Individuals and businesses that make a positive contribution to the local community by putting people first and inspiring others to get involved have been recognised at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Community Awards.
A record 158 nominations were received for this year’s awards with the winners announced at a special ceremony held at the Guildhall and hosted by the Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Council Councillor Karen Walker.
Councillor Walker said: “There are so many people and organisations across the district that do so much for our community, but whose work often goes unsung. The Community Awards enable us to celebrate and recognise their dedication to helping others and we heard many inspiring stories at the awards ceremony. I congratulate the winners and all the nominees who are really making a difference to communities right across Bath & North East Somerset.”
This year’s winners were:
• Employee of the Year – Adam Tugwell
Adam provides administrative support to the Children’s Centre team at Parkside in Bath. He received a record number of eight nominations for the award. He was described by all his nominators as being cheerful, friendly, dedicated, committed and trustworthy.
• Employee Team of the Year – Bath One Stop Shop Customer Services Team
The Bath One Stop Shop Team provides a frontline service for local residents offering support and guidance. The team plays an integral part in helping customers to achieve positive outcomes, including supporting those that have life changing events such as risk of eviction, homelessness, financial crisis, mental health and social care issues.
• Above and Beyond (Employee Award) – Martin Brimble
Martin Brimble has worked as a cleansing operative within Bath & North East Somerset Council for 22 years. He is responsible for keeping streets, pavements, open spaces and play areas clear from litter. His nominator said: “Martin went over and above his job description particularly last year, single-handedly litter picking both verges along a section of the A367 during the heat wave last year”.
• Business of the Year Award – Temple Street Canteen
Stefan Edwards opened Temple Street Canteen in Keynsham in October 2017. He quickly became involved in community activities supporting the ‘Pay it forward’ coffee scheme which involves customers buying an additional coffee for a future customer, someone they don’t know but who may possibly be in need, in a ‘random act of kindness’. The Canteen also supported ‘Pay as you feel Christmas Lunch’, offering a Christmas meal for anyone who was going to be on their own at Christmas.
• Volunteer Leader of the Year – Carol Rust
Carol Rust has volunteered with Bath Foodcycle since 2014. This all-volunteer project collects surplus food from supermarkets around Bath once a week and uses it to create a three course, community meal. Carol started as a volunteer chef, but rapidly became part of the project leadership team initiating a bid for the Bath Soup project, inspiring volunteers to take their Food Hygiene qualifications and leading cooking sessions.
• Young Volunteer Leader of the Year – Ashley Russell
Ashley Russell is the Group Scout Leader at 51st Bath Scouts based in Oldfield Park. Since taking over as Leader in 2014, Ashley has been instrumental in completely reviving the group which now has more than 50 young members, including a full Beaver and Cub section. His hard work and dedication has resulted in more young people in the local area having access to the lifelong opportunities that the Scouting community can provide.
• Volunteer Team of Year – Training at the Trough Team, Bath City Farm
The Training at the Trough team at Bath City Farm is comprised of people from Bath with learning difficulties and additional needs who make food for the community cafe at the farm. They learn catering and independent living skills as well as benefitting from a work style placement. They mentor and induct new members of the group and take time to help each other learn and grow. The team was praised for being dedicated, inspiring and enthusiastic.
• Young Volunteer Team of the Year – Bath Nightline
Bath Nightline has been supporting Bath students for more than 20 years. They are a group of 80 student volunteers who provide a confidential listening service for students at the University of Bath. The service is open from 8pm to 8am every night of the semester (including weekends and during exams). The Nightline Service enables students who are distressed to share their feelings anonymously, providing support for those who feel they have no-one else to talk to. Nightline volunteers also signpost to other services offering additional support.
• Volunteer of the Year – Hayley Wallace
Hayley Wallace has been involved with the Southside Family Project in Bath for the past four years. Since completing her training to become a Family Champion she has set up a Stay and Play group in Foxhill; launched a new Hub group at Bath City Farm and has started a Youth Project in Foxhill. She has secured funding for all the projects and is about to embark on a three month consultation, with the help of the young people she has recruited, to ensure she delivers what young people need and want.
• Young Volunteer of the Year – Max Feeney
Max has volunteered for the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Royal British Legion since the age of eleven. He is a Standard Bearer and attends all official parades and funerals, carrying the Royal British Legion Standard on behalf of veterans. He also holds the position of Vice Chairman and assists with organising the yearly parade and annual poppy fund count.
• Carer of the Year – Gill Powney
Gill Powney has fostered many children across Bath and North East Somerset through the Shared Lives Scheme. Gill’s nominator said: “Gill and her family have loved and cared for many people giving them opportunities in life that would not have been available to them otherwise. They embody the values of inclusion, non-judgement and the belief that everyone has the right to have an inclusive family life – something that many of us take for granted”.
• Young Carer of the Year – Chloe l’Anson
Seventeen year old Chloe I’Anson lives in the Somer Valley. Chloe helps care for her family while while studying at sixth form. She cooks meals, walks the dog and does other household tasks such as ironing, washing and cleaning. If her brother’s carers do not attend for any reason, Chloe has to take on the full caring role and carry out all the tasks necessary to support her brother- including washing and using a hoist.
• Peter Duppa Miller Lifetime Achievement – Mary Burnard
Mary Burnard formed Keynsham’s Talking Newspaper 35 years ago and still continues to dedicate much of her time to the organisation. The talking newspaper provides weekly recordings for blind or partially sighted people. Initially the recordings were made in volunteer’s homes around a kitchen table. Today the talking newspaper now boasts its own recording studio and more than 50 volunteers and readers. Mary continues to champion the services of the Talking Newspaper, giving talks, radio interviews, liaising with nursing and retirement homes and those that are eligible for the organisation’s services. She also continues to be a kind welcoming voice at the end of the telephone supporting new members.
• Special Award – Derek and Norma Stent
Derek and Norma Stent have been the passionate and dedicated face of Guide Dogs in Bath for over 35 years. They have walked more than 50 guide dog puppies since taking up the voluntary role in 1981 and have raised more than £1 million for Guide Dogs during this time. Derek was the Group Chair of the Bath fundraising group for more than 35 years.
• Special Award – Pauline Swaby Wallace
Pauline Swaby Wallace works for Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association which provides care services to ethnic minority elders. Her position is part-time yet she regularly works a 60 hour week providing support to the elders as well as catering, organising events and fund-raising to support BEMSCA and the Friends of Fairfield House. Her nominator said: “Pauline is energetic, a good communicator, an ambassador for the Caribbean community and always prepared to roll up her sleeves and join in.”
• Special Award – Youth Volunteers of Wheels for All Bath & West.
Wheels for All Bath & West is part of Cycling Projects – the national charity for inclusive cycling. They rely principally on a team of volunteers to deliver cycling sessions using a wide range of specialist cycles, trikes, hand cycles and tandems. Their main operation is focused at the Odd Down sports ground cycle circuit. Over the past year they have reached more than 75 people delivering to 15 local groups. During the school holiday period, the team clocked up 80 hours of volunteering between them.
The Community Awards contribute to the council’s vision to make ‘Bath and North East Somerset an even better place to live, work and visit’ and are organised in partnership with B&NES Clinical Commissioning Group, CURO, Sirona Care and Health, B&NES Virgin Care and the Student Community Partnership and Bath College.