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West Berkshire Council Announces Community Champions 2020

2020 - Community Champion Winner Montage

Issued on: 21 January 2021

West Berkshire Council is proud to announce the 2020 winning results of its popular Community Champion Awards following the submission of nearly 100 nominations from across the district.  Individual volunteers and community groups have been crowned as Community Champion 2020 Winners, Highly Commended, and Commended, for their valuable contributions to improving the lives of people in West Berkshire.

In addition to the traditional four categories, four Covid Response specific awards were added to recognise the fantastic volunteer efforts throughout the pandemic. The latter included a new "Big Thank You Award" created to show appreciation for individuals or groups who gave support to the community outside of the other Covid award categories, or for deserving individuals who would appreciate more low key recognition.

For 2020, Volunteer Centre West Berkshire and Greenham Trust each supported an award; Volunteer of the Year (Non Covid) and Community Group of the Year (Covid) respectively.

The awards, which have grown significantly since they first started in 2014, were judged by an independent panel of three.

The award winners were announced by video as the planned in-person awards ceremony was unable to take place due to the national restrictions. West Berkshire Council Chairman, Councillor Graham Pask; Volunteer Centre West Berkshire Director, Garry Poulson; and Greenham Trust Chief Executive, Chris Boulton made the award announcements.

Councillor Graham Pask said:

"Once again we had a tremendous response from the public - with just under 100 nominations including those nominated for the new 'Big Thank You Award' and the Covid response categories. It is heart-warming to know that so many of our neighbours are willing to give their time and energy to support others - particularly during such challenging times. I am delighted that we are able to recognise so many worthy people.  

"The judging panel of three independent representatives had a particularly difficult task this year given the high quality of the nominations put forward. We want to congratulate everyone who was nominated - not just the winners. They are all Champions."

In keeping with previous years' award announcements, the Council would have presented awards to winners this month at a ceremony at Shaw House. However, owing to the current Covid-19 restrictions the certificates and prizes are instead being posted out to all recipients. The Council hopes to be able to celebrate with the winners later in 2021, circumstances permitting. In the meantime, the Council wishes to convey its many congratulations to every individual and group nominated.

The Community Champion Award winners have been announced as follows:

 


Non-Covid Awards

The Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year

  • Winner - Louis de Chazal
  • Highly Commended - Ava Oakes
  • Highly Commended - Abigail Miller

Volunteer of the Year - supported by Volunteer Centre West Berkshire

  • Winner - Lin Jenkins, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Reading and West Berkshire
  • Highly Commended - Allan Brownridge, Newbury Cancer Care Volunteer Drivers

Community Group of the Year

  • Winner - St Nic's Gardening Group at the WBCH (West Berkshire Community Hospital)
  • Highly Commended - Newbury Cancer Care Volunteer Drivers
  • Highly Commended - West Berkshire Run Together Group
  • Commended - Friends of the Earth West Berkshire

Lifetime Achievement of the Year

  • Winner - Janet Hopkins
  • Highly Commended - Judy McCulloch
  • Commended - Penny Locke
  • Commended - Angela Money

Covid Response Awards

 The Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year

  • Winner - Poppy Morton
  • Highly Commended - Lowri Thomas

 Volunteer of the Year

  • Joint winners - Claire Bird and Shelley Bowdery
  • Highly Commended - 'a Samaritans volunteer'

 Community Group of the Year - supported by the Greenham Trust

  • Winner - Loose Ends - Covid Food and Supplies Group
  • Highly Commended - Joining Together
  • Highly Commended - Hermitage Community Volunteer Group

Big Thank You Award

Individuals:

  • Andy and Laura Allen
  • Andy Murray
  • Buddy Mashiur Rahman
  • Helen Noll
  • Jane Johnstone
  • Joe Mills
  • Karen De Monte
  • Kathryn Dundas
  • Liz Chaplin
  • Malcolm Hannington
  • Marion Fenn
  • Mick Dowdeswell
  • Rodie Hill
  • Roz Boadle
  • Sara Disson
  • Steve Masters
  • Sue Bennett
  • Zena Buck

Groups:

  • Eight Bells for Mental Health
  • Falkland Surgery
  • Newbury Community Resource Centre
  • Volunteer Chieveley
  • Volunteer Centre West Berkshire
  • West Berkshire Christmas pop up
  • Westfields Volunteers

Full information about the winners and nominations is available on: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/awardwinners.