The winners were announced at MHA’s Annual Making a Difference Awards ceremony, recently held at St Pierre Golf Club, Chepstow.
The event was attended by over 120 tenants, leaseholders, sponsors and community partners from across the County and celebrates the outstanding work undertaken. All candidates were nominated by members of their community, which shows the appreciation people have for the selfless support provided by our heroes!
John Keegan, our Chief Executive, said:
“Well, what a brilliant night! after a few years away, the MAD awards are finally back and bigger than ever; highlighting the great work that goes on in our communities. Congratulations to all winners and nominees, who have dedicated so much of their time and energy to make a difference in our communities. You should be very proud.”
The winners were …
Outstanding Achievement in Self-Development was won by Heather Clelland. Heather has overcome many hurdles and successfully taken control of her life. She has definitely got her mojo back and is using her drive and ambition to build her new business. Well done Heather.
Outstanding Contribution to MHA was won by Alistair Clarke. Alistair is a very active member of MHA’s Community Voice Committee and over the last 2 years has had an incredible impact in helping MHA improve and revise its service delivery. Alistair also plays an important role in his local community at Plas Mawr in Usk.
Best Group, Project or Initiative was won by The Friends of Bailey Park. The Friends of Bailey Park are elderly, few in number, who face an overwhelming challenge in looking after over a dozen formerly neglected gardens, as well as trying to develop woodland and wildflower areas to provide increased biodiversity and improved wellbeing of the community.
This group deserve recognition because of their outstanding commitment, dedication, and work ethic to make Bailey Park a safer, happier, more beautiful place, a haven for the community and for wildlife.
Community Champion Award was won by Gloria Dolan. Gloria leads a team of volunteers at a local community kitchen, offering a lifeline for so many people, providing hot food and a space to socialise helping tackle loneliness and isolation.
Gloria is a true community champion who deserves to be recognised for the amazing work she does.
The Neighbour from Heaven award was won by Peter Whittingham. Peter always looks out for everyone living in his scheme, helping anyone who needs it. If he hasn’t seen someone in a few days, he will go and check on them to make sure they’re ok. He looks after the communal gardens making sure they always look lovely and presentable and takes real care and pride in keeping Plas Mawr looking it’s best.
(Award collected by the lovely Rachel Knight, in Peter’s absence)
Volunteer of the Year was won by Barbara Smith. Barbara took over as leader of the Art Group which meets at Together WORKS, Caldicot 6 years ago. She is committed to offering a safe, happy environment for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their Carers. Her energy knows no bounds and she has befriended people in such a way that they feel supported.
(Award collected by Liz Gardiner in Barbara’s absence)
Inspirational Young Person(s) award was jointly won by …
Leah Tidley and Isaac Williams MHA were pleased to recruit 2 teenage volunteers to their summer programme, especially as they had come from a position of being disengaged with a range of services. Leah and Isaac took their roles seriously and attended all weekly sessions. They helped motivate the younger children, becoming great role models and an invaluable part of our community team.
Connah Jones 11 year old Connah was diagnosed with dyspraxia and dyslexia, and when he realised his primary school did not have many resources for children with dyslexia, he decided he wanted to buy some for the school!
By undertaking demanding physical challenges including cycling, walking and running (not easy for somebody with dyspraxia) he raised a massive £1,625, smashing his goal of £100. He’s since moved to comprehensive but what an amazing legacy he has left. His nominee said “He’s a truly wonderful boy with a fantastic heart and deserves some recognition for his fantastic efforts”.
Most Inspirational Journey was won by Charlotte Mills. Charlotte’s a force of nature and has overcome many hurdles to become where she is today. She is our ‘community hero’, she attends focus group/planning meetings, organises events and lots more, she even makes a rather superb minion!
Charlotte leads by example and is selfless and driven by the want of having a safer, stronger community.
Huge thank you to our sponsors …
This evening has been sponsored by a range of services and companies including:
GAVO – Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations • The Bridges Community Centre • TPAS Cyrmu • iConnect Project • Monmouthshire County Council Social Justice and Innovation Team • MHA’s Community Voice Committee • MHA’s Engagement Team• MHA’s Moneywise Service