A KEEN knitter and local fundraiser has been named as Ellesmere Rotary Club's Community Champion.

The Ellesmere Rotary Club president Peter Broadbent recently presented Lilian Ashely with the club's annual Community Champion Award for 2020/21.

Lilian is an avid knitter and member of Knit and Natter who has, over many years, made contributions to the fund-raising efforts of local organisations by selling her wares at craft fairs, coffee mornings, and then passing on the proceeds.

She has long been an annual presence at the Ellesmere Rotary Regatta in order to support that particular year's chosen beneficiary and has produced a variety of toys, baby clothes, hats, and blankets and knits every spare minute she has.

She has also been a member of the Ellesmere Hope House Supporters for many years and treasurer for some of that time.

Lilian has is also a past president of the Ellesmere Women's Institute.

In recent years Lilian and her friends have focused their efforts in making teddies for the Buddy Bag Foundation.

The Foundation supports children who are taken into emergency care, a group that numbers approximately 48,000 a year.

At this low point in their life the bag contains a few essential items and some items of comfort; among them a Buddy Bear.

Club president Peter said he was extremely grateful for the work of Lilian and her friends.

"Ellesmere Rotary has been especially grateful to Lilian and her friends for their efforts in making teddies for the Buddy Bag Foundation," he said.

"At such a time children need to know that they are in a safe place, and the bear represents the fact that somebody believes they are worthwhile and really cares about them.

"Lilian is filled with enthusiasm for the aims of the Foundation and Rotary is hugely grateful for her contribution.

"She really does fulfil one of the key commitments of Rotary International – service above self."