The Wychavon Community Recognition Awards 2015 were held on 15th March 2016 at Peopleton Village Hall. The top three nominations from each of the eight categories were invited along with their guests to the ceremony where the winner was announced. After welcome drinks and a tasty buffet the guests were seated. Councillor Gerry O’ Donnell and Chair of the council, Councillor Val Wood presented the awards to the winners. They went as follows;
Lottie Cobley, Jack Betteridge, Rhianne Gale, Daisy Macdonald
Mitchell Anderson - In February 2015 Mitchell, aged 16 yrs, joined Roundabout as a volunteer. He started as a shy young man however in the past 6 months he has become much more confident and he has developed into a reliable and conscientious volunteer. Volunteering with Roundabout has clearly had a very positive impact on Mitchell, prior to joining he had had minor brushes with the authority and chaotic lifestyle but working with adults has made him more mature and thoughtful, especially in his interaction with vulnerable volunteers. Mitchell often talks about the satisfaction he has gained from his voluntary role in trying to alleviate hardship and stress in families much worse off than him therefore recognises how well off he is both materially and emotionally which has lead to a positive change in his attitude.
Bal Padda and Vito Mauro
Bal Padda and Vito Mauro - Bal and Vito are the leading lights of Growers Utd FC, which has developed into a successful sporting, charity fund raising and promotional event. In 2015 Growers Utd tournament saw 32 teams compete. Organising an event of this scale when you also run extremely busy nurseries supplying leading retailers isn’t easy – which Bal and Vito do. They take it in their stride and put huge amounts of time into raising funds for Birmingham’s Children’s hospital and Cancer Research UK as well as helping several local groups, including Caring Hands who receive free fresh food from local growers. Bal had the original idea for Growers United Football Club but the fact that he has nicknamed Vito ‘The Hammer’ for his commitment and persistence shows how much he values Vito’s input. They both don’t such go the extra mile, as go the extra marathon with their commitment to making Growers Utd succeed.
Helen Russell - Helen represents Great Britain in triathlon in her age group at international level and is a former World and European Duathlon Champion and European Triathlon Champion. She qualified for the 2015 European Aquathlon (swin/run) Championships. However she has put her personal sporting ambitions on hold for a cause more important than winning medals when asked to join the ‘One Day Ahead’ team to raise £1million to try and find a cure for leukaemia. This entailed cycling the entire route of Tour De France (2,000 miles) over 21 days. Helen put herself through extreme pain to complete this challenge, suffering from saddle sores, black toenails, sleep deprivation, blisters and dehydration but kept on pedalling. On the second day she fell off the bike and required 10 stitches to her thigh. Helen is dedicated and determined to succeed in her chosen sport. She is truly an inspiration to local sports people.
COMMUNITY PROJECT AWARD
Caring Hands in the Vale
Growers Utd FC
Caring Hands - – Caring Hands in the Vale provides a range of free resources to individuals within the Vale of Evesham (free of charge), which includes drop-in meals twice a week and five different banks of resources; Foodbank, Household bank, clothes bank, baby bank and homeless bank. They provide volunteering opportunities and over 12 months will see over 60 volunteers of which the organisation couldn’t operate without. Caring Hands also provide information & education sessions for local community groups, schools and colleges to name a few. They will also help people get support from homelessness services, drug and alcohol recovery services, NHS health checks and support with form filling. They have seen a significant increase in support from the community especially over the xmas period where they provided 73 hampers for individuals and families in need and provided 40 xmas lunches for people that rare either homeless, in financial need and others that would have been on their own
Growers Utd FC - Growers United FC is definitely a project that has made a positive impact on people’s lives and raised community spirit. In 2015 £30,000 was raised for a combination of charities through the football tournament, charity dinners and matches against Liverpool Legends, West Brom Legends and Soap Star Team. They even managed to re-create a summer match on a wet day in April when filming for the last Terry Wogan series. The football tournament now has 32 teams of fifteen different nationalities, showing that sport is a way of coming together, help to create community understanding, breaking down barriers and building community cohesion. During 2015, all those involved displayed great commitment in chasing people to attend charity dinners, putting teams together to make the tournament a success and several also displayed great personal commitment in getting fitter. All of this has involved amazing amounts of time from people already running their own businesses and organisations; their commitment to the Growers United FC objectives is laudable.
ENABLING HEALTHY LIVES
Lucy Bickerstaff & Sean Coutts
Jean Deakins - Jean runs a swimming session every Tuesday for clients that have learning difficulties. Many of her clients have learnt to swim because of her dedication and the volunteering of her time. She completes all of the administrative duties involved with the swimming group, as well as ensuring that all of her clients receive a certificate for their individual achievements. Her sessions allow her clients to be active as well as encouraging them to go swimming outside of her group with their family and friends. She is supportive of Working World and makes it a point to attend all of the events they hold. She enriches the lives of all her clients who attend her sessions and helps them to become more confident in the water
ART RECOGNITION AWARD
John Dudley - John is a key member of the Droitwich Arts Network ensuring that there is music at every time event. He has provided opportunities for new and emerging local musical talent to perform at Droitwich Spa festivals and various venues around the town. He spends a significant amount of his time finding new musical talent and arranging for them to showcase their talents. John has been tirelessly organising music events in Droitwich Spa for the past 13 years, it is difficult to imagine a Droitwich Spa festival without the music that he supplies. A number of musicians from the area, that John has promoted, are now enjoying significant national and international success.
COMMUNITY GROUP AWARD
South Worcestershire Lifesaving and Lifeguard Club Flood Rescue Team
St John’s Ambulance
Growers Utd FC - Growers United Football Club is a club ‘for charity’ and ‘for community’, rather than the more obvious football club, although they use football as a way to achieve their charitable goals. The club started life in 2012 as a one off football match between a combined growers team and Evesham United FC. Growers United is a corporate social responsibility project, whose horticultural and agricultural businesses raise money for local charities and thus give back to their local communities. The group supports community cohesion and combats all forms of racism, xenophobia and prejudice. The team works in close partnership with Pershore College part of Warwickshire College on the apprenticeship scheme. Growers United shows that sport can be hugely effective and powerful too, capable of bringing down barriers in communities.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Hazel Leach & Janet Biggs
Hazel Leach & Janet Biggs - Hazel was one of the founding members of the South Worcestershire Life Saving and Lifeguard Club that would teach youngsters and adult the importance of water safety, life saving and first aid. She has had many commendations through the national governing bodies and by Pershore Town Council. At the club she is known as ‘Mum’ as she is always there for anyone to give advise, support and recommendations. Her daughter Janet Biggs was there from the start, following the awards system. Since then she has gone on to teaching lifesaving and now tutoring trainers to become better educators in water safety and first aid. Janet took on the role of welfare officer for the clubs volunteer flood rescue unit. Along with her duties of informing families and employers of the events that are happening, she also ensures that the team is fit and well. This additional role, however, isn’t a day job as Janet has taken calls and initiatives in the middle of the night to ensure the flood unit is supported. Both Hazel and Janet have been in the club for over 40 years, without their unwavering support they have made the community and the waters events they hold a safer place.
The audience were also treated to a slide show about the Community Development team, a Youth Music Project Film and a beautiful performance by the winner of the 11-13 singing category at this years W Factor 2016, Lucy Gidley.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the nominees, they truly deserve recognition for the time they give to make other people’s lives better. If you would like to know anything more about the awards please contact Tracy Grubb on 01386 565168 or email email@example.com