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Honorary Ambassador of Ashford Award

Overview of the Award

Ashford Borough Council established an Honorary Ambassador of Ashford Award at the meeting of the Council on 18th October 2018. The Award recognises and honours individuals who have made, or are making, a significant contribution to the development, wellbeing, strength and/or civic dignity of the Borough of Ashford.

The Award was commissioned in 2018 when the first recipient, Dr Liliana Turoiu, President of the Romanian Cultural Institute, was awarded in recognition of her work in commissioning the Memorial Statue of Queen Marie of Romania at Elwick Place, Ashford.The Ashford Ambassador Medallion awarded to Jasmin Vardimon

The Awards have been designed in the form of a silver medallion to embody the civic dignity that the Award endows and bears the Armorial Bearings of Ashford Borough Council, granted by the Garter King of Arms in 1975. To each side of the Armorial Bearings are poppies to signify the centenary of the end of the First World War (2018 – the first year of the Award). The recipient’s name appears at the top of the medallion, with the words ‘Ashford Ambassador’ at the bottom. The reverse of the medallion will always contain a raised image of the Memorial Statue of Queen Marie of Romania in the centre, and above the image will be inscribed ‘Queen Marie of Romania’ and below the image ‘1875 – 1938’, in recognition of the first recipient. The medallion is accompanied by a green coloured ribbon.


Dr Liliana Turoiu – December 2018

Dr Liliana Turoiu, President of the Romanian Cultural Institute was awarded in recognition of her work in commissioning a Memorial Statue of Queen Marie of Romania at Elwick Place, Ashford. The significance of Queen Marie of Romania to Ashford refers to the fact that she was the Granddaughter of Queen Victoria and born in the Borough at Eastwell Manor. The Romanian Royal Family and Government wanted to reflect this relationship by the placing of the aforementioned statue and this happened on the 12th December 2018 during a visit by members of the Romanian Royal Family and Ministers and VIPs from the Romanian Government. At the unveiling ceremony, Dr Liliana Turoiu was awarded with the commemorative medallion.

Image entitled Dr Liliana Turoiu At The Queen Marie Statue

Gerry Clarkson CBE – April 2023

Gerry Clarkson CBE served as an Ashford Borough Councillor for 17 years from 2006 to 2023 as the Ward Member for Charing. He also served ten years as the Leader of the Council from 2013. During his time in office Gerry demonstrated his passion for Ashford by championing our Borough at every opportunity – be that with peers, businesses, potential investors, Central Government and anyone else who would listen! This was all during a decade of much development throughout the Borough. In his award citation, the Mayor of Ashford, Councillor Jenny Webb, said that Gerry helped bring a greater civic pride to the Borough and a greater appreciation of its history and rich heritage.

Image entitled Cllr Gerry Clarkson

Sam Cox (AKA Mr Doodle) – August 2023

Ashford born and globally recognised artist Sam Cox, better known as Mr Doodle, has used his platform to not only share his talents and highlight our Borough, but has also been very open about the challenges that come with having a creative mind and ambition. He has dealt with those challenges in an honest and heart-warming way which has, and continues to, bring comfort and inspiration to many.

Image entitled Mr Doodle

Jasmin Vardimon MBE – August 2023

Internationally known Director and Choreographer Jasmin Vardimon MBE was presented with this Award to celebrate her incredible talent, creative mind and ambition. She has called Ashford home since 2010 and through her Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company has ensured that others get to explore and harness their own unique skills and change the world in which they live culturally – in small or large ways. The presentation of the Award took place at the Jasmin Vardimon H.O.M.E culture studio at Henwood Industrial Estate, Ashford. Opened in 2022 and already establishing itself as a flagship centre of dance in the UK.

Image entitled Jasmin Vardimon Speaking To The Mayor
Image entitled Jasmin Vardimon Receiving Her Ambassador Award