Two Islanders who go the extra mile to support Mountbatten have been recognised at this year’s Isle of Wight Radio Local Heroes Awards, sponsored by Wight Fibre, at a glittering ceremony at Cowes Yacht Haven.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Island High Sheriff Gioia Minghella, went to Ron Bowler who has helped raise millions of pounds for Mountbatten through his support of Walk the Wight. Ron marshaled the first ever Walk the Wight and, along with founders Bill Bradley and Frank Stephens, was integral to establishing the event with support from his employer Jewson. From humble beginnings, Walk the Wight with Mountbatten has grown to become an iconic event in the Island’s calendar, raising £4.5m since it began to support end of life care for the Island community.
Ron’s nomination, which was submitted by Mountbatten’s fundraising team and read out at the ceremony, commented on his ‘wonderful, can-do attitude’ and his ‘unwavering support for Mountbatten’. Every year, Ron and his Jewson team deliver vital infrastructure including fencing and signage to ensure the event runs smoothly. Ron also manages the checkpoint at Mottistone. Over the years, he has also held two black tie fundraising events and belongs to Vectis Sunrise Rotary, which also supports Mountbatten. Although Ron is due to retire from Jewson next year, he has pledged to continue raising funds for the charities he supports.
Receiving his award, Ron said that it’s such a buzz to be involved in Walk the Wight and see the fantastic community support for the event. He also commented that his motivation comes from the work carried out by Mountbatten’s nurses and carers. Ron said: “I feel so humbled to be recognised for the support to Mountbatten. Having been associated with Walk the Wight since day one, I have seen it grow from strength to strength and never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to see it go to what is has today.
“There are thousands of deserving recipients who have turned out, year on year, to walk across our wonderful Island and raise funds for such a deserving cause. I have been privileged to support and, on retirement next spring from Jewson, will be joining the Fundraising Team at Mountbatten who themselves do such tremendous work supporting the wonderful work of Mountbatten - not only in the hospice but throughout the Island’s community”.
Also recognised at the awards ceremony was Mountbatten volunteer Sue Clerkin, who works tirelessly to maintain the hospice’s gardens and always ensures they are looking their best for the enjoyment of people supported by Mountbatten, visitors, staff and other volunteers. Sue’s nomination spoke of her constant commitment to volunteering, every day going above and beyond for the charities she supports. Sue was presented with the Best Volunteer award by Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely. Sue said: “It was a big surprise, as I thought I was a finalist not the winner of Best Volunteer Local Hero 2018! Cowes Yacht Haven looked amazing with the tables beautifully decorated and laid out. The whole evening presented by Isle of Wight Radio was excellent – a lot of work must have been done to hold this event!”

Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO, said: “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to both Sue and Ron for their very worthy awards. Mountbatten would not be able to care for the growing numbers of Islanders facing death, dying and bereavement without the enduring support of volunteers such as them. Whether through fundraising or through volunteering, we are incredibly fortunate to have the dedication of supporters who see how important excellent end of life care is to our community – not just for those who are dying, but to those who are left behind.”