A MAN who has made a real difference to the Warminster community has been surprised with an annual civic award.

The mayor of Warminster Cllr Chris Robbins surprised Keith Rattray by making an online presentation during a recent online town council meeting.

Presenting the award, Cllr Robbins said: “Keith Rattray, on behalf of the townspeople of Warminster it gives me great pleasure to award you the 2019 – 2020 Civic Award. Our warmest congratulations.”

Mr Rattray, 69, of Highbury Park, Warminster, said afterwards: “I am absolutely stunned that I have been awarded this civic honour.

“Both my wife Liz and I had no idea this was happening, and the award couldn’t have happened without the support Liz has given me over 48 years.

“I was lucky to come through unscathed after 30 years in the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and five years in the Scots Guards, all frontline activity, learning many skills along the way, and meeting inspirational people.

“After retiring in 2005 I felt restless, so I have since then over the last 15 years, joined various community voluntary groups and offered to put any skills I possess to use to help raise their profiles, with my IT skill being the most required. I have found you get out of life what you put into it.

“My whole adult life has been helping in the community and this is the reason I get so much pleasure from helping get groups online.”

Warminster Town Council’s annual Civic Award provides an opportunity for members of the local community to nominate an individual who makes a real difference within the town, gives unselfishly of their time and who receives little or no acknowledgement of their services.

Mr Rattray was taken by complete surprise when Cllr Chris Robbins presented him with the award at the town council’s virtual meeting on Monday, September 21.

For many years, Mr Rattray has helped numerous charity and welfare groups in the town with their websites, creating them from scratch and then updating them over the years.

All for free, this has enabled many groups to reach more people, to help charities with their grant giving and has provided access which they could not afford without this free help.

Over the years, Mr Rattray has helped The Fudge Trust, The Warminster Athenaeum, The Friends of Warminster Hospital, The Warminster Festival, The Organ Inn, Accord Training Services, The Royal British Legion, Macmillan (Cancer) for Warminster, John Pomeroy’s CTP, The Athenaeum Masquerades, St Lawrence Chapel, The Limelight Players, The Warminster Cricket Club and The Warminster Running Club, to name but a few.

Mr Rattray is also deputy manager at the Warminster Athenaeum and, until recently, was secretary of Warminster Royal British Legion, and with others organised the town’s Armed Forces Day on the RBL’s behalf.