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Community Awards

Community Awards

On Thursday 14th September 2023 we gathered together to celebrate all that is strong about the local community at the second Springfield, Beech Hill and Gidlow CommUnity Awards.

What an amazing evening we had, recognising all the people who had been nominated by their peers for contributing to making this community a great place to live, learn, work and play in.

This year we had eight different categories plus the Phyll Cullen Councillor Award.

The evening started with a fantastic performance from FLD dance before Vicky took to the stage to invite the young people up to receive their trophies from Mervyn.

We had 8 young people nominated for all they do in the local community.

First up was Belle, who aside from helping her Mum out at the FLD dance school , and performing on the evening, is ranking 3rd in the UK at Hip Hop.

Phoebe and Keira were up next for their support with uniformed groups in the community. Phoebe with the Guides and Keira with the Scouts.

Michael and Jamie were nominated for helping out with Mollys Carnival by dressing up as mascots and entertaining the children on the day.

Erika was nominated for the way she contributes to the monthly women and young girls Food Share and Louie for the fundraising he does for good causes.

Tommy was last up in the young peoples category. He received 5 nominations from local people for setting up a gardening company and donating to good causes.  Tommy was also awarded the Phyll Cullen trophy at the end of the night.

Next up we had the Community Care Takers, the people who take care of the area.

Victoria received an award for her work in the community garden and the garden was also nominated as a Place of Welcome.  Victoria nominated Pam, Kath and Ben for their efforts in the garden.

Jude was up next, with 5 nominations for the ways in which she cares for the community.  She can be seen wandering around the community with a litter picking trolley whilst wearing funky hats.  She also nominated Margaret, David and Judith for the way they too work hard to keep the community spick and span.

We recognised the people who had been nominated who couldn’t be with us.  Frank for his tireless work caretaking the Scout Hut for over 30 years, John for looking after Lilac Ave and Dana for looking after the bins on Park Rd.

After a break for buffet we recognised all those who had been nominated for connecting the community.  We started with those connected to faith and recognised Susan, Diane and Helen for their hard work at St Annes and setting up Annies Pantry.

It was then over to St Andrews and Sandra was up first.  She’d received a whopping seven nominations from all across the community for everything she does from caring for elderly, creating space for play and being able to fix or create anything.  Sandra nominated 6 people from the Parish – Jayne, Tracy, Dennis, Ann, Graham and Jean who contributed in lots of different ways to community life.  Jean also accepted an award for the centre as a Place of Welcome.

Next up was Lisa, who received 6 nominations from the local community thanking her for the way that she contributes to creating spaces where people can relax, have fun and put down their cares.  Her skills in providing peer support around mental health were also recognised.  Lisa nominated 6 people who were invited up to receive awards for their contribution to community and support to her. Vera, Susan, Lawrence, Gary and Phil took the stage for mentor support, gifting craft, being the best bingo caller in town and making the coffee morning welcome at the Hub at Beech Hill.  Phil was recognised separately for his contribution to community with the use of his van, bike recycling and working hard on securing a defibrillator for the community.  Sonia, who helps at Afternoon Tea couldn’t be with us on the evening.

Brenda was up next with four nominations for the Family Craft Club and providing a space where families can have quality time together and let their imaginations run wild.  John and Lisa were recognised for their contribution to the dog show.  Lawrence, a local legend, was recognised for all he does and gives to the community. Sam and Liz couldn’t be with us on the evening and both were recognised for the way they use food to bring the community together.

In the absence of Liz, Lisa accepted the nomination for the women and girls Food Share as a Place of Welcome.  Michelle and Gill accepted the award for Beech Hill Community School as a Place of Welcome and Jayne received the award on behalf of St Andrews Primary School.

We had three nominations for welcoming neighbours. Mel couldn’t be with us and neither could Angela and Barry.  Tony and Jan joined us on the evening and accepted their award.

Welcoming neighbours create welcoming streets and we had 3 nominations in the street category.  Patricia and Thicknesse Ave couldn’t be with us on the evening.  Neighbours from Pearl Street and Colliery Meadow joined us to celebrate and were offered £100 to contribute to a street party to celebrate.

Then it was over to the Local Worker category.

First up was Phyll Cullen for her contribution to community. Then Raheim of Martins Whippy for being an outstanding ice cream provider and friend.

Lisa was up next, the lollipop lady at Sacred Heart.  Then, Alice of ReMade with 3 nominations for supporting the womens work locally. Donna and David who both work at Go Local took an award.  David received a massive 12 nominations for being an all-round great community guy and looking after his customers and his staff when things get tricky in the shop.

Community business was the last category.  Michelle from the Hen Hole couldn’t be with us, but Paula of Spoons Café could, and she accepted her award.

Phyll Cullen gave her award to Tommy and Vera closed the event with a few words of thanks.

We were really grateful too to True Level Media for recording and taking photographs on the evening.

The community awards is such a lovely event.  It really touches your heart when you see peoples faces as they hear the words of the person who nominated them and the reasons for their nominations.

It’s especially touching as the people who come along, are usually the people who do what they do, because it’s what they do.  They aren’t seeking recognition at all. 

In reality, it’s the really small every day acts of community care that make the big difference and we should celebrate the small and regular acts of care as a community.

If you know someone who we should say thank you too, make sure you nominate them next year!

And keep your eyes open for more photos of all the nominees and films from the awards. Coming Soon!