Kingston Communities Awards 2024

Kate and Paul Flavell were recently nominated for a Kingston Celebrating Communities Awards 2024 in the category ‘Unsung hero’ – celebrating dedication in a volunteer role. The event recognised the amazing contributions volunteers and communities across Kingston, and was organised by the Empowering People, Supporting Communities Partnership, a partnership of Voluntary and Community sector and the Council.

The nomination came from fellow Kingston bell ringers who have benefited from their dedication, So-Shan Au, with contributions from Kate Corney and Dwenna Georges. Although they didn’t win – there were 27 nominees in their category – they are winners in our eyes. Congratulations Kate and Paul!

“Kate and Paul Flavell are the epitome of unsung heroes within the bell ringing community. Their tireless dedication and commitment to the art of bell ringing make them exceptional candidates for the Unsung Hero award in Kingston’s Celebrating Communities Awards 2024.

For years, Kate and Paul have devoted countless hours to the preservation, promotion and teaching of ringing, a tradition that’s ingrained in the cultural heritage of Kingston and Britain. What sets Kate and Paul apart is not only their technical proficiency in ringing but also their passion for sharing this ancient craft with others. 

They have selflessly volunteered their time to teach newcomers: their willingness to mentor and support aspiring ringers has played a pivotal role in ensuring the continuation of this timeless tradition. They taught me in 2018 as part of the national campaign to recruit ringers for Ringing Remembers. Recently, they have been teaching and encouraging three 14-year-olds for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, devoting a lot of time and effort to pass on the traditions so that ringing continues to have a future.

Kate has been a member of the Kingston band since 1978. Paul joined the band in 1985 and assumed the role of Tower Captain at All Saints in 1988. Throughout these many years, they have instructed numerous learners in bell ringing and have overseen the care of the bells at Kingston, where we are fortunate to possess 12 magnificent bells. They maintain a sufficient number of ringers for regular church services (both Sunday morning and evensong ringing), civic events, celebrations, and memorials. Additionally, Paul sees to it that the flag is raised on designated flag flying days and to commemorate other significant occasions throughout the year.

Kate and Paul’s contributions extend far beyond the confines of their local church tower. They actively participate in regional bell ringing events, and have taken on voluntary roles within the broader ringing community. Paul is currently Master of the Surrey Association of Bell Ringers. Kate was Vice-President (2008-2011) and then President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (2011-2014) – plus, both have been judges for countless ringing competitions. 

Kate and Paul approach each ringing session with boundless enthusiasm and a genuine love for the craft. Through their generosity and commitment to the art of bell ringing, they have touched the lives of countless individuals and enriched their community in ways that will resonate for generations to come.”

So-Shan was taught by Kate and Paul for Ringing Remembers