Ex-councillor presented with charity’s award

Terry pictured with his wife, Margaret, who is the chairman of the group
Terry pictured with his wife, Margaret, who is the chairman of the group

A FORMER councillor has been presented with an award for his tireless service to charity.

Terry Soan, 76, of Bexhill Road, St Leonards, who was Hollington councillor for 12 years until 2009, was given the plaque by Scope, the charity for those with cerebral palsy, on Monday (October 21).

It was to thank him for his 60 years of service for the charity, which used to be known as the Spastics Society until 1994.

It came as a surprise to the ex-councillor as the presentation was kept a secret until Monday at a group meeting in Holy Redeemer Church in St Leonards.

Mr Soan was also presented with an award and box of chocolates two days earlier on Saturday (October 19) at Scope’s national annual general meeting in London.

Mr Soan was one of six founder members who set up the East Sussex group in 1953.

They each paid five shillings (25p) to help set it up.

Mr Soan, who was born with cerebral palsy himself, then helped run a charity shop in George Street from the late 1950s to early 1960s with the then chairman John Toates.

During this time he worked full-time for the highways division of the then Hastings Corporation.

The rent became too expensive to maintain the shop so it moved to its present address at 5 George Street in the early 1970s.

Mr Soan’s 75-year-old wife Margaret, together with her husband and other members of the group, still run the shop today as a team on a rota basis.

The local branch now has around 30 members, with Mrs Soan as chairman.

Mr Soan said: “It was a bit of a shock getting the award on Monday but a nice surprise.”