(Pictured Above: Edward Norman presenting Sue Whitaker with her prize)
A Girl Guide leader – who joined the movement as an eight-year-old – has been recognised for her services to Surrey’s communities after winning the first Roger Coupe Star Award.
Sue Whitaker scooped the community star title – the first accolade to be handed out in the Cranleigh-based estate agent’s year-long awards – after winning a public vote.
“I’m absolutely thrilled – I wasn’t expecting to win, it was a really nice surprise. It’s not just me as I have a team behind me.”
The 47-year-old, who lives in the village, has led the 3rd Cranleigh Guide unit for 26 years, organising fun, educational and inspiring activities for her young members every week, alongside putting together annual trips and camps.
She was nominated by her husband James, 48, who praised her enthusiasm, creativity and leadership. Those who voted for her echoed his sentiments, describing Sue as “selfless, outstanding and dedicated”.
As well as taking the title of community star, Sue scooped herself a hamper from luxury London department store Fortnum and Mason, which she was presented with by Edward Norman, partner at Roger Coupe.
“I really enjoyed Brownies and Guides and wanted to do Guiding in the community I lived in”
Sue, a mum-of-two, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled – I wasn’t expecting to win, it was a really nice surprise. It’s not just me as I have a team behind me, so it’s really nice to get that recognition for
everyone that does Guiding. All the Guide leaders work really hard and give up a lot of time, so this is a win for them too.”
Sue joined the Brownies in Cranleigh at the age of eight, after moving to the UK from Australia, and went on to become a Guide. She has remained a keen member of the movement ever since.
“I think most people who have been a Brownie or Guide go away with happy memories and stories to tell, so I think it’s important to continue providing those opportunities to the next generation, and give girls a safe space where they can develop their own skills and be themselves.”
Edward, who sold Sue and James their house in Cranleigh, said: “We’re a community-led estate agency that likes to look after the interests of the villages we serve, so it’s great to recognise and support people that contribute so much to our neighbourhoods.
“All our finalists were deserving winners and we were delighted to hand the title to Sue, who for many years has gone above and beyond to help the next generation. We were blown away with the more than 300 votes that were cast for our finalists and look forward to receiving nominations for our next category – star teacher.”
Roger Coupe is now on the lookout for teachers and school staff who go the extra mile for their pupils. Nominations for the star teacher title open on 6 January.
To make a nomination email with a short description of your nominee, why they deserve to win, their contact details and where they live. Please also include your own contact details. Nominations can be made until midnight on 27 January