CARDENDEN volunteer Vi Penman is the 2019 winner of the George Bird Community Champion Award.

Vi was presented with the excellent trophy at Friday's Elderly Forum held by the Central Fife Crime Prevention and Community Safety Panel at Lochgelly Town Hall.

She received the trophy from Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman; and Times Chief Reporter and panel member, Jim Stark, who MC'd the event.

Jim Stark said that Vi Penman was popular face in Cardenden and was a strong member of the village Development Forum, which was doing a lot to brighten up the village.

She was also a key part of the Tots 2 Teens Togs initiative. Tots 2 Teens Togs is a project that seeks to recycle good quality, used children’s clothes and make them available for no charge to the community and for the past four years has been helping families at all times of the year, but more especially at the start of term time.

And of course she has been part of the team which runs Cardenden Community Shop. He added: "The quality of nominations was again excellent this year and the judges had a very difficult task but Vi's community involvement is exceptional."

Vi said that she was totally shocked to be chosen as the recipient of this award and added that she was only part of a really hard working team of volunteers in the ABCD communities.

She added: "Everyone works really hard in Cardenden's many organisations and it has amazing community spirit. I cannot do other than thank everyone who works with me for their incredible efforts in all the voluntary groups."

Provost Leishman said that Vi was indeed a worthy winner and he added that he was delighted to be asked to go along to the Forum which saw 124 senior citizens have a good day.

He added: "What an amazing number of people to be able to benefit from this excellent venture which sees them have lunch and then get a lot of important advice on crime prevention, community safety and fire safety.

"Then it is on to the entertainment part which sees local youngsters come along and enjoy singing and playing instruments for the veterans."

During the event Community Inspector Gavin Cameron introduced Chief Inspector Michael Williamson to everyone, who is Area Commander for Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath and is responsible for the daily management of local personnel and performance management.

In the afternoon entertainment was provided by singer Jodie Lamont; a choir from Lochgelly South Primary School; and musicians and singers from Beath High School.

Everything was rounded off with five of the Lochgelly High School pipers, who were part of the combination which won the European and UK Championships during the summer and rendered some foot tapping numbers.

After the draw, which saw over 70 prizes distributed to winners in the hall, Panel chair Dave Roy said: "We would like to thank everyone who came along to make this a special afternoon, also Community Safety Officer Fraser Laird, the Community Police team members who supported the event and the Fire Safety officer Julia McKenzie.

"Also our sponsors who make this Forum possible and our young entertainers who really have a special talent."