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Kerry McCarthy
Kerry McCarthy
Fairtrade fortnight 2013

Local heroes

Home / Local heroes
On this page, Kerry honours some of the local people who have devoted their time to making east Bristol a better place, whether it's in their work, their participation in community activities or as individual volunteers.

The first of Kerry's local heroes is Reg Gregory who sadly passed away in September 2009. Reg lived in the same house in Redfield all his life. He was a driving force behind getting the Wellspring Healthy Living Centre built in Barton Hill, as a member of Community at Heart's 'Healthy Places, Happy People' group. A sculpture by Lucy Casson in the reception area of the Wellspring centre has been named Reg in his honour. Reg was also a longstanding trade unionist and very much involved in his local community. In 2005 Kerry welcomed Reg to the Palace of Westminster to receive an Older Volunteer Hero award, for which she had nominated him.

Joyce and Richard Smith devoted many years of their lives to the restoration of Arnos Vale Cemetery, which was neglected for a long time by its owner. They set up the Friends of Arnos Vale Cemetery and eventually persuaded Bristol City Council to apply for a Compulsory Purchase Order. They then successfully applied for a £4.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and have organised other fund-raising activities to help pay for the restoration work. Joyce and Richard have both been awarded MBEs for their work at Arnos Vale, and were also invited to Parliament by Kerry to receive Older Volunteer Heroes awards. For more information on the work being carried out at Arnos Vale, see

Richard sadly passed away in July 2009, leaving the Arnos Vale Cemetary as a lasting legacy, appreciated by all the people of Bristol East.

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