social distancing recommendations, this event was cancelled. Instead, certificates were issued via post to all the recipients, which under the circumstances was understandable, but none the less disappointing for all concerned.
Graham from Dragonfly Framing, was lucky enough to be nominated and chosen to receive an award in recognition of the great and valuable services to the community. He was humbled to be amongst great company of volunteers that do so much for their communities and he says "It's truly awesome to be recognised in this way".
The citation read
"For three years Graham has been the Bicester volunteer coordinator for Oxfordshire Artweeks - Promoting, curating and organising the event each May. He also set up the Bicester Art Network - a non-profit organisation promoting art in the community. This works in association with the Oxfordshire Youth Arts Partnership (OYAP), for whom he has run several successful exhibitions. In addition he has assisted the setup of Oxfordshire Mind's Summer exhibition in Didcot (2019).
When the exhibition being mounted by a local charity 'Artists in the Countryside' ran into difficulties, he physically hung the whole exhibition with another friend, created an website and online payment system and ran a six week promotion for it. He also brought in additional artists and art including a lovely lady who had suffered many stokes at a young age, to the event.
More recently a project has been launch to regenerate Bicester Town Centre. Graham has made a massive contribution with ideas about using culture to that end. He has supported the Town Centre Task Group by setting up an online platform to capture information derived from workshops and meetings. He has recently been nominated to be the new Chairman of Bicester Chamber of Commerce and already plans a re-launch to make it more relevant to Bicester businesses. He balances all this voluntary work with running a picture framing business. Graham is a self-effacing man who thoroughly deserves recognition for the huge value he adds to the community."
Sylvia Jay High Sheriff of Oxfordshire 2019-2020 The Lady Jay of Ewelme CBE