Community 1 smEach year Community Awards are presented to a number of local residents, at a special event to highlight their contributions to Whitchurch.

These are presented to local people who have been nominated for their voluntary work for the good of our local community, or who inspire others through their achievements. Six Awards are presented each year.
The Awards were started 26 years ago and were introduced by the late Cllr Peter Pelling.

This year’s Presentations were made at the Community Day and Town Assembly, held last Saturday at the Gill Nethercott Centre.
Nominations are received and a panel made the selections based on the information provided.
(Full Citations follow on from the list below)

The recipients of this year’s awards were:

KIRSTY FRANCIS
Nominated for her work at the Youth Club and Youth Project.

GILLIAN CLARKE
Nominated for her work with the Parish Hall, Silver Threads, and the Country Market.

ALAN PHILLIPS
Nominated for his work with the Friday Lunch Club at Testbourne School.

BRIAN BENT
Nominated for an award for his role within the walking community, Whitchurch Association and the Silk Mill.

MARTYN DANCER
Martyn Dancer has been nominated for his work with Whitchurch Cricket Club.

AMANDA WINCH and MARK BISHOP (Joint Award)
Nominated for their work trying to protect the Red House pub from permanent closure.


THE FULL CITATIONS:

Community Awards Winners Certs 2019KIRSTY FRANCIS has been nominated for her work at the Youth Club and Youth Project.

At the age of 11 Kirsty started attending the youth club and has been involved with the Whitchurch Youth Project ever since.

In 2011, aged 16, Kirst trained as a Young Leader and then in 2013 she became the Assistant Leader at the Youth Café for 14 to 19 year olds. After three years Kirsty moved back to Youth at Heart (10 to 14 year olds) and is now the Assistant Leader to Barry Goddard.

Kirsty helps run the Youth Club on Friday evenings organising activities and then once a month helps on the trips out. This allows those who go a chance to take part in extra activities that they may not otherwise get a chance to do, even if there are some activities that she does not enjoy taking part in herself.

In her time being involved with the Youth Project, Kirsty has developed into a confident leader, able to direct and manage club members effectively and is very supportive, with a listening ear.

Without Kirsty’s involvement as a leader the club would not be able to run, and her work is greatly appreciated by all those on the committee and those who attend the Youth Club.


Community Awards Winners Certs 2019GILLIAN CLARKE is nominated for her work with the Parish Hall, Silver Threads, and the County Market.

Gill is well known for her approach to life, being fully involved in the community and being there for everyone. Gill is reliable and sticks to it when she commits to something – and is dependable to the last.

Gill has been a staunch supporter of the Parish Hall for well over 20 years. She is very much a hands on committee member (and now chairman) and can be seen popping in there most days carrying out her many tasks of either opening up and closing for the various clubs, cleaning, and ensuring that the hirers have a spick and span building to come into.

Gill is also a key and valued member of the Silver Threads and committee member helping and ensuring everything is organised for either the meetings or various outings during the year.

Each Friday morning wet or shine will find Gill walking down with her trolley to attend the weekly Friday Country Market and she is also a valued member of this committee.

Gill is one of those members of our community that asks little of anyone but gives of herself to all without favour, a quiet pillar of our community here in Whitchurch. She has been nominated for this award to recognise her community spirit, without which we would all be the poorer.


Community Awards Winners Certs 2019ALAN PHILLIPS has been nominated for his work with the Friday Lunch Club at Testbourne School.

For many years Alan has been such a huge asset to Testbourne School and the local community in supporting the activities and projects for older residents in the area.  Alan picks up people from their homes and transports them to the Friday Lunch Club each week and to the coach drop off point for the Out and About Club trips.  He does this whole-heartedly, without question and volunteers his own time.  He is completely committed to the welfare, safety and happiness of the members and is friendly and welcoming.  The groups are a lifeline to our older people who often feel isolated and lonely.  Alan makes every effort to ensure everyone is made to feel special and important.

One of people benefitting from Alan’s help says, “He is so kind and helpful in ensuring that infirm people are helped on and off the minibus safely.  We do appreciate the transport and it makes a difference with Alan to help us.”


Community Awards Winners Certs 2019BRIAN BENT has been nominated for an award for his role within the walking community, Whitchurch Association and the Silk Mill.

Brian has over 40 years of unbroken voluntary service in the town and continues to be a volunteer walk leader for the Whitchurch Evening Rambling group, a role he began shortly after arriving in Whitchurch over 40 years ago.  Brian is familiar with just about every path and sile in North Hampshire and under the umbrella of the Ramblers Association Hampshire Division is a volunteer Footpath Secretary for Whitchurch and six other local parishes.  He has show a life time’s dedication to the countryside and is always the first person to put his hand up to volunteer for the Walkers are Welcome litter picking, footpath maintenance sessions, installing stiles and manning stands at promotional events; you name it and Brian will be there.

Brian is also a valued Trustee of the Whitchurch Association helping to oversee the many projects managed on behalf of the town and he can often be found putting his handyman skills to very good use at the Gill Nethercott Centre. 

Whitchurch Silk Mill is another local cause to have benefitted freely from Brian’s help and enthusiasm whether that be clearing weed from the river, or putting to good use the skills acquired from a career in engineering.


Community Awards Winners Certs 2019MARTYN DANCER has been nominated for his work with Whitchurch Cricket Club.

In January 2018 Whitchurch Cricket Club found themselves in a predicament.  The existing committee had resigned on mass and talks of closure had been discussed.  Only six playing members remained.  A new committee was formed and was faced with no workable maintenance machines, a need to attract new new players and the likely loss of the tenancy of the ground.

Martyn was appointed Club Captain which required more than picking the team for Saturday matches.  His practical knowledge and advice have enabled us to purchase a gang mower and a secure container within budget.

He is a qualified cricket coach which has enabled the club to run two junior taster days last summer and will run an All Stars (ECB initiative) training series (ages 5-8 years) in summer 2019.

Martyn prepares the prepares the wicket for all home matches and has run the Saturday XI, giving youth its chance and attracting new players.  Martyn is the ‘go to’ man of Whitchurch Cricket Club.  Always available to give advice, supports all the events and quite frankly his enthusiasm has been the reason for the continuing existence of this famous club. 

One anecdote concerning Martyn would be his wonder catch at Shrewton last year.  The ball hit mighty hard was heading for the boundary, the rest of the side had given it up but a more in hope hand thrust out by Martyn secured the wonder catch at great surprise to all!


Community Awards Winners Certs 2019MARK BISHOP and AMANDA WINCH have been nominated for their work trying to protect the Red House pub from permanent closure. (Joint Award)

Mark had been running a pub quiz at the Red House every other Monday.  The proceeds always went to charity, usually donated to The Mark Way school in Andover.  On occasions the proceeds were donated to other charities.

On closure of the Red House, Mark transferred the quiz to the Kings Arms pub.  This ensured another local pub was still being supported with customers whilst continuing to raise money for charity.  At Christmas the quiz money was donated to Whitchurch in Lights. 

At the closure of the Red House Mark came up with the idea of running the pub as a community pub.  At very short notice of the closure of the Red House, Mark had arranged a community meeting within days to gauge how much interest there was and since then a steering community group was set up.  Mark and the committee have spent a lot of their own time organising, fundraising, and building up community awareness.  The future of the Red House is looking promising thanks to Mark springing into action.

Community Awards Winners Certs 2019

 

Amanda has been one of the people that has been leading the campaign to save the Red House from permanent closure.

Within days of the Red House closure a community group was arranged to gauge people’s interest in saving the Red House.

Amanda is working on lot of the tasks behind the scenes to see if buying the Red House as a community pub is a viable option.  Amanda, along with the others of the steering committee, are spending a lot of their own time finding out what is involved in buying a pub as a community pub.  Amanda is involved in the financial side and promoting/social media side.  A leaflet drop was arranged for houses in Whitchurch and this was co-ordinated by Amanda.

Hopefully with all the hard work from Amanda and the others in the steering committee the Red House will be saved.