The Freedom of the Parish is the highest honour a Parish Council can bestow. It is given to recognise exceptional service and valued contribution to the community over a sustained number of years.
Healeyfield Parish Council held a special meeting on 29th June 2023 and resolved to confer the honorary freedom of the Parish of Healeyfield to Mr David Dixon and Mrs Ann Scott.
Mr David Dixon
David has been a pillar of our community, working hard and dedicating his time to so many village projects over many, many years. David came to Castleside as a child, moving into Healeyfield House then up to Rowley. Since leaving school he has worked as a farmer in the Parish all of his working life.
Over the years David has been a longstanding member of Castleside Village Hall committee being Chairman until fairly recently. During this time, amongst other things, he organised monthly dances, which were enjoyed by many, he and his wife Ann, also started up dancing lessons on a Monday evening, with proceeds being donated to the Village Hall funds.
David was a fervent supporter and member of St Johns Church in Castleside and for many years served as a warden, he was even known to source a donkey for Palm Sunday services. David supported the Church greatly and spent a lot of time raising funds to build an extension to the building, now known as the community room.
David always recognised children as the next generation and aimed to support them, to that end, he supported Castleside Primary School as a governor for a number of years and heavily supported the local young farmers.
For over 30 years David has been an elected member of Healeyfield Parish Council and has been involved in many projects that the council have undertaken, as well as representing the views of the residents. The number of projects are too numerous to mention but special recognition needs to be made for the work he put into the 2018 beacon which commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War. David championed the idea from the beginning, he provided the field, organised the lighting and the safety team and the haybales for people to sit on. The event worked so well that it was repeated for the Queens Platinum Jubilee, this time with fireworks!
David is recognised by his fellow councillors as being level headed and understanding, always seeing both sides of the argument. His mantra was always “During a meeting you can debate, not always agree with each other but always leave as friends” a good lesson for us all.
David has now retired as a Parish Councillor and his knowledge will be truly missed.
Davids incredible contribution has made a lasting impact on our community and for that we wish to thank him.
Mrs Ann Scott
Ann started helping 1st Castleside BP Scouts with the tuck shop in 1978, when her son joined the movement.
A year later she became their leader.
She has been ‘Akela’ to literally thousands of children, some of the first children under her leadership have returned to the Cubs as Dads and even Grandads, they all still call her Akela.
Ann was heavily involved in the fundraising to build Castlesides’ very own Scout Headquarters, which is still used by many Beavers, Cubs and Scouts today. Ann has looked after the upkeep of the building ever since.
Ann took her Scouts camping in Russia, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, Wales and to the top of Mount Snowdon. She also took them to London where they met Princess Alexandra in St Pauls Cathedral.
A high point for Ann was when she had a cub who had a serious heart problems, with a little help from her he managed to get the top award a cub can get.
Under Ann’s leadership Castleside BP Cubs achieved the National Trophy.
Ann would turn everything into a learning experience for her beloved scouts. One day she was out hiking with them and she slipped down a bank and broke her ankle, although the other leader present was able to take over, the scouts gave her first aid and alerted the mountain rescue team. Much to their delight she was whisked away in an air ambulance. An experience none of these children will forget.
In the scouting movement Ann has achieved her long service award, her medal of merit, her BP award and her silver acorn for outstanding service.
Ann ran a playgroup in the village for many years and also worked as a childminder.
Ann has dedicated her life to Castleside BP Scouts and to the children of our community, who are all much richer for it.
Sadly Ann was unable to attend the presentation in person due to ill health, however she watched from her hospital bed via facetime as her son Eric proudly received the award on her behalf.
Ann was later presented the award in person at the hospital, watched by a team of very proud nurses.
Councillor Adam Pearson, Chair of Healeyfield Parish Council, presenting the award to Mrs. Ann Scott’s son, Eric
Councillor Adam Pearson, Chair of Healeyfield Parish Council, presenting the award to Mr. David Dixon