Congratulations to all the winners in the Excellence in the Community Awards 2011. These awards aim to recognise outstanding work and extraordinary achievement by individuals, groups and communities in Derbyshire and here are the winners from Chesterfield.
Awards for Volunteers Working in our Community
Seven years ago Pevensey Green was a muddy bog and a haven for anti-social behaviour prompting regular calls to police. A small group of pensioners joined together to form the Friends of Pevensey Green group and the area is now transformed.
Awards for Improving Life
North Wingfield Darby and Joan is a long standing club that regularly attracts 70 members to its weekly meeting. Without the time and effort of the volunteers over the last 25 years the club's members would be at greater risk of isolation and wouldn't have the same quality of life.
Tupton Rugby Club has a long-standing adult section and a few years ago a mini section for under tens was set up. Through the hard work, dedication and perseverance of a small group of volunteers giving up their time during evenings and weekends over 50 young people a week are now play rugby.
Harlequins Productions have put on a musical production and a pantomime each year since 1993 and given more than £42,000 to dozens of local charities including hospital wards, schools, youth clubs, playgrounds, medical charities and sports clubs. They've given huge pleasure to audiences, often comprising people in care homes or with learning disabilities.
Gary Topley runs the Free From Addiction Project the group holds weekly meetings and has helped many alcoholics in Chesterfield and the surrounding area. Gary works hard to educate others about the dangers of alcohol abuse − often visiting college to give talks and working alongside police and community safety partnerships.
As an avid runner Cyril Leason has completed many races, including seven marathons. Cyril's love of running and the countryside surrounding Pilsley and Hardwick saw him set up the Annual Hardwick Road Race 31 years ago. Since then, Cyril has worked tirelessly to organise the race annually and it has grown from 32 runners in its inaugural year to 240 more recently.
Rita Packwood has given many hours of her time to improving her community. She was an active member of Staveley Neighbourhood Management's board as a community representative and is now part of 'Staveley Forward' − a community group set up to improve the area. Rita is also a valued member of the Community Forum and was the driving force in the Mastin Moor Community Gardens Scheme, a project to bring a derelict site back into use.
Paula Elliott has transformed the life of an 80-year-old male neighbour whose house had become a health hazard after he'd failed to throw anything away for 40 years. Paula contacted social services for advice, her neighbour's doctor for support and a welfare benefits officer to check on correct income. She's also supported her neighbour to have the house cleaned top to bottom and has helped replace all the curtains, bedding, lamps and kitchen equipment.
Awards for Fundraising
Karen Dobson has been a Cub Scout leader for more than 10 years and her commitment and enthusiasm for working with young people has never faltered. She works hard to provide activities and organise camps for the cubs, developing their skills and friendships. She also supports the Beaver Scouts on outings and fundraising so that subscriptions for the 100 young people remain low.
Roy Lowe MBE has raised thousands of pounds for different causes, including Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield. Roy is well known around his home town and received an MBE in 1999 for his charity work. He dressed up as Father Christmas to drive his bus and gave young passengers sweets as gifts as they climbed aboard.
[Source: Derbyshire County Council]
Congratulations to all of the winners and keep up the good work. We do love good news stories!
Member since: 9th July 2012
Hi I'm Emma and I am passionate about all things Chesterfield. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and find them to be interesting. I would love you to add your personal comments to them