Check out the winners and runners up from our Community Awards 2021 below.
Organisation: Period Power
Nominated by: Dickie James
Period Power is a local charity led by Linda Allbutt to ensure women and young girls are given the dignity of meeting their personal hygiene needs during menstruation. Period Power was set up in response to Period Poverty in the UK where women and girls living in poverty were unable to afford basic hygiene products they needed for their periods. The organisation has grown through the commitment of volunteers, and donations from local communities. They deliver sanitary products and other toiletries to food banks, domestic abuse refuges, schools and other charities across the county. Their mission is to ensure that every woman and girl has the dignity of period products when needed.
Organisation: Hearts and Hands
Nominated by: Councillor Ann Edgeller
The amount of work Hearts and Hands have done during the Covid pandemic is more than can be put into words. They have provided help to so many people in need with items such as clothes, furniture, food and anything else they needed! The group even moved beds from one place to another, the community spirit among the group is amazing. Time and effort is no problem for this group. They’ve participated in running stalls within the Borough to raise funds to help people who really need it and they obtained a storage unit in order to store donations to give out to people.
Organisation: Stafford and District Carers Holiday Trust
Nominated by: Councillor Anne Hobbs
John runs the registered charity on a voluntary basis alongside caring for his wife. The aim of the charity is to provide much needed holidays for unpaid carers and the individuals they care for. Carers UK recently published a report detailing how difficult unpaid carers find it to obtain holidays, many are at breaking point due to the Covid 19 crisis and quite simply need a holiday. Through generous donations the charity has brought a static caravan in Towyn and a fully adapted caravan in Blackpool. Over the last 4-5 years he has helped over 50 unpaid carers, who only receive a carers allowance of £67.50 a week for providing a minimum of 35 hours care, get the holiday that they deserve. Every single one has praised the initiative.
Organisation: The Island Restaurant - Eat in to Help Out
Nominated by: Katie Bevis
During the COVID-19 pandemic, being the only Indian takeaway business open, The Island Restaurant noticed a lot of their regular customers had stopped ordering. It also became apparent the vulnerable and elderly were struggling to leave their homes to go shopping whether this being due to financial difficulties or being fearful to do so. The team got together to think of ways they could support the residents safely. They started donating a free meal to elderly and vulnerable people who were isolating throughout lockdown. To show their support to the NHS staff they delivered free meals to the staff of a local NHS hospital. During the second wave The Island Restaurant took part in the Eat in to Help Out scheme which consisted of every order received they would donate a free meal to the local homeless shelter and food bank, they donated 200 free meals.
Name of Individual: Christopher Hurst
Name of Project: Environmental Works
Nominated by: Karen St Ledger
Chris Hurst volunteered to take on the responsibility of environmental issues for the Parish of Barlaston, with his passion for environmental issues he has dedicated his time to projects which benefit the village, such as repairs on the canal towpath and working on flooding issues on the village green. He has worked alongside the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to undertake a survey of flora and fauna and based on their recommendation has commenced environmental planting on the green and around the village to encouraging butterflies and bees. The works on the village green have been long overdue. Chris’s drive and willingness to be hands on have made a significant difference to the look and feel of the village.
Name of Individual: Susan McKeown
Name of Project: Hixon Millennium Green Trust
Nominated by: Councillor Brendan McKeown
Hixon Millennium Green Trust is a registered charity, that was created by Susan McKeown in 1998 to turn a unkempt small paddock into a village green in the heart of Hixon. Hixon Millennium Green opened in January 2000 after Susan raised over £50,000, the Trust has no regular income stream or benefactors to offset the annual cost of mowing, maintenance, and insurance premiums. The Covid pandemic meant that the main fundraising event had to stop for the last two years but Susan has mowed the green regularly, cleared vegetation and cut back trees herself. Her drive and enthusiasm over the 23 years the green has been open has not diminished. The green is a lovely open space for the whole community to enjoy.
Sports and Leisure
Organisation: Stafford Dodgeball Club
Nominated by: Junior Dodgeball Club
Stafford Dodgeball Club want to help their local area’s children have an activity to do. They are all volunteers and offered free sessions throughout July to help people get involved in the sport. Starting from scratch with no children they now have over 20 children in their 11 and under group and 8 in their 11-to-16-year group. Many of the children were looking for a hobby or some way of keeping fit and having something to look forward to. They offer a safe and friendly environment for children to learn, grow and play in a structured sporting progressive way.
Organisation: Elements Fitness and Wellbeing Club / Macro Café
The Elements Fitness and Wellbeing Macro Café is more than just a gym, the cafes aim is to attract members of the public / community to promote a healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. As a fitness centre the club has all necessary gym equipment across 3 floors for the community to use to keep fit and healthy. Offering a wide range of group exercise classes including a virtual spin room. They also have a music therapy room on site which is available to the community to use, the room is used by Enabling Activities who support individuals with disabilities providing them with activities and support to gain their full potential. As a club their aim and inspiration is to provide facilities to all members of our community including those who may be classed as hard to reach or vulnerable.
Organisation: Roots Larder CIC - Stafford Community Recycling Hub
Nominated by: Robert Hine
Two local independent businesses (Aroma by Tranquility and Roots Larder CIC) joined forces to help combat the increasing problem of recycling ‘hard to recycle’ plastics. Starting in 2019 they began collecting crisp packets and nominated a local charity to be the beneficiary of the funds raised through sending parcels to a recovery agency called Terracycle. Since then, more and more schemes have been added, with now approx. 20 schemes of recovery and recycling on their site, each item helps raise cash for charity. The project has helped many people feel part of a team and work together on a topic for which they have a real interest and passion – helping improve the environment.
Organisation: Street Floral Display
Nominated by: Gill Dunn
Every summer for many years Sue has created a beautiful floral display on the grass verge and in the trees in Widecombe Avenue. People stop, admire, chat and are inspired to make their own displays. It goes without saying that the project always entails a great deal of time and hard work, yet Sue is always willing to chat and encourage others. The improvement to the environment, and the contribution to social wellbeing in the neighbourhood is significant, and a joy to behold. Many of the gardens in the neighbourhood, have improved during lock down as a result of Sue’s example and generous advice, always given with a smile.
Organisation: Stafford County Showground Covid-19 Vaccination Team
The mass vaccination programme was introduced and rolled out and for many of us that offered us a chink of light that we might feel safe enough to start seeing our family and friends once again. Stafford borough have led the way with the vaccination programme we have seen how successful Holmcroft Community Centre, the Kingston Centre and the County Showground have been in their efforts to keep our residents safe in a time of uncertainty and of worry. At the County Showground by the end of June, the total number of vaccinations had reached 95,000 including 748 housebound residents and the residents of 27 Care Homes. The calm, caring environment made everyone relaxed and pleased to have been involved in this top performing vaccination centre.
Organisation: The Community Foundation for Staffordshire - Supporting communities through COVID into recovery
Nominated by: Councillor Jeremy Pert
Our special recognition award is in recognition of all of the work that our voluntary and community infrastructure organisations have carried out during the past 18 months in supporting organisations to keep going through what was a very difficult time. Organisations such as Support Staffordshire, The Community Foundation and SCVYS have worked tirelessly to ensure that the sector was able to continue providing the support to residents who were in great need of help and support and to access critical funding to enable their activities to continue. The Community Foundation for Staffordshire was a key partner to funders and to voluntary sector organisations in Stafford Borough, during the past 12 months they have given out £2.5m in Covid-19 support grants. The work benefitted anyone in Stafford in need of support both from and within the community.
Organisation: Stafford Welcomes Refugees - Young Volunteers
Nominated by: Netta Cartwright
Last autumn Tom, Seb, Joban and Harrison joined the Stafford Welcomes Refugees Young Volunteers Project to help families that were unable to attend school and partake in the usual activities put on by Stafford Welcomes Refugees due to the coronavirus pandemic. They helped develop a programme of remote and in person events to help these families socialise and practice their English. They all committed a lot of volunteering hours to putting on these events during what was a difficult time at school for them with remote learning and GCSE courses.