The mayor, Councillor Vince Bradbury, invited many locals to the event, including the committee of the Save Whitchurch Bank (the mayor was its chairman), school teachers/head-teachers/assistants/governors, and families of the award winners.
The Community Award is given out every year to six winners only. A special award is given to a youth. The town council solicits and collects the nominations and an independent body decides upon the winners.
The 2010 winners are…
Jordan Lucas receives our special Youth Award for his exceptional sporting achievement.
Jordan is 15 years old. He attends Testbourne School and has trained as a gymnast since the age of 6.
Three years ago, he moved to the discipline of Tumbling. Tumbling is a sport requiring strength, balance and substantial courage. Completed on a 25 metre straight track, the Tumbler completes a series of somersaults, twists and turns lasting no more than 10 seconds. Jordan’s skill is breathtaking to watch!
In 2009 Jordan won the Gold Medal in the National Tumbling League and the Gold medal in the British Championships. He is currently the British Champion. He represented Britain in the World Championships in St. Petersburg, and was part of the British Team that gained the Gold Medal in Rennes, France.
This year Jordan is looking forward to the British, European and World Championships.
Jordan is an inspiration and a great credit to our community.
Mr. Stanley Alderman was nominated for this award in recognition for his kindness to others. He regularly fetches and carries for residents who are temporarily, or permanently housebound. He collects their medicines and shops for their groceries, helps with gardening, and gives other assistance, where he can.
We are told that he is always smiling, and is a good Samaritan and friend to those who he helps. We honour Mr. Alderman this evening because he is the epitome of neighbourliness, a quiet kingpin of the Community, and an example to us all.
As a result of the Whitchurch Health Check in 2004 (a study to investigate how residents viewed their Town, and how they wished to see it develop), the Whitchurch Association was established. Harriet was, and remains, the first volunteer Chairman of the Association, having been elected in 2005, and has been actively involved with all the projects borne out of the Health Check, including the running of the Gill Nethercott Centre.
It was Harriet’s vision for a Community Arts project to enhance and personalize the Centre. The felt wall hangings and bunting that adorn the walls of the main Hall are the culmination of the fun and creativity enjoyed by a staggering number of local people of all ages, whom Harriet inspired to take part.
One of the projects that arose from the Health Check was a clear need for youth provision, and Harriet was one of the earliest volunteers for the Youth Project.
As a Whitchurch Association representative, Harriet has been a valued member of the Town Centre Improvement Steering Committee. She has been personally involved in the ”Paint your Town” project ~ to improve the appearance of the Town Centre; the Arts Project ~ for creatively enhancing the pavement bollards; the proposed Historic Plaques project ~ to encourage tourism; and the Community website, all of which will have a lasting impact on the town.
Harriet is the mother of three growing daughters, so it is no surprise that she has also been a Governor of Testbourne Community school for the past five years.
Harriet receives this award for her enthusiastic and inspiring contribution to the Community.
When Denyse Coles decided to offer some of her free time to community activities, she cannot have imagined the scope of her involvement She has been a member of the Whitchurch Association from the start, supporting Harriet, as Vice Chairman and with all the associated responsibilities of the Gill Nethercott Centre.
In late 2005, when the Youth Project desperately needed a secretary, a chance remark between friends, led to Denyse. Despite the fact that she knew nothing about the initiative she gamely took on the task, and has been an invaluable member of the Youth Project’s Committee ever since. Denyse organised fund raising at the Charity Shop, and helps to ensure that there are sufficient helpers in place for the Youth Club.
Denyse is also a representative of the Whitchurch Association on the Town Centre Improvement Steering Committee. For much of its active duration, Denyse has taken the Minutes of the Meetings ~ no mean feat for a contributing member, and Deputy Chairman!
Denyse was involved in the Arts Project and manages the ”Paint your Town” Project. She has encouraged many of the owners of local properties to take up the offer of a grant to externally paint their premises, improving the appearance of the Town Centre.
She is a member of the Andover Musical and Operatic Society (AMOS), and her involvement, both as a singer and as an accomplished seamstress, (Denyse makes many of the excellent costumes), has delighted local audiences, including those from Whitchurch.
Denyse is diligent and kind, and undoubtedly an asset to the community of Whitchurch.
Taking an active part in community life seems second nature to Mike. Soon after he moved to Whitchurch, he organized the annual community Litter Picks, encouraging residents to take responsibility for the appearance and cleanliness of their Town.
When we were informed that HSBC intended to abandon the Town, Mike became a leading member of the ”Save the Bank” Campaign and, along with the rest of the dedicated team, continues to lobby for improved banking services.
In the recent wintry weather Mike realized teat local councils were under pressure and could not cope with icy pavements, as well as roads. He organised a group of volunteers, arranged to borrow a local builder’s trailer and filled it with grit, funded by the Town Council. Mike and the volunteers, including our Mayor, headed out around the Town to help make many of the major footways safe.
Mike is currently working hard at shaping the new town website; he drove the installation of the audio visual system for the Gill Nethercott Centre, and is working to establish a Whitchurch Volunteer Corps. He is also a co-founder and co-moderator of the Whitchurch Internet Forums. His skills recently extended to entertaining us, when he took a leading part in the WADS Murder mystery production.
Mike engages with the community regarding a multitude of activities and items of concern. He confronts issues head-on, and does not suffer ”fence-sitting” gladly. However, his own single-minded perseverance is always well intentioned, and Mike’s attitude is a great example of what enthusiasm and persistence can achieve.
John Buckley received a number of nominations for the mind boggling number of good causes and activities he is quietly involved with, both locally and further afield. His strengths are in pulling ideas together, and finding solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. He does not court recognition, often leaving others to be the public face of the activities in which he is involved, but guiding and contributing from the edge, with relentless, (but gentle), persistence.
John is involved with the Whitchurch Festival, the Whitchurch Association, Whitchurch Forums, Whitchurch Green Aware, (including the Earth Hour celebrations), and the Save the Bank Campaign. He was instrumental in founding Whitchurch Arts, in 2008, and more importantly in framing its constitution. He is responsible for the publicity for the Whitchurch Festival Events and for various local websites. He runs the Whitchurch Beer Festival and is the regional director for CAMRA. One of his latest tasks is to organize the decorating of the Town pavement bollards, his winning Arts Project.
Two of John’s special attributes are patience and understanding for those with personal difficulties. He teaches cycling throughout the region as well as training in cycling proficiency. He teaches riders with difficulties such as cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Children and adults, who had never hoped to be able to ride, have experienced cycling because of John’s ”can-do” encouragement and innovation. He has been involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation for children with life threatening illnesses, as well as other charities and special needs groups, and I am sure they would wish to be included in our thanks to him this evening.
Cathy Saint receives her Community Award for her contribution to Whitchurch Church of England Primary School. Between 2006 and 2009, Cathy served as Chair of the Governing Body. This is one of the most exacting voluntary roles in our community. Our schools are vital to the success and cohesion of the Town, and Cathy took her responsibilities very seriously, working exceptionally hard, and devoting her energy to raising the standards and tackling deficiencies.
During her chairmanship she gave many hours to this work, undertaking training, participating in a huge number of meetings and cultivating relationships with the many individuals involved in the school.
The school is a happy, vibrant place to visit, and an educational establishment for which we can justifiably be proud, due of course to the commitment of all the staff and volunteers, but also in no small measure to Cathy’s legacy of care.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Thank you to the Mayor, and the Whitchurch Town Council (especially Pat Cooper and Cathy Burt who did ever so much to organise the awards and reception).