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Beacon of Hope - successful award winners

The Beacon of Hope award winners are listed here.


You can also see pictures of the winners on Flickr

List of winners

1st Sawley Scout Group

All the Scout leaders have gone above and beyond to keep the children involved in scouting, using zoom for online meetings, holding socially-distanced outdoor meetings when allowed and by taking projects to the children's doors.

Ace Youth Trust, St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne

The Ace Coronavirus Community Support project was a rapid volunteer response set up in March 2020 to address the issues of child poverty and hunger experienced during the first lockdown arising from the economic impact of the pandemic. Since April 2020 ACE has provided and delivered 335 nutritious food parcels, 215 essential hygiene packs and 1,035 hot meals to 64 vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people from 30 families.

Agrade Community Care Services Ltd, Clay Cross

Carers working for the service that have continued working during the pandemic despite their own fears, providing care to those that need it, including people who have had COVID-19. They have followed all the guidelines to help to stop the virus spreading and have gone above and beyond, reassuring clients while themselves taking twice weekly covid swabs and all being vaccinated.

Alison Bond, Belper High School and Sixth Form

Alison took on the new role of family support officer for Belper School and feeder primary schools just before the first lockdown and has shown 100 per cent commitment to all. She has worked tirelessly to ensure families in need have received financial support they are entitled to, as well as ensuring students had all the resources needed for remote learning. She built relations with local businesses to get hampers to struggling families and encouraged the whole school to donate food items to a local food bank.

Allison Beckett, Tibshelf

Allison was instrumental in the creation of Tibshelf COVID-19 Support Group in March 2020, with herself and her husband answering most of the pleas for help from village residents, vulnerable, shielding or those otherwise in need. She also helped to set up the Tibshelf Food Bank to help anyone needing support. Even while suffering with Covid herself she still ensured vulnerable people and those in need were looked after. 

Amber Valley Rotary Club

Club members helped two schools to provide PPE for hospitals and care homes and bought material for volunteers to make scrubs for hospitals. They also provided computers for schools and provided food to 4 food banks. Later in the pandemic they also helped members helping at vaccination centres.

Amy Busby, Chesterfield

Amy began volunteering on the ‘To Your Door’ shopping project, run by The Volunteer Centre Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, in March 2020. The service provides shopping and prescription collections for shielded and isolated residents. Amy carried out nearly 200 collections and has completed around 1,100 hours of voluntary work. She also became a befriender to many clients, all while working herself.

Anna Bamford, Derbyshire

Anna had recently started fostering a young child and has three children of her own, but still found time to support an 85-year-old neighbour with shopping and emotional support during the pandemic.

Andrew Heafield, Melbourne

Andy set up an open air market in Melbourne to help elderly and vulnerable residents who were anxious about shopping during the pandemic, especially indoors. The market has become extremely popular now with all ages, with 10 regular stalls, including a stall given free to charities to use and raise money. 

Ann Whitby, Egginton

Ann, who works as a seamstress, put a call out on Facebook for people to help make scrubs, masks, hats and bags to give to hospitals and care homes who needed PPE. Many answered the call, and Ann co-ordinated the operation, obtained donations for fabric and elastic. She did all this despite her own health issues, with the sewing team working around the clock to ensure all those who needed PPE were kept safe.

Ana Mankiewicz, Grapevine Wellbeing Centre, Buxton

Ana has continually and pro-actively supported the clients of the Grapevine organisation, making check-in phone calls on a weekly basis, assembling and distributing care packages and meeting members for 1-2-1 walks (when allowed) to maintain contact. She not only worked a lot of unpaid overtime, but did it all with enthusiasm and energy.

Ashgate Hospice care staff and volunteers, Chesterfield

The hospice continued to provide compassionate and outstanding care for the terminally ill and amazing end of life care during the pandemic.

Baljit Atwal, Mickleover

Baljit is a serving magistrate for Derbyshire and during lockdown continued to support the Magistrates courts due to other Magistrates shielding, making herself available at short notice to ensure justice is carried out throughout the whole of lockdown. She also joined in the vaccination effort, joining St John’s Ambulance and training to volunteer in the vaccine rollout, and volunteered at her sons’ school to support students to self-test for Covid using lateral flow tests.

Betty Meaker, Townswomen Guild, Wingerworth

Betty is described as a Florence Nightingale - not using bandages, ointments or sticking plasters but sheer determination to keep spirits up and making everyone feel cared for. She fundraised, making cream teas and delivering to people in a safe way, sending Guild members handmade greetings cards with uplifting messages, and at Easter there were Easter treats left on doorsteps. She went above and beyond for the more than 50 members, giving them hope.

Breadsall United Charities, Breadsall

Recognising help was needed at the start of the pandemic the group distributed leaflets to all local households to find out who might need help and support. Requests came in and shopping and visits began. People who hadn’t asked for help but needed it were also identified and contacted. They also delivered afternoon tea to all local over 75s to celebrate VE Day, delivered flowers to bring comfort to people and delivered Christmas gifts and Christmas dinner to all that needed it.

Buxton Street by Street

Buxton Street by Street was set up by Anna Watson, initially on Facebook, at the start of the first national lockdown. It’s a network of over 250 volunteers in Buxton who support vulnerable, shielding and self-isolating people. Supported by fellow volunteers Caitlin and Claire, a huge effort was co-ordinated including help with shopping, prescriptions, co-ordinating IT equipment for school pupils and, more recently, volunteer rotas for the local vaccine centre. The group continues to work to support those in need and has now linked with local volunteer centre, Connex Community Support.

Careline Response Team, Chesterfield

The team provide the falls recovery service and continued the Careline services throughout, despite some staff having to shield and stay at home. Other team members went above and beyond to ensure the service carried on 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. No call to the Careline services went unanswered.

Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen's Trust, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Blythe House Hospicecare has a Community Volunteer programme, which sees trained volunteers support hospice patients in the patient’s own home. At the start of the pandemic they relaxed referral criteria so they could help and support more people in the wider community, offering kindness, companionship and carrying out light tasks for the elderly, vulnerable or isolated residents. They hand delivered 15,000 Here to Help leaflets across our local area, in-line with daily exercise allowance, to promote their support offer, and the 42-strong team has been available 7-days-a-week to support more than 200 patients and local residents in areas including Glossop, Matlock, Edale and Hathersage.

Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Volunteer Centre

This small team recruited and managed more than 160 volunteers and worked well in excess of their normal hours to provide endless support to the local communities.

Connex Community Support, Buxton

The volunteers and staff at Connex Community Support have pulled out all the stops in the last year, helping everyone in their area adversely impacted by the pandemic receive essential shopping supplies, prescriptions, regular friendly phone calls, well-being packs and enabling them to get to vaccination appointments and so much more. As well as carrying out tasks, they’ve delivered unexpected birthday cakes, flowers, cards, jigsaw puzzles and nurturing gifts to brighten up people’s lives.

Cosy Direct, Tutbury

Cosy Direct specialises in outdoor educational resources for early years, schools and nurseries, and over the past 10 years, founders Peter and Amanda Ellse have donated thousands of pounds to support charities and small businesses in Derby and Derbyshire, as well as abroad. Their charitable arm of the business, the Cosy Fund, donated money to help several small businesses survive during the pandemic.

Cotmanhay Community Network, Ilkeston

Cotmanhay Community Network members have been very busy during the lockdowns, offering support, care and empowerment to their community. Food parcels, a free community shop, domestic abuse support, supporting older people feeling isolated, organising activities for children and a Christmas toy appeal are just some of the things the group has been involved with. All volunteers extended their hours and have not had a day off, ensuring their community was supported.

Cup and Saucer, Clay Cross

The independent loose tea sellers have been sending out little boxes of `positivitea’ to people to help thank them and lift their spirits. Even though they had a lot going on in their own lives, they were thinking of others. Their little gestures meant a lot to the people who received them.

Dale Preece, Derbyshire County Council community care worker, Staveley

Dale showed understanding, compassion, patience and built up a wonderful relationship with the father of the person who nominated him for the award. Her Dad was housebound and had multiple severe health problems. The nominator said Dale understood and even though he had other clients to attend to, he never rushed her Dad. The family said they were grateful to all the DCC carers for being there, providing a vital service for people.

Dale Forbes-Sutherland, Ilkeston

Dale has been nominated by his wife for his care of their 76-year-old disabled neighbour. The neighbour’s 35-year-old son who was her carer died suddenly, and four weeks later her husband died too, leaving her on her own. Dale helped her to arrange both funerals, sort her finances, put carers in place, arrange grief counselling, sort shopping, and he continues to support her on a daily basis. He won’t accept any payment for his care or time. He has done this while being upset about losing his job in the theatre, as well as putting his community choir online and continues to teach music students, sometimes for free.

David Smith and staff at the Greendale Centre pharmacy, Dronfield

David and staff have continued to give trusted advice, in a kind and patient manner no matter what pressures they were under. A vital service has continued to be provided in the very best way. 

Dawn Warrington, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Macmillan Unit

Dawn is the Lead for the Macmillan Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, and has continued to develop the centre and created an App during the pandemic so patients could still access support and information during lockdown. She also partnered with The Lewis Foundation charity to give new patients a pamper care pack when they start cancer treatments.

DC Tech, Dronfield

DC Tech have been nominated by Shelagh Cheetham, who was running Shelagh’s Sewing Circle, which stepped up during the pandemic to make vital PPE. The voluntary group grew so fast the paper and spreadsheets ordering system struggled to cope, and despite working full time Richard and Dean of DC Tech worked tirelessly to produce a bespoke programme within two weeks. Shelagh’s Sewing Circle transitioned to ‘Link Volunteer’ one month after its launch and continues to use the system 11 months later. DC Tech also agreed their programme could be used free of charge to meet other community needs due to covid-19.

Derbyshire Emergency Volunteers

Derbyshire Emergency Volunteers (DEV) were originally formed to assist emergency responders during incidents like flooding and snow and during the pandemic they have gone above and beyond. Despite the risk to themselves they supported residents who were evacuated during a mill fire involving more than 100 apartments in April 2020, ran a rest centre handing out PPE, food and drink and gave much needed support and reassurance to vulnerable, evacuated people. During the last year they have also taken part in vital medication deliveries from Chesterfield and Derby hospitals to vulnerable patients and given up many hours of their own time travelling over 3,500 miles to deliver prescriptions.

Derbyshire Police and Fire chaplains

Despite the restrictions the Police and Fire chaplains have found ways to encourage and bring hope to officers, firefighters and staff in times of bereavement or personal crisis, and offered both practical, emotional and spiritual support when emergency service workers have needed it most. The team has been nominated by the Lead Chaplain who said she was particularly proud of them and had seen the personal sacrifices they'd made to support those who have had the biggest challenges to face during this pandemic. 

Dethick Lea Holloway and Riber Support Group

DLHR support group has provided vital support and care to the whole community since the first lockdown. Cancer patients, sick, old, infirm and vulnerable people have all been checked, visited and monitored for prescriptions, hands on care, shopping trips, click and collect orders, hospital appointments and household repairs. Engagement with local authorities, health and social groups has ensured the community has been well cared for during this difficult time. Local businesses have united to support the group and events including VE Day. This only touches the surface of what the group has done.

Dr PJ Flann, Inspire Health, Chesterfield

For going an extra 100 miles to ensure the Covid vaccination programme at the Winding Wheel, Stubley and Wheatbridge were a complete success, Dr Flann has played a huge part in maximising public health and protection. As well as maintaining and managing his GP role, he committed hours and hours, including weekends and evenings, to leading the Covid vaccination programme for Chesterfield. He’s 100% committed to the public of Chesterfield.

Dronfield First Responders

As volunteers, Dronfield First Responders have continued to support East Midlands Ambulance Service in their local communities at a time when everyone was asked to stay home. They put other people’s lives first, and also volunteered at many covid vaccination sessions in Dronfield, Chesterfield and Bakewell, again during times of national lockdown.

DuCS and Project Cheer, The Weston Centre, Duffield

DuCS was formed in March 2020 with the intention of helping the community communicate, specifically those vulnerable people who were self-isolating. Volunteers have bought and delivered shopping for vulnerable people unable to leave their homes and a chat line has been staffed by volunteers to provide a listening ear to anyone feeling lonely. As the need for support diminished, a group of volunteers (including DuCS, Good Neighbours, The RJ Weston Duffield Charity and Emmanuel Community Projects) came up with the idea of project ‘Cheer’, aiming to build initiatives focussed ‘bringing some comfort or encouragement, lightness of spirit or mood, to restore hope’, with particular emphasis on supporting older people in the village.

Elizabeth Marsden, Wingerworth

Elizabeth contacted The Volunteer Centre at the beginning of the first lockdown and has volunteered for its shopping service across Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire since then. In that time she has completed over 300 different shops and prescription collections, and it’s estimated that she has covered over 3,000 miles, undertaking about 1,800 hours of voluntary work. Had she claimed expenses it would have cost the centre approximately £1,200.

Ellen Saville, Riddings Junior School, Riddings

It is not an exaggeration to say that without Ellen's work over the last year the school, staff and it's community, would not be in the position it is. Her unfailing support, drive, clarity of thinking and optimism have played a huge role in the provision we have had in place. Always looking over the horizon she has enabled the staff at school to be ahead of the game and she has kept many of us from stumbling along the way. Above and beyond does not even come close!

Emma Waring, Ashbourne

Emma has headed the Ashbourne COVID-19 Support Group with Anne Smith (also nominated). At the start of the pandemic they set up a Facebook page for the community to spread advice, ways of getting help and general information. Many volunteers joined them and Ashbourne was split into zones, with each house getting an information sheet. The group delivered food parcels, prescriptions and phoned people on their own for a chat. They have also contacted local businesses to gather unused laptops and tablets to distribute to school children who were without.

Everyone Eats, Kirk Hallam

Everyone Eats is a charity supporting people from all walks of life and has been a beacon of hope during the last year. From supporting the community with their food banks, community events and deliveries of meals to people in isolation. The charity runs a weekly food bank in Kirk Hallam alongside its food parcel deliveries, and during the pandemic they have provided isolated people meals over the holiday periods, including on Christmas Day.

G52 Allsorts Community Hub, Gamesley

G52 continued to work throughout the lockdowns, after making their activities covid-safe, working tirelessly to ensure that the residents and families within their community continued to be supported. With support from High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council the group were able to provide a community pantry twice a week to 100 families, deliver meals to vulnerable and elderly residents, employ a part-time support worker, provide families with activity and educational packs for children and provide family lunch packs during the initial lockdown.

Gemma Ellis, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Gemma has continued to run a secondary breast cancer support charity while being treated herself, raising money, preparing and distributing support packs and information to people with secondary breast cancer, while undergoing tests and aggressive treatment. All this while caring for her 2 little daughters. She continues to inspire others through the 'Stage 4 Deserves More' Facebook page and support pages.

George and Arthur Tivey, Melbourne

Melbourne Community Care asked local children to make Easter cards and then Christmas cards, and George (age 7) & Arthur (age 5) made over 100 cards each time - all hand painted and signed by the boys. These were delivered to residents who were housebound due to lockdown, by Melbourne Community Care. The positive feedback was amazing and the boys certainly lifted people’s spirits.

Geraldine Stamp, South Wingfield

Geraldine, along with many others, is a volunteer vaccination centre marshal at Ripley. She has carried out numerous sessions each week, often standing for up to six hours without break, helping people deal with their emotions and difficulties. Geraldine is also a local preacher and has continued leading worship on zoom throughout the pandemic giving spiritual support to many people across mid Derbyshire.

Hadfield Coming Together, Carmel Church, Hadfield

Having already run a successful programme to keep food out of landfill and provide social meals for the community, they altered their model during the pandemic to provide emergency food parcels to those in need in Hadfield, Padfield and Tintwistle. The groups has no paid workers and has achieved an amazing amount with its volunteers.  The demand on their service has grown exponentially and they have risen to that need like true community heroes, working in partnership with the council and other local organisations.

Helen Adcock, Findern

The day after the first lockdown was announced the Parish Council was contacted by Helen – known as Penny – asking what she could do to help. With financial support from the Parish Council, Penny organised a group of volunteers and set up a food bank, acting as the point of contact and co-ordinating volunteers. Working with the primary school, she delivered food parcels to the school that were then distributed to families who needed them; maintaining confidentiality. She set up a service to collect prescriptions and deliver them.

Helen Marson, Morrisons supermarket, Swadlincote

Helen is well known in the community for supporting local groups that benefit others. Without her support these groups would not be able to support the people they are in contact with.  Helen goes above and beyond her working role doing what she can to improve people’s situations. Through her involvement with Meals 4 U and school holiday hampers she has provided activities, food, treats and essential items. At Christmas Helen supported with providing sweetie cones and activity packs for all the children.

High Peak Integrated Community Team, Cavendish Hospital, Buxton

Whether it’s been wound care, offering Covid vaccinations, providing equipment to comfort end of life patients, stroke rehabilitation or physiotherapy to people in their own or in nursing homes, the team have continued to work so hard and diligently throughout the pandemic. Despite some being personally affected by the illness and loss that so many others have encountered. Early starts and late finishes have meant they have, and continue to sacrifice time with their own families. Not even the winter snow held them back.

Hilary Pope, Horsley Woodhouse

Hilary has been nominated for her commitment in creating a support network in Horsley Woodhouse, collecting biscuits and cakes to donate to NHS key workers. Initially started as something ‘nice to do’ for the NHS, collecting donations of home baked and shop bought goodies to give to them to boost their energy as Covid took over, it’s now a regular service, benefiting NHS workers and the community. She collects donations from the community before packing them up and sending them on. Along with husband Bryan, Hilary was also one of the first to volunteer at the local vaccination centre.

Holly Walker-Riggott, Derbyshire Dales

Holly was the driving force behind the creation of a pop-up food bank during October half-term. She also provided meals and food parcels throughout various periods of holiday and national lockdown for families entitled to free school meals. Holly has given up her holidays, put others in front of herself and her own family and gone far beyond what would be normally expected of her.

Janice Shaw, Chesterfield

Janice Shaw has completed more than 220 shopping trips for the ‘To Your Door’ project which provides a shopping and delivery service for shielded and isolated individuals across Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire. Janice even got straight back to volunteering shortly after having an operation and is well on her way to contributing more than 1,400 hours to the project.

Jasper Ward, Belper

Jasper motivated his community and kept them going through lockdowns by creating the Belper Moo. This unique and simple act of mooing outside doors and windows, across gardens and streets, helped unite the community, battling stress and loneliness of lockdown, connecting neighbours, and making friends and just bringing a smile to ever face, every age group. As the Moo became of global interest, Jasper funded not for profit merchandise with all proceeds funding a future monmooment to celebrate the unity shown in dark times. 

Jean Hertzog, North East Derbyshire

In March 2020, Jean began the ‘Barnard Bulletin’ which contains information about local support, changes to local services, events, topical articles, cartoons and gardening hints, both very local and in the wider community. It was originally intended just for her neighbours but gradually it spread and now it reaches at least 500 individuals and more through organisations. It has been of help, comfort, information and entertainment during the worst of the pandemic.

Jessica Maidens, North East Derbyshire

During the Covid restrictions, Jess took on shopping duties for the elderly and housebound. When she contracted Covid herself, Jess arranged for someone else to cover those shopping duties until she was allowed to go out again to continue doing them.

Joanne Bagshaw, Chelmorton

Despite having a farm to run Joanne volunteered to shop for and support several local households during the pandemic. She willingly made repeated trips if any items were difficult to get initially, always refusing any payment for her time or expenses. She helped the vulnerable in her community to stay safe.

Joanne Lee, Derbyshire Dales

Jo volunteers for ACE Youth Trust. During the lockdowns and through the pandemic Jo has given up many hours of her own time to deliver weekly food and essential hygiene parcels supplied by ACE to vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people living in the Derbyshire Dales. When schools were closed, the children waited excitedly each week for Jo to arrive. She chatted to the children, and spent time talking to many of the single mums who were struggling with loneliness and home schooling.

Joliet Jake Blues (Billy Blues), Bolsover

His music has lifted the spirits of thousands of people during lockdown. He drives around in his blues-mobile playing music helping brighten people’s days. He started his lockdown smile run on the 26 March 2020 and has been out pretty much every day since, spreading joy. He’s also played for people’s birthdays, funerals, hospitals, at care homes, as well as at VE Day, Halloween and Christmas. He has brightened many a dark day during lockdown his kindness to others is a true inspiration.

Jon Shillabeer, South Derbyshire

Jon prepared and delivered meals and care packages to vulnerable, mentally unwell and isolated individuals every day. He also provided online and telephone support daily throughout the pandemic. 

Jonathan Trier, Dronfield

Jonathan has volunteered tirelessly in all weathers to help vulnerable neighbours through shopping for them and providing company and support.

Karen Cook, North East Derbyshire

Karen has managed to continue to run her Barlow, Brampton and Dronfield Choirs online throughout the three lockdowns. She has provided her members with a routine and an opportunity to see other people on screen and to chat them during singing breaks. She has even put their repertoire on You Tube so the groups can practise and learn parts.

Karl Moore, Erewash

Karl has collected, renovated and mended more than 120 devices including laptops, tablets, and kindles for school children, local food bank users and elderly home link users.

Kickers Dance Studios, Chesterfield

Throughout the last year Kickers Dance Studio looked after the physical and mental health of their students and have done all they can to help keep them and their families active and busy. They’ve fundraised for Ashgate Hospice and have run free Zumba, yoga and stretching classes for students and their families. They have also organised workshops run by professional performers to ensure children are having fun and educational virtual lessons.

Linda Patrick, Amber Valley

In her role as an emotional literacy support assistant Linda has provided around the clock support to children and families in school community. She has offered reassurance, signposting, practical help and advice. Linda has continued this support while caring for her husband who has cancer.

Liz Marriott, Rykneld Homes, Wingerworth

Liz works for Rykneld Homes which rents out council accommodation in Derbyshire. She went above and beyond in support of tenants during the pandemic and despite her own health challenges. She made regular phone calls to check people were okay and organised food deliveries for those in need.

Little Cherubs Clothing, High Peak

Sally from Little Cherubs Clothing has provided children with clothes throughout the pandemic. She has worked tirelessly which has made a huge difference to so many families.

Long Eaton Silver Prize Band, Erewash

Members of the Long Eaton Silver Prize Band have entertained their community by playing outside every Thursday evening for the NHS, playing at VE day and VJ day celebrations and at various community Christmas events all for free.

Lucy White, North East Derbyshire

Since November 2020, Lucy has completed 102 shops for The Volunteer Centre’s shopping projects. This adds up to more than 650 hours of volunteering and 1,000 miles. Lucy refuses to claim any expenses and says that volunteering on the project has been the most rewarding thing she has ever done.

Lynn Jackson, Derbyshire Dales

Lynn has taken her selfless service and dedication to the community of Eyam to new heights during the pandemic. She has delivered prescriptions and food to vulnerable people, learned how to live stream church services for those who were shielding, made short videos to support young people, arranged for volunteers to mow the church grounds when the usual team couldn’t attend and organised the “Don’t Grumble, Make a Crumble” initiative to deliver crumbles around the community. She has done all this while caring for her elderly mum.

Margaret Gildea, South Derbyshire

Margaret is well known for her many activities to support the local community. At the start of the pandemic, she collected and sold second-hand book and jigsaws in front of her home. To date, Margaret has raised more than £4,500 for the Feeding Britain charity – a non-profit organisation which aims to ensure hunger has no place in 21st century Britain.

Maria Hanson, South Derbyshire

Maria has worked tirelessly to fundraise and make sure that the charity she founded – Me&Dee – can continue to provide support to families who find themselves in life-changing circumstances. She has worked more than 30,000 voluntary hours since founding the charity, she doesn’t take a salary and works 7 days a week.

Marion Jenns, South Derbyshire

During the pandemic, Marion recorded and broadcast inspiring and humorous videos via the village Facebook page, to bring everyone together and create hope. When things were at the lowest, these videos cheered everyone up and bought about joy, community and laughter.

Marion Rigley, Erewash

Marion, known as Maz, owns Amaze Events and a jacket potato stall. She set up a pop-up following all government guidelines when she was able in Stanley Common, cheering everyone up with her wares and her bubbly outlook on life. Just hearing her chuckle and cheery voice has helped locals through some very dark days. People came from around the village during their daily walks to eat her homemade wares and take home a slice of cake. The hard work she has put in over Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter made sure people could still celebrate. Her stamina is never ending as she puts herself forward for other village events for the summer. Her business obviously stopped due to covid so she went out there and made it into something new. She is totally amazing how she has transformed her little business and everyone loves her dearly for this ray of sunshine on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. She also raised £847 for Treetops Hospice through all her activities.

Mark Wakeman, Derbyshire Dales

Mark’s community says he is a kind man who will help anyone. During the pandemic he has delivered shopping, prescriptions and pet food. He raises money for the poppy appeal and has gone out day and night to help people during floods. Mark has also organised a local litter picking team which goes out and tidies the countryside.

Meals 4 U, South Derbyshire

It became clear during the beginning of the pandemic that food provision was affecting the local community. So a group of local organisations came together to develop the Meals 4 U meal delivery service. Starting with a target of around 30 meals, more than 100 hot meals are now delivered each week. Volunteers have given up their time, including over the Christmas period to prepare and deliver meals. The project has also been able to offer additional food hampers for families during school holidays.

Melbourne Community Care, South Derbyshire

Melbourne Community Care found that many people who used its services could have become quite alone, as they were vulnerable and self-isolating. The organisation found creative and innovative ways to support their staff and volunteers and to continue their services and support to the local community. This included keeping in touch regularly over the phone and with doorstep chats, arranging to deliver shopping and prescriptions to those who couldn’t leave home and keeping people entertained through the delivery of books and jigsaws.

Melbourne Methodist Church, South Derbyshire

When the pandemic took hold and children could no longer attend school, Melbourne Methodist Church recognised that some local children could go hungry. They asked the community to consider making a donation. The response meant they were able to support more than 30 families and 40 children by giving them supermarket vouchers. The church has also given a thank you card and small gift to Melbourne Infants and Junior School staff, made sessions available on YouTube to keep in touch with pre-school children and given ‘blessings bags' to older friends in the community.

Mentell

Mentell provides a weekly safe space opportunity for men aged to meet and talk to other men about anything that may be troubling them. At the beginning of the pandemic, the group quickly adapted and made arrangements for weekly circles to be conducted virtually. Throughout the pandemic there has been a 300% increase in men signing up to the group and it now has more than 1,500 members. Mentell has provided training for volunteers, increased facilitators to provides support to more men.

Michelle Lewis, Melbourne, South Derbyshire and countywide

When the pandemic hit and girl guiding could no longer run face to face unit meetings, as the County Commissioner, Michelle went on a mission to set up a virtual unit in Melbourne and set up an extra 3 virtual units of Brownies, Guides and Rainbows for the whole county, to ensure that the girls still had a sense of normality and could still enjoy the regular activities and meet with their unit virtually.

Mick Harlow and Steve Eaton

Mick and Steve have carried out over 332 face fit tests for the NHS, dentist surgeries and nurses at a special needs school. The test ensures that respiratory protective equipment fits correctly, safeguarding against covid transmission. They have also given out advice on types of respiratory protection. They undertook this at the height of the pandemic, in addition to their roles within the safety and risk management team.

Moorhall General Stores, Derbyshire Dales

As soon as the pandemic started, the shop began a delivery service for all people including the shielding and vulnerable. The team did this while they were shielding a family member themselves. They adapted to the needs of the community with nothing being too much trouble to get their customers what they needed.

Morton Community Food Hub, North East Derbyshire

In their first year, Morton Community Food Hub’s 42 volunteers have delivered more than 1,000 food hampers to more than 250 families, taking them a collective 3,760 hours – not including time taken to collect prescriptions and medication. They have also given books, treats and Easter eggs to local schoolchildren.

Michelle Wilcockson, Heanor, Amber Valley

Michelle helped others in her community by shopping, cleaning and giving emotional support during the pandemic.

Neda Yavari & Tracey Craosdale, Whaley Bridge

Neda and Tracey began to set up a new social prescribing NHS initiative to get people managing their own health and wellness, just 2 weeks before the pandemic hit the country. They not only built this new service from scratch while working remotely but continued to provide a service to all the patient referrals received during this incredibly difficult year. They worked together tirelessly to research, educate and connect themselves with GP practices and local community partners to create partnerships with whatever groups and support were still operating. They then connected with patients via phone and took time to build trusted relationships, to hear people's concerns and became a voice of comfort.

New Mills Youth and Community Project, High Peak

This non-profit organisation received five nominations for their exemplary work during the pandemic which benefited many families. They became a lifeline for the most vulnerable. Their work included setting up a community pantry and zero waste food project, giving Christmas food hampers to those in need, providing free books, toys and baby items, providing a clothes bank and giving emotional support.

Nicky Godfrey of Riddings, for supporting the Riddings Junior School community

As a school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator Nicky has worked tirelessly to create new support structures, inside and out of school, for the most vulnerable children and families during the pandemic.

Ossie's Kitchen, Ashbourne, South Derbyshire

The team at St Oswald’s Church used to host regular sit-down meals. During the pandemic they have adapted this to provide a takeaway service to support those in need. This has grown to provide over 100 takeaway meals a week.

Paddy Bann, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak

Paddy was nominated on his own and jointly with his wife Caroline. When his taxi business was put on hold due to the pandemic, he put all his energy into helping the local community. He set up the Chapel Good Neighbour Food Distribution Network, gathered volunteers and worked tirelessly providing food and necessity parcels to those in need and taking the elderly to clinics. Over 250 families were helped on a regular basis.

Paige Wakeing, Langwith

Paige is an inspiring young worker for Derbyshire County Council who readily adapted to different caring responsibilities at different care homes during the pandemic. She embraced new challenges and undertook new training to help and support others.

Pam Owen, Chesterfield

Despite recent illness and bereavement, former foster carer Pam paid for an entertainer to come and sing on her street so everyone could sit on their doorsteps or gardens and be entertained for a few hours. She also makes cakes and trifles for neighbours and for staff and residents at the care home where her late husband was a resident.

Paul Wilcox, Breaston

Paul has worked tirelessly raising money for Treetops Hospice. Before and throughout the pandemic, Paul has collected bikes and repaired and revitalised them for sale to raise funds for the hospice. Sometimes the bikes are repaired and given to families that can't afford to buy bikes for their children.

Paula Fox, Findern Primary School

Mrs Fox was in school every day from March 2020 to July 2020. She cancelled her holidays to look after vulnerable children, visited families, delivered food parcels and made sure they were okay. She encouraged vulnerable and special needs children to come into school and has kept in touch with their families by phoning and home visiting, even at weekends. She has made sure that all the children have laptops to use if they are working from home.

Peak 4x4 Response, Duckmanton

During the pandemic, Peak 4x4 Response members worked tirelessly transporting carers, district nurses and hospital staff during severe snow to hospitals and clients’ homes. The members have also supported Derbyshire food banks delivering stock and taking food out to individuals in need when collection points had to be closed. They have also worked in partnership with Derbyshire Emergency Volunteers taking part in weekly deliveries of vital medication to patients from both Chesterfield and Derby hospitals. 

Project D, Spondon

5,000 eggs were donated to the city’s food bank during the first lockdown and throughout 2020 the company donated more than 10,000 doughnuts to staff at Royal Derby Hospital, Derbyshire Police, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue and staff and residents of city care homes as a thank-you for their good work. Most recently, Project D donated 500 doughnuts to staff delivering COVID-19 vaccines in the city. In December 2020, Project D sponsored a huge campaign to deliver food and hampers to hundreds of lonely and vulnerable pensioners.

Rachel Hayward, Derby Swap Shop

During the pandemic Rachel established Derby Swap Shop to support small businesses with swapping services. This acted as a vital lifeline for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to support each other throughout the pandemic. Rachel has also quietly supported many SME business owners behind the scenes, providing details of opportunities and work during a very difficult trading period. She is a cheerleader for Derby's small business community.

Rebecca Vodden-Page, Barrow Hill Primary Academy, Chesterfield

Headteacher Rebecca not only ensured no child in school would go without food but also opened it to the community. She ensured the whole community was fed, including in the school holidays, while most of her staff were isolating. If people couldn't get to school to collect food parcels she even delivered. 

Rev Stella Greenwood, St Peter’s Church, Hartshorne

Stella prepared and cooked food and helped to distribute it to people who needed it, which was very welcome.

Rev Philip Michell, Hulland Ward churches

Phil volunteers for ACE Youth Trust in Ashbourne which provided over 335 weekly food parcels, 215 hygiene packs and 1,035 weekly hot meal deliveries to 63 vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people from 30 families living in the Derbyshire Dales. Phil's contribution has made a real difference to the lives of local children and young people in these extraordinary times.

Richard Brunt, Head of Joint Strategic Assets for Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service

Richard has been a pivotal member of the Joined Up Care Derbyshire Vaccination Program team. Richard had a key role in the planning, preparation and delivery of 1.7 million vaccinations against COVID-19 for the people of Derbyshire. Richard worked closely with Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust. Richard’s determination has delivered vaccines to the people of Derbyshire ahead of many other areas and has, without doubt, saved lives and protected the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Ripley Infant School, Ripley, Amber Valley

Distributing free school meals and vouchers, supplying IT equipment and SIM cards for online learning, providing paper learning materials and making weekly contact with vulnerable parents and much more.

Rob Childs, postmaster at Dronfield Post Office

Rob took every measure possible to make his small post office a safe environment which was very reassuring for customers – especially the more vulnerable. He treated everyone very kindly and professionally. Nothing was ever too much trouble.

Robert Parker, Yeaveley Arms, Ashbourne

Rob is the cheerful, hard-working landlord of the Yeaveley Arms Pub, Yeaveley. Rob has been at the heart of keeping community spirit going during covid. He’s done everything from flying the appropriate flag at half-mast for village funerals, organising the Ashbourne Elim Church ‘drive by Christmas carols’, playing the appropriate music on loud speakers for the laying of the Remembrance Day wreath, delivering take away meals and newspapers to elderly residents, getting eggs, bread and other basics for people, helping arrange 100th birthday celebrations and bringing the village together with reminders about clapping for the NHS, VE Day, VJ Day. The pub also acted as a collection point for Ashbourne food bank.

Robert Sales, Ashbourne

Robert has done all the shopping for a vulnerable family for more than a year.

Ruth Longfellow, Church in the Peak, Matlock

Ruth heads up the Jigsaw food bank and has seen the food bank double and in some cases triple in size as the pandemic has affected so many families in the local area. She has worked tirelessly to organise deliveries and volunteer teams to pack food and essential for many families, but also for local schools as well. 

Sally de Pee, Chapel en le Frith

During the cold winter months of lockdown Sally was concerned that lots of children wouldn’t have warm clothes, hats, coats or shoes so she started Little Cherubs to help these children and families. She has helped more than 230 children in the High Peak area and fully equipped 15 soon-to-be mums with everything needed for a new baby as well as liaising with other local charities in the wider area.

Sarah Clipston, South Normanton

During the first lockdown wedding and party planner Sarah helped with food shopping/prescriptions for those unable to leave their homes. She created a virtual bingo group for children and adults to play and win free prizes to help with boredom/loneliness. She donated birthday balloons from her business to children who couldn’t have a party, and for VE day she gave away flags/balloons so people could decorate their houses and tied them to lamp posts on her street to cheer everyone up.

Sarah Warburton, Breaston

Sarah was one of the main players in the project to provide support to residents in Breaston during the first lockdown and continued with collections for the local food bank and community events for the church over the Christmas period. They arranged street wardens and generally masterminded the whole scheme, which was tremendously successful.

Scott Garrity, QEGS, (Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School), Ashbourne

Head teacher Scott ensured that maximum support was given to students, parents and staff so that the school community could function as well as possible. He continued to demonstrate leadership during home learning then the reintroduction of on-site teaching, always communicating with the wider community with his weekly letter updates. He made sure that QEGS has followed Government guidelines at all times often having to make important decisions at short notice and implementing mass testing, reorganising school transport and putting in place directives when students or staff tested positive.

Serena Hancox, Crich

Serena recognised that lockdown would have a huge impact upon new parents and saw the potential gap in support, especially within a rural community where isolation and loneliness was heightened. So, she created a support group (‘Popalong Babies’) which has since made a significant contribution to new parents in the Crich area. Popalong Babies meet virtually each week and take in-person walks when possible. More recently Serena has coordinated everyone meeting outside again for informal chat-and-play sessions, with adherence to all regulations to keep everyone safe. Popalong Babies has enabled new parents to bond and babies to interact in a time with limited opportunities to do so.

Serpentine Community Garden, Buxton

Serpentine gave fresh mixed salad leaves for the food parcels delivered by Buxton Street by Street mutual aid group. They provided a safe working haven for volunteers. The garden hosted soil testing when 63 families engaged in a socially distanced practical science session in partnership with Transition Buxton. The garden is also developing social prescribing provision with Stewart Medical Centre and worked in partnership with primary schools for extra-curricular activity – remotely and in person as lockdown constraints eased.

Shelagh’s Sewing Circle, Dronfield

Multiple nominations for Shelagh's Sewing Circle, which has made and delivered 75,652 facemasks to 1,068 different organisations including 2,645 to Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School. With support from volunteer sewers, local media and businesses, the group made 10,000 masks, for care and nursing homes, hospices, hospitals and emergency services. Face masks were also included in food parcels sent to ‘shielding’ individuals. Publicity, gifts of materials, money and other support, like transport of finished masks and working space, came from the community.

Simon Jones, Grassmoor

Simon (Jonesy Jones) set up VRUK Volunteer Riders UK. Simon had lost his 35-year-old brother to diabetes just prior to the pandemic and he didn’t want anyone else to go through the pain and loss of bereavement if it could be avoided. He set up the group, organising PPE to be supplied, made and delivered all at no cost. Simon reached out to people via social medial and asked for volunteer bikers to join. To date, almost 4,000 bikers have joined with a staggering nine million face masks, PPE, scrubs, bags for the bereaved, ventilator parts, scrub bags, plastic visors and so much more. All have been sourced, made and delivered for no cost.

South Area Study Programme Team, Long Eaton

The whole team provided education and support to under-19 learners through lockdown. There were many challenges that the team rose to – online teaching and meetings, supporting young people during tough times and with mental health difficulties, providing laptops and distributing bursaries and vouchers.

Tayla Kane, Shirebrook

Tayla caught covid in the course of her work in a care home, but once she was well again she worked hard providing support for residents and activity packs for day centres.

Team Tree, Ironville

Team Tree kept young and old people in the village entertained with community activities during some very difficult times, such as scarecrow and winter snowman competitions, encouraging people to get out, reducing isolation and boosting fitness. They have regular social media updates with competitions, including a sunflower growing activity with free seeds. They can't wait to see them all around the village to brighten up the gloomy nights.

The Technology Faculty at the Henry Fanshawe School in Dronfield

They designed and made over 1,000 face visors which were distributed to over 50 local businesses and medical practices.

Teresa Ayre and Angie Cooke

The two women collected food and clothing from their local areas to donate to the Derby County Community Trust. Angie also raised over £1,350 for local charities by making soft toys and she sewed scrubs for the NHS.

Tina Wild of New Mills Surgery

Tina worked tirelessly to support residents and staff at Goyt Valley House care home in the town, supporting their medical and emotional needs especially during lockdowns.

Toni Riley, Buxton

Toni took up the challenge of organising all the volunteers for the car park marshalling at the COVID-19 vaccine programme, working many hours to ensure a smooth and effective service.

Vanessa O'Shea-Chauvet, Fritchley Primary School

In addition to her teaching role Vanessa has excelled as a mental health co-ordinator for staff, pupils and parents. She has also supported some of the most vulnerable families in the local area with grocery deliveries.

Vincent Ryder, Hadfield

Vince is a reader working at three churches in Glossopdale. While in lockdown Vince wrote and posted service sheets and refreshments to those members of the church who were isolating and not able to engage in any online services, He regularly phones vulnerable church members to make sure they are ok and he delivers home cooked meals, cakes and flowers to those in need. He makes contact with the families of those who are poorly or in hospital and keeps other church members up to date.

Winster Village Shop Association Ltd, Derbyshire Dales

This business constantly evolved and adapted to ensure that the shop continued to operate in support of the local communities. They created online ordering and free delivery, kept the post office open and raised money for the local food bank. It was an outstanding and innovative service to the local community and surrounding villages, particularly those self-isolating and the vulnerable.

Walkers Butchers - Bridget Walker and family, Wirksworth

Bridget and family have supported local families through their delivery service and added in extras that people wanted from other shops in the town. Service with a smile and creating a lifeline for some vulnerable people.