Jolly Fisherman and Honoured Citizen awards for tireless servant of Skegness

A FAITHFUL servant of the Skegness community who overcame life threatening adversity to continue helping others has been honoured with two citizenship awards.

Brian Chapman was appointed with a Jolly Fisherman and honoured Citizen award at a Skegness Town Council meeting last Wednesday.

Despite battling with a potentially fatal medical condition and enduring debilitating operations Brian has continued to chair the Skegness Carnival Committee and a support group helping others with his condition.

“Five years ago I was given a month to live, I had a ‘kill or cure’ operation and made it through but I was told I was going to limited as to what I could do,” he said.

“My whole world collapsed but the Carnival Committee said you cannot leave us - we need your input.”

“I had septicaemia and pneumonia but I carried on doing what I was doing and managed to come through it - it was a personal victory, which helped me and helped the committee.”

Brian has been an integral part of the Carnival Committee ever since it took over responsibility for the event from Skegness Town Council 20 years ago.

In that time he has not only ensured that the week long celebration continued to draw in hordes of visitors but he has helped it expand to become an essential fundraising platform for local charities.

The committee also provides hundreds of presents for disadvantaged children with its annual Christmas Grotto and the Hildreds Centre.

It is rare for both awards to be presented to the same citizen but Brian’s tireless commitment to helping others does not stop with his involvement with the carnival.

He is also the chairman of the March Group - a stoma support group for people who require colostomy bags after undergoing operations.

Drawing on his own experience Brian helps explain to group members what to expect and provides an example of how life can go on.

“It’s not doom and gloom - you’ve got to look on the positive side of life, and having come back from the brink, I know that can be done,” he said.

“I am ex-armed forces and you are always told to push that extra bit and that’s what I think I’ve done.

“You don’t let it rule you, you rule it.”

Although Brian said he was honoured to receive the awards, he believes there are many other people who battle through similar problems and worse tragedies than his, and that without the help of his wife, he wouldn’t have been able to make it.

l if you would like to hear more about the March Group, contact Brian on 01754 761617