Nearly thirty unsung heroes and their families attended the Chair’s Community Awards at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE Campus last night (Wednesday 7 March).
The annual awards recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution local unpaid volunteers make to life in South Gloucestershire. These people give up their time freely to help others and bring our communities together, and were rewarded for their efforts at the special ceremony.
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Ian Blair attended along with the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter and Vice Lord Lieutenant Robert Bernays, Group Chief Executive & Executive Principal of South Gloucestershire & Stroud College Kevin Hamblin and Principal and Deputy Chief Sara-Jane Watkins.
Throughout the evening award winners from across South Gloucestershire and from a wide variety of backgrounds were presented with their certificates by Cllr Blair and Sara-Jane Watkins. Including Tom Weston, who has worked at his local youth club since the age of 16 providing a safe and friendly place for many young people from the village and the surrounding area to meet. Tom has volunteered for many youth club fundraisers and is a great supporter of the local youth service. He is also a trained first aider and his quick actions helped saved one local man’s life when he suffered a heart attack and Tom gave him CPR, keeping his heart beating for 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
The final round was the Lord Lieutenant’s Special Award, which saw Dame Janet Trotter and Robert Bernays present £100 to representatives of the Patchway Memory Café, a group of volunteers from the local area who offer a friendly welcome for anyone affected by dementia, or who is worried about their or someone else’s memory.
Patchway Memory Café has been operating since 2013. Several of the volunteers have previous experience of caring for someone with dementia and are able to offer support to others who are going through the same with their loved ones. All volunteers are dementia friends and several volunteers have been trained to be dementia friends champions and regularly deliver the dementia information sessions to the public.
Cllr Ian Blair, Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “In my role as Chair, I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet people from around the area from all walks of life and these awards are a great way to say thank you to some of the many volunteers who make South Gloucestershire such a great place to live and work.
“Whilst reading through and shortlisting the nominations it was obvious that those put forward for an award are held in high esteem in their local communities. The positive impact which their commitment and hard work has on others is extremely uplifting and encouraging. Well done to all the winners, you are an inspiration to us all.”
College Principal and Deputy Chief, Sara-Jane Watkins said: “SGS College is delighted to support the Chair’s Community Awards. It is important to acknowledge the people of South Gloucestershire that selflessly enrich our community.”
Our annual awards event is sponsored by South Gloucestershire & Stroud College and offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers in the community who display outstanding commitment in giving up their time and effort to help others. The evening also saw students from the Level 3 Musical Theatre group, based at WISE campus of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, perform some of their latest productions.