Celebrating Surrey & Hampshire's Community Champions
On Thursday 11th September 2014, we hosted a glitzy award ceremony at G Live in Guildford where our Local Heroes were recognised and some special guests provided an evening of top class entertainment.
Acts performing on the night included West End Superstar Louise Dearman, the Aldershot Military Wives Choir, Hudson Taylor & the former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts.
Find out more about the winners and their stories below.
YOUR COMPANY COULD BE INVOLVED IN LOCAL HEROES 2015!
Please take a look at our video (left) which gives you an idea of how your company could be involved in this inspirational project. For further information, call Emma on 01483 468725 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by G Live
Winner: Barry Huggett
Barry Huggett, or Mr Huggett to his students, is Headmaster at More House School in Frensham which takes in children with specific learning difficulties. He is adored by his students, who say he is always on hand to help and always makes time for them. His influence has developed pupils who say he has allowed them be ‘the best people they can be’. Mr Huggett also works with families who are struggling to pay their fees by lowering them and assisting them with applications for Government grants.
Young Person Award
Sponsored by Alton College
Winner: Bethany Goodhew
Since the age of 13 Bethany has been giving up her time to help others at the North Hampshire Deaf Children’s Society (NHDCS). Her hard work and dedication behind the scenes have played a vital role in keeping the organisation going, and many of the events held in recent years simply would not have happened without her. But it does not stop there; Bethany is hugely popular amongst the children who use the NHDCS, always making the effort to befriend and entertain them. She has given up her evenings to take a young deaf girl to Rainbows and many of her weekends are spent taking the children on outings such as bowling and ice skating. As if all of that was not enough, Bethany is about to sit her British Sign Language Level Two exams so she can communicate with everyone who attends the NHDCS groups.
Music & Arts Award
Sponsored by Wessex Arts
Winner: Steven Lee
Based in Onslow Village, Steven is the Artistic Director of The People’s Theatre Company, sending out top quality shows to over 120 venues every year. Working on a shoe-string budget, thousands of people have been entertained by his work and his projects provide employment for hundreds. Regularly working long hours, Steven is known for his ever-present smile and all of this whilst suffering a painful chronic illness. Take a bow Steven Lee.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: John Hambly
In 1998 John Hambly was diagnosed with the neurological condition Multiple Sclerosis, an incurable disease that affects the nervous system. When he was diagnosed, the father of four was surprised to find there was no local charity or support group in place to help him, and others like him, through their journey. So he started one himself. The Samson Centre in Guildford was born in 2003 and now offers the treatments and physiotherapy those with MS so dearly need. With no public funding, and running costs of £100,000 per year, John work’s tirelessly to raise funds; often leaving him ill and sapped of energy. His daughter Megan describes her dad as ‘the strongest man I know’.
Sponsored by Barratt Homes
Winner: Stuart Chillery
Living on a small close of just 13 houses in Church Crookham, Stuart works tirelessly to help his neighbours. Described by those who know him as ‘one of the good people in the world’, he can regularly be seen watering plants, feeding the chickens and delivering parcels, all for the good of the community he is at the heart of. Over the last few years Stuart has taken one neighbour in particular under his wing following the sudden and tragic death of her husband. He regularly checks on her, mows her lawn and does her shopping, giving everyone on the close peace of mind.
Volunteering & Charity Award
Sponsored by Guildford College Group
Winner: Surrey Dolphins Swimobility
Surrey Dolphins Swimobility is making a splash in the local community by helping people with all kinds of disabilities to get into the pool. Volunteers work with members aged from 18 to 86 to improve their health and confidence, as well as widening their social circle. The water therapy has a huge impact on the lives of those who use it, but members tell us the benefits of the social side are just as big. Regular events such as picnics and outings allow people to meet with their new friends and prevent the isolation that can so often come with a disability.
Special Award - Surrey's Flood Heroes
In February 2014, North Surrey was devastated by flooding which saw thousands of people forced to leave their homes in areas including Weybridge, Egham and Chertsey. Many people are still trying to get their lives back in order following the relentless bad weather that battered the county during that time. There was a huge demand for sand bags, in order to protect homes, and food parcels for many people who were unable to leave their homes. In spite of the struggle and discomfort that effected residents felt, the huge community spirit that was on show throughout flood hit areas was inspiring. There was a huge amount of people giving up time to do what they could to help, and tonight we recognise a selection of those people.
Surrey’s Flood Heroes: Surrey 4x4 Response, Surrey Search & Rescue, Magna Carta Volunteer Operation, St Peters Church Volunteers, Egham Hythe Flood Relief
Sponsored by Cancer Partners UK
An inspiration, generous and ‘the most bouncy and positive person I have ever met’. Just some of the words used to describe Peter who runs the Yamabushi Judo Club in Witley. The club accepts children with any disability and helps to give them a level of confidence many have never experienced. Using a holistic approach, rather than forcing the children to train, Peter’s mantra is ‘sport is for life’. His generosity shines through when it comes to those who are struggling financially; waiving fees and providing kit for those who cannot afford their own.
Military & Emergency Services
Sponsored by Dentons Wealth
Captain Karen Tait & Lieutenant Colonel Belinda Forsythe
This award is shared by two people, not solely for the work they do as part of their roles in the military but also for their charitable work. The pair set up a charity called Family Activity Breaks (FAB) which raises funds and organises holidays for service families who have lost a loved one. It offers some relief for children who are going through one of the most difficult times imaginable. Hundreds of families have benefited since FAB first launched in 2009.
Inspiration in Business Award
Winner: Roy Sheriff
You may well have come into contact with Roy’s business over the years; Hart Taxis has been going since 2001. But it is the story behind the firm, and the man who started it, that is so inspirational. Having gone through a tough childhood and then finding himself homeless for several years, Roy started the company with just two cars. It is down to his hard work that Hart Taxis has grown from strength to strength ever since. But more than just being a good businessman, Roy’s work in the community is being recognised this evening. Whether it is digging cars out of the snow, supporting his drivers through difficult personal challenges or offering a discount to customers from the military; Roy has built a business that succeeds because it puts people first.
Winner: Trudy Barker
In February 2013 18-year-old Charlie Barker from Wrecclesham tragically died after taking a party drug. Just days after his death, Charlie’s mother Trudy contacted Eagle Radio because she wanted to do an interview in a bid to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs and, in her words, ‘do something if it stops even one child dying’. In a heart-wrenching interview, she spoke lovingly about her son, broke down as she described the moment she was told of his death and urged teenagers to ‘just take a minute to think about what could happen’ if they take drugs. There is now doubt her courage in speaking out will have made people think twice. Trudy’s work does not stop there; she has since begun the process of setting up a charity to raise awareness about the dangers of legal highs.