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Late Meet and Mingle founder honoured at Slough Voluntary Sector Awards

The late Meet & Mingle founder Aksa Marshal was honoured with a Special Recognition prize at the Slough Voluntary Sector Awards.

The 56-year-old died in July following a two-year battle with cancer but her legacy lives on through the charity’s work supporting women in the town who feel lonely and isolated.

Guests at the awards ceremony on Friday, hosted by the Slough Council for Voluntary Services, rose to applaud Aksa’s family as they received an award on her behalf.

Her family said: “We are still learning every day even when she’s not here just how loved she was.

“Thank you so much.”

More than 200 people including volunteers, sponsors and councillors attended the event at the Heathrow/Windsor Marriott Hotel.

They enjoyed a three-course dinner before being treated to a Chicago-inspired performance by dancers from the Creative Academy.

Other award winners on the night included Neil Rutlidge who was named Young Volunteer of the Year in recognition of his work leading cadet sessions at Slough Police Station and helping out at the Jubilee Riverside Centre.

The Volunteer of the Year prize was shared by Dolly Bhaskaran and Lin Smeaton.

Dolly impressed the judging panel through her work with Living in Harmony, a group set up to support people living with chronic medical conditions.

Lin’s years of service for the Recycled Teenagers Club, based in Britwell, was also recognised.

Osborne Property Services, housing repairs partner for Slough Borough Council, won the Business Support of the Year category while the Samaritans of Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead picked up the Group of the Year prize.

Ramesh Kukar, chief executive officer for Slough CVS, said: “Slough volunteers are an important part of the Slough economy and their volunteer time contributes more than £28million per year.

“The Slough Voluntary Sector Awards is a celebration of the amazing contribution that ordinary residents of Slough make to their families, their neighbours and communities at large.”

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