Community heroes put in the spotlight | News

Sadeh Lok

Community heroes put in the spotlight

A string of dedicated residents have scooped top prizes at the annual Gerry Pickersgill and Community Awards.

Honours were handed out at a glittering ceremony at Victoria Hall, Keighley (9th November).

The awards are presented in memory of a popular housing manager who died in 2000.

Organisers Bradford District Tenants and Residents Federation, supported by Incommunities, hailed this year’s awards a great success with 82 nominations across five categories.

The overall winner, chosen by a judging panel from the Federation, was David Weston from Keighley for his dedicated work helping pupils at Worth Valley Primary School lead a healthier life style. This includes running their breakfast club, encouraging the children to grow fruit and vegetables and also preparing funding bids. David also finds time to run the Craft Tea Corner at the Sue Belcher Centre at Bracken Bank.

winners with Geraldine Howley

(Above picture shows all the winners with Geraldine Howley [centre], Janet Pickersgill [third from left] and Katie Bowles from the District Federation [third from right]. David Weston is pictured with the overall winner’s shield.  Photo by Cilla Drennan)

The roll call of category winners announced on the night were:

best neighbour – Barry Wood for his tireless work helping residents at North Dene House, Heaton including running bingo sessions, running errands for some of the older residents and tending the garden at the scheme.

Runners up - Suzanne Greenwood and Maxine Snowball (both Keighley)

best social event organiser – Braithwaite Senior Voice, whose members work hard to bring older people together from Braithwaite and Guard House, by running day trips, coffee mornings and laying on hot lunches.

Runners up - Louise Mellor of Keighley and David and Mary Smith, Bingley.

best young volunteer – Eight-year-old Ashley Copeland of Wibsey for his work helping the homeless, including raising money for the Bradford Curry Project. Ashley also helps with litter picking around where he lives.

Runner up – Swayne Tombin, Keighley

best community project – Friends of Harold Park, for their dedication to improving the Low Moor park and making it a valued community resource. The group work with schools and have successfully fundraised for a sensory garden. They are currently working on making the park ‘dementia friendly’.

Runners up - Forever Loved Animal Rescue, Keighley and the Craft Tea Corner, Bracken Bank.

best community centre – Café West in Allerton, described as ‘not just a café, but a library, advice centre, job club, exercise base and much more’…offering ‘a warm welcome’ and ‘excellent food that is very good value’.

Runners up – Sue Belcher Centre (Bracken Bank) and Keith Thompson Centre (Braithwaite)

The runners up to David Weston (overall award winner) were Suzanne Greenwood and Barry Wood.

Katie Bowles, Chair of the District Federation said: "Congratulations to David Weston on winning the overall Gerry Pickersgill Award.

"Everyone was struck by his dedication to the children of Worth Valley and his tireless work to improve their life experiences. He is an inspiring volunteer.

"This year we received 82 nominations celebrating the fantastic contribution of individuals and groups from right across our communities and it’s was tough deciding on winners.

"A big well done to all our prize winners and everyone nominated."

Geraldine Howley, Incommunities Group Chief Executive, said: "Every year, the Gerry Pickersgill Awards shines the spotlight on local heroes right across the district and 2017 has brought a bumper crop of high quality nominations.

"I would like to congratulate this year’s winners, runners up and everyone nominated for these awards, held in recognition of a dedicated housing professional.

"A special thanks to Gerry’s widow, Janet, who each year supports the event and the Bradford District Tenants and Residents Federation, in particular, Steve Pickles and Katie Bowles who have really worked hard to run these awards."

overall winner David Weston

(Above picture shows overall winner David Weston with Janet Pickersgill [left] and Katie Bowles [right]    Photo by Cilla Drennan.)

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