Excellence in the Community Awards 2012

Congratulations to all the winners in our Excellence in the Community Awards 2012.

You can see and download our pictures on Flickr (opens in a new window).

Chesterfield Cycle Campaign
Chesterfield − IMPROVING LIFE

The Chesterfield Cycle Campaign has been nominated for its work to promote safe cycling in the area.
It is a voluntary group which has helped Derbyshire County Council to deliver the Chesterfield Cycle Network − which has already had a positive impact on sustainable travel, healthy lifestyles and improving the local community.

Group members have also helped deliver the Chesterfield cycle audit and promoted cycling opportunities around the town.
The group was nominated for its award by Wayne Bexton and Philip Smith from the environmental services department at the county council.

Dave Brailsford

In his role as performance director of British Cycling Dave Brailsford is the driving force behind Britain's unprecedented cycling success.

The 12-medal haul of Team GB's cyclists at this summer's London Olympics was the most successful by any cycling team in modern history.

A former cyclist himself, Dave has dedicated himself to the sport throughout his career, holding a number of prestigious positions.

He first worked for British Cycling as an advisor when Lottery funding began in 1996, going on to become programme director and soon afterwards, performance director. He is also general manager of the successful Team Sky.

Successful cyclists during Dave's time heading up the British team include Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish and Laura Trott.

Adrian Marriott

Life-saver Adrian has been nominated for the work he does with St John Ambulance. Nominator Helen Marriott says Adrian has been in the brigade from the age of five.

Last year he was on voluntary duty for over 500 hours which doesn't include all the hours spent planning. 

Adrian's medical skills saved the life of a man when he was able to re-start his heart after he'd gone into cardiac arrest.

The man went on to make a full recovery and Adrian's actions resulted in a letter of commendation from the Commander of St John's.

Friends of Clay Cross Hospital

The Friends of Clay Cross Hospital group was founded when the hospital was built in 1994.

Group members provide a snack bar service at the hospital and organise a Christmas fair.

All the money raised goes back to the hospital − helping buy equipment and home comforts for patients.

Karen Derin, who nominated the friends group, says the backing, support and dedication of members is to be commended and deserves recognition.

Bernard Marriott

Bernard has been volunteering in the community for the past 35 years. 

He is scout leader of the 1st Pinxton Scouts and has organised the "Santa Run" for the past 25 years − a village tradition which involves touring the village for three nights every December handing out sweets to the children.  

Bernard helps with St John Ambulance and Pinxton Church and also helps maintain the district campsite. 

Bernard's nominator, Helen Marriott, says he does over and above what could be expected of him and it is time he had some recognition. 

Gérard Varin
Duffield − Fundraising

Gérard spent the whole of April running from Duffield to his place of birth in Switzerland, an incredible 806 miles in 31 days, for Breast Cancer Campaign.

He was given overnight lodgings by Round Table members but carried his own rucksack and had no support vehicle. 

Gérard's remarkable run raised £35,518 which was all the more amazing because he is self-employed and lost out on his own income while completing this feat. 

Tracey Williams nominated Gérard for his award.

Joe Roberts
Chesterfield − VOLUNTEERING

Joe's nominator, Margaret Cooper, says he has done such a lot in the community that he deserves an award as recognition and thanks for all his hard work.

He has worked with the council on the tenants' executive panel, representing Chesterfield tenants. 

He is chairman of Chesterfield Time Bank, a charity that works with the Royal British Legion to help people in the community, and is also chairman of the Staveley Armed Forces and Veterans Association. 

Joe also spent several years working on Littlemoor Cenotaph.

Alan Deaville and Jill Dronfield

Alan and Jill's nominator, Liz Broomhead, says the community cannot imagine life without Biggin and Hartington Scout group and its leaders Alan and Jill.

They became involved with the scout movement about 20 years ago and have since enriched the lives of young people by providing an interesting and balanced programme of activities.

Alan and Jill also work with the British Legion in Hartington, a number of other community groups, and distribute harvest and Christmas boxes to elderly residents.

Ken Brocklehurst

Ken has been a farmer in Sheldon all his life and despite being 81 years of age has still not retired. 

Nominator John Herbert says Ken is always ready and willing to help anyone in the village and allows community groups to use his farm to store materials.

He recently came to the rescue by allowing cars to park in his fields on Sheldon Day and his outbuildings are used for various shows.

Ken is a living encyclopaedia on village history and is always willing to share his knowledge with anyone who needs it.

Glossop Mountain Rescue Team

Since its first recorded rescue in 1960, the Glossop Mountain Rescue Team has assisted in rescuing hundreds of people from the Snake and Woodhead moors.

Today's team has around 40 active volunteer members who provide emergency cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Ray Davis MBE was on the first call 52 years ago and is still an active member today.

Team members continue to keep up with the latest rescue and medical techniques and have saved hundreds of lives − even bringing a new life into the world when a baby was born in the back of one of the team's rescue vehicles.

Glossop Mountain Rescue Team was nominated for its award by Councillor George Wharmby.

John Hamer and Stephen Bright

John and Stephen have been nominated by Karen Peck for their services to the Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Credit Union. 

They believe passionately in the Credit Union's ethos of ensuring that everyone has access to affordable credit to prevent vulnerable individuals and families falling victim to high interest lenders and loan sharks. 

Through John and Stephen's dedication many local families have been helped towards achieving financial stability and learned the money management skills which have saved them from financial hardship.

John Bent

John has been a Rotarian for many years and works tirelessly in the community. 

He takes very ill children on outings and fundraises to help poorly youngsters and their families go on special holidays. 

John also works with St John Ambulance and Age UK.  Shirley Shaw, who nominated John, says he is a unique character, always available to help people and that she could not recommend him highly enough for an award.

Derbyshire North East Guiding
Chesterfield − VOLUNTEERING

Catherine Bradley has nominated Derbyshire North East Guiding.  She says the group gives girls and adult leaders a voice on everything, from deciding which interest badges to work towards to speaking out against bullying, violence and other difficult topics.

With the encouragement of the adult volunteers, the girls are encouraged to speak out and it is rewarding to see new girls blossom in confidence and become unit guiders. 

Leonard Twigg

Leonard has an impressive record of doing voluntary work for the community for over sixty years.
The organisations he has been involved in are too many to list but include the Baslow and Bubnell Branch of the British Legion, the Youth Club for Baslow and the Scouts movement.

Leonard qualified as a British Amateur Athletic Association club coach and spent many years coaching and encouraging young people to get involved in athletics.

He was involved in organising Bakewell Carnival for 30 years and also helped out with the Darby and Joan Club.

Being an accountant by profession, Leonard is always happy to carry out free audits for community organisations.  Leonard was nominated by Carol Walker.

Caroline Nicholls
Middlecroft − VOLUNTEERING

Caroline runs the Cub, Scout and Beaver units in Brimington and took over running the Rainbow unit at very short notice.

She spends at least seven hours a week volunteering for these organisations, not including all the extra hours spent on planning and organisation. 

Caroline's nominator, Yvonne Stanley, says she is a true friend and an amazing woman who never complains about the hours of dedication − always putting everyone else first.

Canaan Trust

The Canaan Trust has been nominated by Erewash Borough Council for its excellent work to improve life in the community by providing 24-7 support and care for homeless people.

Around 35 homeless people are helped in supported accommodation each year with many more being assisted out in the community on a daily basis. Funding to keep the trust running is obtained through charitable donations and grant applications submitted by project manager, Kevin Curtis.

The trust is dedicated to enabling each client to achieve the best they can, be healthy, stay safe and ultimately to become self-sufficient.

Pauline Albrecht
Dronfield Woodhouse − FUNDRAISING

Kay Coxhead has nominated Pauline for her tireless efforts fundraising for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.

Pauline heads a fundraising group in Dronfield and never misses an opportunity to promote the hospice in her quest to raise funds − from coffee mornings to musical concerts.

She recently raised money by scaling a climbing wall and even her forthcoming 70th birthday celebration is a fundraiser for Bluebell Wood. 

Carsington Water Volunteer Rangers

Carsington Water Volunteer Rangers have been nominated after embarking on their largest and most exciting project to try and encourage ospreys to nest and breed at the reservoir.

The Carsington volunteers decided to install two nesting platforms at the reservoir and planned every aspect, from raising funds to buying materials. 

They organised plant hire requirements and the volunteer manpower as well as securing publicity and Radio Derby coverage. 

The nesting platforms were installed in early 2011 and there have since been numerous sightings of ospreys at Carsington.

It is now hoped that the birds will decide to nest there in future seasons.

Dave Drury who nominated the rangers said the increased presence of ospreys is deserved by the volunteers who have enjoyed and helped with this exciting project.

Ashbourne Community Transport Volunteers

The volunteers at Ashbourne Community Transport carry out a variety of roles. The volunteer drivers and passenger assistants give their time so that local people not able to use public transport can get to where they need to go. They also attend training sessions in their own time. One volunteer helps out in the office each week.

The board of trustees are also volunteers and meet monthly to make sure that Ashbourne Community Transport operate correctly. The trustees also set the strategic direction for ACT. 

The volunteers were nominated by general manager Jane Birch.  Jane said: "Without our volunteers we would not be able to offer such a comprehensive service − they are all extremely flexible and give up their time freely to help our charity."

John Peregrine

John has collected for the Poppy Appeal every single year for, it is thought, the last 46 years. Rain or shine and often into the hours of darkness he will be seen with his tin and tray.

John was nominated for his award by Councillor Andrew Lewer

Graham Peck

Nominator Louis Booth says Graham's work impacts on so many people's lives in a quiet manner.
Graham commits many hours voluntary time to various community events in Ilkeston which are affiliated to the United Reform Church and Scouting groups.

He helps co-ordinates people with different services, resources, events and activities. He opens up for community groups, liaises over dates and bookings, and serves as a non-member on the buildings committee.

Nominator Louis says Graham is a person that people trust and can rely on.

Ann Grinbergs

Ann has been chairman of the Holymoorside and Walton Arts Festival since 2006 and before that was an active member of the Arts Festival Committee.

She devotes a great deal of time to staging the annual event which has given support and performing opportunities to many local musicians, writers, amateur actors and fine artists as well as attracting nationally known speakers and performers.

Ann began a rural film project seven years ago and also organises a twice monthly film club.

She has been nominated for her award by Carol Kennerley, Margaret Armour, Carole Rainbird, Jean Pratt, Heather Shaw, Nerys Mansell, Martin Thacker and Judith Coker.

Friends of Howard Park

The Friends of Howard Park group began life seven years ago after the local authority encouraged residents to forms friends' groups.

Under the chairmanship of Gerard Riley the group has since raising thousands of pounds to install an orienteering system in Howard Park which is used by schools and the general public.

Members of the group have repaired statues and replaced missing pedestrian gates and a stolen ornamental fountain. 

The group organises a teddy bears picnic for local primary school children, involves local youngsters in planting flower beds, and organises a public carol concert at Christmas.

Councillor Jean Wharmby, who nominated the Friends of Howard Park, says the park has been restored to its former splendour.

Sally Barnett

Sally has been raising money for Kinder Mountain Rescue Team for well over five years and has been responsible for raising over £20,000.

She has organised two dances for the team which together raised over £10,000.

Recently she helped Edwina Currie to raise funds for the team with a concert given by Tideswell Male Voice Choir. Sally has been nominated by Janet Taylor.

Susan Rowlinson

Susan has completed 41 years of voluntary service for the League of Friends of Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

She held a variety of positions over the years culminating in chairmanship in 2007.

During the period of her dedicated work and service the league raised £2.3m for the care and benefit of patients and staff, purchasing equipment and amenities for the hospital.  

Susan has been nominated for her award by Ken Green.

John Wardle

John has been a very busy man since retiring. He has taken on many challenges including becoming chairman of a 147-member cardiac rehabilitation club, being a director of North Derbyshire Voluntary Action, starting a Shopperbus scheme in Ashover and developing a social car scheme.

John started an art group which now meets weekly. He has also been on the joint management committee of Derbyshire LINK and has served two terms as a partner governor at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

John has served two terms as a parish councillor and is part of the team drawing up the parish plan for Ashover. He was nominated by Peter Ramshaw.

Tupton Village Hall Management Committee

Tupton Village Hall Management Committee has been nominated by Councillor Kevin Gillott.

Councillor Gillott says the village hall has been funded by public subscription from the people of Tupton and will soon be celebrating its 40th anniversary.

It is a charity run by a management committee comprised of a small, dedicated and hardworking band of volunteers who give up hours of their time to oversee the running of the hall and to raise the thousands of pounds needed to improve and maintain the building. 

For some committee members it has been a life-time commitment and without their effort Tupton would lack the communal hall that so many groups, clubs and residents benefit from.

Terry Revell and Peter Wykes

Carolyn Bleakley nominated both Terry and Peter for their voluntary work with Glossop Community Transport.

Terry has been a volunteer with the group for 30 years. He started out as a volunteer driver and is now chairman of the charity.

Peter has also been a volunteer for 30 years. He mainly drives for the Multiple Sclerosis Society − taking members to and from their regular meetings.

The voluntary work of both men has made a huge difference to the lives of people in the Glossop area and they thoroughly deserve their awards.

St Lawrence Pop In
North Wingfield − IMPROVING LIFE

Every Saturday morning a dedicated band of volunteers open up the School Rectory Rooms in North Wingfield and run a 'pop in' − serving teas, coffees, cakes and bacon butties.

It has become well known and attracts people from all over the village and surrounding communities − providing friendship and company to young and old to prevent social isolation over what would be for many a very long and lonely weekend.

All monies raised from the 'pop in' go to local charities and what started out as a bit of fun for a small group of friends has, over the years, raised many thousands of pounds for local good causes. 

St Lawrence Pop In has been nominated by Councillor Kevin Gillott.

Susan Coxon

Bethany Coxon has nominated Susan for her work with the 4th Sawley Methodist Guides and Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

Susan has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the Guides unit open − even giving use of her garage for two decades to store equipment − and it is now a thriving group with 20 girls.

She is also a guest speaker and driver for the Guide Dogs for the Blind, volunteer puppy walker, and can often be seen around the supermarkets, shops, and banks of Long Eaton attempting to train a rebellious puppy into a much-needed working animal!

Txt4U Volunteer Reading Coaches

Txt4U reading project works with young people, mainly in the 15 to 17 age group who have been permanently excluded from mainstream education and who have a reading age well below their actual age.

The Txt4U project, which is part of the Buddy Plus+ Mentoring Project, provides an individual trained volunteer reading coach and all the materials for 60 twenty minute sessions. 

Tony Faulkner nominated the Txt4U volunteer reading coaches saying the key to the success of the scheme has been the enthusiasm and dedication of the six volunteer coaches who spend up to three days a week helping young people. 

They persevere with some troubled and damaged young people, encouraging them to complete the programme and giving them the confidence and skills to enter the world of work and so turn away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

Steve Critchlow

Nominator Philip Thompson says Steve is known locally as 'Mr Burbage Band' and the community has been enriched by his endeavours.

Steve stepped into the conductor's shoes 20 years ago when the band was in danger of folding. 
At the time it was a short-term measure, but two decades later he is still leading the band which goes from strength to strength.

Steve's secret was to start teaching children at an early age and then get them in the band.

Hundreds of children have been taught to play an instrument, many have gone on to a successful musical career and the band has won the Midlands 4th Section Championships in the last two years.

Colin Rick and Les Briddon

Colin and Les have been nominated by Freda Garget and Patrick Morriss for their hard work keeping Somercotes clean and free from rubbish.

The pair are employed by Somercotes Parish Council, but their nominators say Colin and Les go far beyond what they are tasked to do and always do it with a cheery disposition.

Colin and Les really care about the appearance of Somercotes and take pride in the work they do.

Althea Cook

Active 90-year-old Althea has put in many years of voluntary work.

She has helped as a volunteer at Henmore Centre Club, Ashbourne Oxfam, St Oswald's Hospital League of Friends, Readycall and Careline. Althea was also involved with community transport in its early days.
She also used to help at any village functions, made cakes, helped at Tissington Playgroup, St Mary's Church and the WI. 

Nominator Ann Naylor says she is always ready to lend a helping hand. Althea and her husband, Fred, both make calls on the Careline to check that other people are okay.

Simon Redding
Chesterfield − VOLUNTEERING

Simon is chairperson of the Loundsley Green Community Trust which was set up to save a former church building for community use. The building was saved and many local groups now use it. 

Janet Ratcliffe nominated Simon and says he is a tireless and energetic volunteer involved in a range of activities such as fundraising, decorating, repairing the building and organising activities such as the summer gala and barn dances.

Simon is treasurer of the Chesterfield Food Hub, a new group promoting local food, and is also a volunteer for Transition Chesterfield.

Elizabeth Hill

Elizabeth has transformed many disadvantaged lives over a number of decades.

She runs the Gamelea Countryside Training Trust from her care farm initiative based in Chesterfield. Elizabeth also runs Café Heroes, another project of the Gamelea Countryside Training Trust, which is based in Heanor and offers support to ex-service men and women. 

Elizabeth has been nominated by Councillor Kevin Parkinson.

Christine Richards

Christine started the Musical Dimensions choir 20 years ago and has run it voluntarily ever since. 
Colin Smith nominated Christine. He says that, despite tragedies in her own personal life, Christine has kept the choir going and has helped to raise over £34,000 for charity.

Local causes to benefit include Ripley Hospital, Red Cross Ripley and Heanor Branch, Derby Breast Cancer Support Group and many, many more.

Bradwell Litter Pickers

Bradwell Litter Pickers were formed many years ago when Janet Maskrey recruited a dedicated band of some 20 like-minded residents who wanted to ensure that the village and surrounding area were tidied on a regular basis.

The local council and industries sponsored the group providing hi-vis tabards and litter picking equipment.

Each member of the group is allocated a specific area of the village. 

Steve Lawless of Bradwell Parish Council nominated the group and says its work has resulted in significant improvements to the appearance of the village.

Andy MacPherson

Andy has been nominated by Councillor Martyn Ford, because he formed the Willington Action Group to tackle considerable anti-social behaviour in the village. 

This is now a very active and well supported group catering for nine to 14-year-olds and, as a consequence of the group's work and Andy's dedication, anti-social behaviour has fallen dramatically.

Francis Woodings
Chesterfield − VOLUNTEERING

Francis has volunteered over 30 years of dedicated service to the Royal British Legion.

Over the past three decades he has supported ex-service men and women whether it is at home, in a nursing home, or in hospital.

Nominator John Webster says the support Francis gives to his comrades in need or distress epitomises the Legion's motto of 'service not self'.

Paul Hollingworth

Paul is the chairperson of the Making a Difference project based at Zion Church in Chesterfield. 

The project provides support to families, quarterly food parcels for those in need and supports low income families by funding day trips twice a year to the seaside and to a pantomime.

In addition the group has an emergency fund for crisis situations and provides a meal and emotional support to the homeless on a weekly basis. 

Paul has been nominated for his award by Kay Bannister.

Mike and Joyce Emmens

Mike and Joyce are the founder members of the Dronfield Community First Responders − and their skills have saved lives.

During heavy snow in 2010, when the ambulance service was struggling to meet demand, Mike and Joyce were called to a cardiac arrest in a remote location.

Without thinking of their own safety they struggled to get through the snow and carried life-saving treatment until a paramedic and ambulance crew arrived.

Both Mike and Joyce cover around 1,000 hours per year as first responders.

Joyce also holds coffee mornings for elderly residents in the community to make sure they get out and socialise with their friends. 

Lynn and Keith Bennett nominated Mike and Joyce and say they are both very special people.  Joyce was also nominated separately by Pat Tasker.

Tokkie Haywood

Tokkie Haywood established Living Hope Food Bank after it became clear to her that the recession had hit her community hard.

The food bank provides food parcels to people identified to the group by partner agencies or referred themselves as being under significant financial pressure. It also provides donated clothes, furniture and household items.

In order to fund the initiative Tokkie set up the Living Hope Charity shop, with 100% of its proceeds going to the food bank.

Tokkie was nominated by Ben Cooper, Michelle Heywood, Diane Ward, Jo Burton, Simone Palmer and Suzanne Kirkland-Wells.

Olive MacKay

Councillor Jean Wharmby has nominated Olive because she has been voluntarily serving her community for the last 33 years.

She ran Hyde Hospital Relative Support Group for 16 years, was a governor at Hadfield Nursery for 32 years, and a governor at Hadfield St Andrews School for 18 years.

Other organisations which have benefitted from Olive's support include Glossop Action for Older People, GALOP 50+ Forum, Glossop Twinning Committee, the Women's Section of the Royal British Legion, and Age Concern.

Malcolm Thompson

Malcolm has been nominated by Councillor George Wharmby for improving life for his community over many years. 

As early as the 1960s he was actively involved in building the Methodist Church and since then has been a member of the Round Table, 41 Club, Rotary and Probus, carrying out fundraising for local charities. 

Malcolm is a life member of Glossop Heritage Trust. Glossop Cricket Club, Glossop North End FC and the Partington Theatre all benefit from his involvement. He is also secretary of the Glossop branch of the Royal British Legion and is a former poppy appeal organiser. 

Malcolm is involved in the local talking newspaper and regularly litter picks in his locality.

David Brown

For many years David has been the driving force behind Aston-on-Trent's Neighbourhood Watch Scheme which now includes almost all of the village's 800 properties.

He was one of the main instigators of the Aston-on-Trent Well Dressing Festival which has become an annual event and grown to be one of the biggest in the county.

And David set up, and still chairs, the village community group which allows groups to co-ordinate dates and events throughout the year.

He edits the quarterly village magazine which keeps everyone informed of events organised by 30 local groups and businesses, particularly keeping elderly people feeling part of village life.

David was nominated by Councillor Haydn Wheeler, Chairman of Aston-on-Trent Parish Council.

Chesterfield − IMPROVING LIFE

Fairplay is a voluntary organisation that provides the opportunity for children with learning disabilities to enjoy activities while safe and looked after. 

Nominator Elaine Pauk says staff at Fairplay are friendly and committed to the children of Chesterfield, North Derbyshire and High Peak. 

Fairplay is celebrating its 20th birthday this year and has grown from a very small group of parents to an organisation supporting hundreds of families. 

The building is purpose built for children with even the most profound disabilities. Advice and support is available from birth onwards and is a vital link to key services. 

J Ralph Lord

Ralph has been nominated for his award by Councillor Judith Twigg who says Sheldon is a better place for his efforts.

Ralph used to organise the village fell racing along, Sheldon Day which raises funds for the local church, and the Hartington Memorial Hall. For 15 years he also ran Sheldon Horticultural Show. 

Sheldon History Group and Museum are also very close to Ralph's heart and he spends one day a week at Chatsworth researching the history of his beloved village.

Stuart Lees

Stuart has recently retired as a retained fire-fighter after 30 years' service to the community.
He has always been the first volunteer for any community activity and has most recently been a major player in the installation of miles of town bunting.

Stuart is a shining light in the local horticultural club and has helped many other organisations too numerous to list. 

Stuart has been nominated for his award by Councillor Simon Spencer.

Headway Derby

Headway Derby is an organisation that does important work with people who have suffered a head injury. 

Many of the people supported go on to attend the regular Headway Derby group which  builds up their confidence and self-esteem, gives them a social outlet which they look forward to, and prevents them from being socially isolated by their head injury.

The Headway Derby organisation was nominated for its award by Carol Morton.

Angela Webster
Chesterfield − IMPROVING LIFE

Angela has been nominated by Staveley Town Council for her 'tireless and effective' work to improve life for people living in the area.

She is a board member of Staveley Neighbourhood Management, and set up and ran a temporary night shelter for the homeless during the winter.

Angela volunteers weekly for the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers' Centre and is active in Staveley Forward, BeeThere and is an organiser of the Inter-denominational Faith Group. 

Marian Robinson

Marian has been the voluntary welfare officer of the Erewash Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association for the last five years.

The majority of the branch's membership is well over retirement age and good welfare support is essential.

Marian organises respite care breaks for members at ex-service care homes and the transport to and from the home. She also arranges transport to and from hospital appointments, and ensures members get visitors if they are admitted. She organises visits to member's homes and she also arranges coach holidays and get together days.

Marian has been nominated by Wing Commander Philip Giles for her 'total enthusiasm'.

John Morehen

John has been nominated by Ruth Grice for the thousands of hours he has volunteered to improve the lives of others.

Ruth says John works tirelessly on behalf of the residents of Staveley, holding many voluntary positions in the town.

John is Chairman of the Staveley Seniors' Forum. Other roles he holds include that of a school governor.

Wessington Green Local Nature Reserve Management Committee

A small group of volunteers make up the Wessington Green Local Nature Reserve Committee which has looked after part of the village green since it was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2004.  

They were nominated by Sue Ingram who says the group works year round to maintain free access − making the green a welcoming, safe and attractive place for locals, visitors and village primary school children who use it extensively.

The committee has no financial backing and funding has to be obtained through grants, awards and participation in local events. 

This year the committee has been successful in obtaining a 'Green Flag Award' for the site.

Andrew and Margaret Austen

Andrew and Margaret have been nominated by Repton Parish Council for their many years of unstinting and selfless service to the community.

They have dedicated themselves to youth work, particularly the Scout movement. 

Andrew and Margaret currently run the Hartshorne Scout Group in the Goseley Estate where scouting opportunities for boys and girls are particularly valuable and where it is difficult to find locally based leaders. 

They have attended the World Scout Jamboree as part of an international service team.  Andy became district commissioner in 2007 and held the post for four years. 

Shirley Bumstead

Shirley has not put her feet up after retiring from a long career in teaching, and now she works tirelessly in her local area to provide excellent pre-school activities. 

Shirley runs a successful music club in the local Methodist church which introduces children to the benefits and enjoyment of music. She also helps out at Findern Kiddiclub, where she organises creative activities, a local playgroup, and a Methodist church mother and toddler group. 

Shirley was nominated by Glenda Batty.

Mark North

Mark launched and co-ordinates the Freedom Project in Bolsover, which was set up by Bolsover Methodist Church to support vulnerable people in the community who are struggling. 

The project works with people who have alcohol, drug and substance abuse issues as well as those without jobs or in financial difficulties. 

Mark was nominated by Old Bolsover Town Council. Members of the council say Mark works very hard in a selfless and non-judgemental way and that the only reward he seeks is to make a change, no matter how small, to improve someone's life.

Friends of Poolsbrook Country Park
Chesterfield − VOLUNTEERING

The Friends of Poolsbrook Country Park group is dedicated and committed to promoting and caring for Poolsbrook County Park. 

The group members work closely with the local authority and other bodies to ensure the equipment is up to date and that the park is maintained. They also give up their free time to run the popular on-site community café. 

The Poolsbrook Country Park group was nominated by Staveley Community Forum which commended the group and felt strongly that members deserved an award.

Chris Whittall
Wirksworth − ACHIEVEMENT

Chris Whittall is an outstanding ambassador for Wirksworth Colts which has football teams of different ages involving over 400 boys, girls and disabled young people.

His role as coach, manager and administrator has made this one of the most successful sports groups in the Derbyshire Dales.

Chris's involvement over 20 years, daily, nightly and weekends has helped the club reach national recognition with the FA. Chris has been nominated by Councillor Garry Purdy.

Ripley Music Festival Committee

Ripley Musical Festival committee members work throughout the year to stage a week of musical events in the town. 

Their activities involve raising money, promoting the event, and spending countless hours listening to demos. 

During the music week a lot of effort is put in by the committee including technical support and the erection of the stage. The majority of events are free of charge and are open to all.

Performers travel from across the UK and local schoolchildren also take to the big stage in Crossley Park.

Lyndsay Cox nominated Ripley Music Festival Committee for this award.

June Oliver

June has a long history of fundraising and supporting charities.

Her dedication includes 14 years volunteering at the Sawley Cornergate Luncheon Club, holding coffee mornings, doing sponsored walks and having strawberry cream teas in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and ten years fundraising for Treetops Hospice in Draycott.

For seven years June has organised concerts in aid of children with leukaemia, Marie Curie and the Antony Nolan Trust, and she collects for the annual Rotary shoebox appeal.

She has been nominated for her award by Keith Hickson.

Bridget Braden

Nominator Diane Stratulis says it is a privilege to put Bridget forward for an award to recognise her hard work and resilience.

Bridget has been involved in organising and supporting a group for parents with learning difficulties in the Amber Valley area for over three years. 

She does it in her own time as a volunteer with support from Amber Valley CVS.

South Derbyshire Forum
Swadlincote − IMPROVING LIFE

Councillors Mike Lacey and Gill Farrington nominated South Derbyshire Forum for an award.
The forum was established by 11 members in 2004 with the aim of helping people who were finding life difficult.

Many of the people helped are lonely and confused by modern technology. They are offered help to understand and fill in forms, assisted to apply for benefits, and supported to mix into the community. The South Derbyshire Forum now has 767 members and has moved to the Collingwood Centre in Swadlincote Town Centre where it has meeting rooms, a cafe and offices. 

The forum is managed by a voluntary committee which raises its own funds. They also run a drop in centre five days a week for older people to get together.

Lynne Pheasey

Lynne has been involved in community work for around 30 years. She helped with the 1st Bakewell Brownies for ten years and became well known at Bakewell Carnival for her hot dog stall which she ran for 18 years raising valuable funds for the carnival.

She has been involved with the Royal British Legion Women's Section for many years and has been treasurer of the Bakewell branch for nine years. Lynne helps with fundraising and is involved in poppy selling each year.

Leonard Twigg has nominated Lynne. He says she is a very caring person and a valued member of the local community.

Margaret Bryant

Margaret has been nominated by Jacqui and Peter Murray.

They say that when they saw the appeal for Excellence Awards nominations, Margaret instantly came to mind.

She has spent 30 years fundraising for the Save the Children fund and volunteering with the local community − often out in all weathers collecting money or running a stall.

Margaret also puts many hours into volunteering at the New Mills Heritage Centre, St George's Church and other local organisations.

Cliff Beck, Norman Morris, Noel Walsh, Howard Birchall, Pat Haywood, Jackie Wilson

Cliff, Norman, Noel, Howard, Pat and Jackie were all nominated separately for their awards but they have a lot in common.

They each average about 20 years' voluntary service for Sight Support Derbyshire, formerly Derbyshire Association for the Blind.

The super seven have given their time freely in various ways from fund raising and volunteering at hospital eye clinics to helping with talking newspapers and trips out.

Their nominators cannot speak too highly of them. Cliff is nominated by Robin Toal, Norman by Lynne Smitheringale, Noel by Ges Roulstone, Howard by Alan McConville, Pat by Fiona Francis and Jackie by Janice Sanders.

Jane Bancroft

Jane has been running a specialised health and fitness class for 20 years, providing support and a rehabilitation exercise programme for groups or individuals with specific health issues. She helps them to gain better health and boosts their confidence and their quality of life. Jane is nominated for her award by Councillor Michelle Booth.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been nominated by Nicky Newberry who says it does  a fantastic job helping to preserve many of the most beautiful areas in our county.

The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust offers opportunities for people from all sectors of the community to enjoy and learn about wildlife and the natural environment. 

It is supported by a team of dedicated volunteers to keep Derbyshire the special place it is.

John and Kathleen Nicklin

Moorwood Moor Angling Club encourages people of all ages and abilities to take pleasure in fishing and John and Kathleen Nicklin are the driving force behind the club. They found a site in South Wingfield and developed its ponds to grow the angling club into what it is today.

They often hold junior education and coaching sessions in angling − improving the lives of many who get few opportunities to take pleasure in the environment.

Lyndsay Cox nominated John and Kathleen Nicklin for this award.

Derby Mountain Rescue Team

Derby Mountain Rescue Team has been nominated by Louise Gratton. 

The rescue team is made up of volunteers and is capable of mobilising 70 people in half an hour to respond to emergencies.

Its members support Derbyshire Police carrying out searches and rescuing people who are injured. 

Their services are entirely free of charge and the team have to fundraise themselves.

John Wilson

John Wilson has undertaken several gruelling fund raising activities, including walking to Mount Everest and Machu Picchu. 

He has completed the Limey Way which involved walking 38 miles in one day over the 20 limestone dales of Derbyshire. 

John has raised £20,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  He has also been a Paralympic Game Maker this year.

John was nominated for his award by Councillor Andrew Lewer.

Heanor and District Local History Society

The Heanor and District Local History Society arrange regular open meetings with speakers on a wide range of subjects and organises visits to places of interest.

Its members work with local schools and have an exhibition space at the Antiques Centre in Heanor which is open to the public. 

Over the years the society has produced a number of publications on the heritage of the town and surrounding area. 

Councillor Celia Cox nominated the society saying its members' dedication in researching, archiving documents and photographs, increasing awareness and interest across the generations makes an invaluable contribution to the town.

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