A local hero who saved Christmas in Chapel St Leonards has been given a cash reward by the community he serves.
Maintenance man David Roadley has become a popular character in the village as he goes about his daily duties clearing litter and making sure things run smoothly.
I love my job – you are not just a number, you are valued and I am very grateful for the rewardDavid Roadley
But over the festive period, David leapt into action to ensure residents would not be disappointed at the annual Christmas lights switch-on.
Coun Paul Hibbert-Greaves, of Chapel St Leonard Parish Council, said: “The Christmas lights committee was disbanded in cost-cutting measures but a few of us carried on regardless.
“When a 30ft monster Christmas tree was donated to us, David battled all day in horrendous winds in the week before Christmas to get it put up, stake it down and get the lights fixed to it.
“He worked through his hours and put in loads of overtime without expecting anything. And then on the day of the switch-on, he came back to make sure everything ran smoothly.
“It’s getting quite a big event, with snow machines, a canon that fires screamers and hot dog stands. But it wouldn’t have happened without David.”
David, who faces a mammoth task keeping the resort clean when the population rises from 3,800 to 41,000 in the summer, was presented with a £50 reward by the parish council as a mark of its appreciation.
He said: “I live in the village and like to see it look nice. Everyone in the village is friendly and I love my job – you are not just a number, you are valued. I am very grateful for the reward but I didn’t expect it.”