Unsung heroes honoured at community awards

Groups and individuals that help reduce social isolation, prevent crime and support disabled children were among those recognised as part of the first Our Malvern Hills Community Awards.

In total 20 people, projects, groups and businesses were celebrated for their achievements during a ceremony hosted at the HD Anywhere Stadium, the home of Malvern Town FC, on Thursday (1 December).

The awards were created by Malvern Hills District Council to recognise dedicated members of the community as part of the council’s commitment to building stronger and healthier communities. Overall 60 nominations were made in six categories.

Those recognised on the night included Susan Petty, who was honoured for more than 21 years of dedication to the Poolbrook and Malvern community with an Action in the Community Award.  Over time she has held numerous voluntary roles within Brook Farm Community Association, helped to keep the community centre open and ensured two luncheon clubs for older and vulnerable residents continue to thrive.

Susan said: “It was nice to be nominated and a big surprise to have won. You don’t need grand gestures to say thank you, it’s just nice people do say thank you and it made me feel pleased I’ve done what I’ve done.”

Members of Suckley Good Neighbourhood Scheme were presented with a Safe and Sound Community Award for their work tackling isolation in the area. In the Improving Lives category, support network What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful was recognised for providing a safe, secure and fun place for disabled children and their families to be together.

Malvern Hills Repair Café was the judges’ choice in the Cleaner and Greener Community category for the 3,000 household items volunteers have helped fix for local people over the past four years, helping save thousands of pounds in the process.

Jane Lister, from the Worcestershire Association of Carers, was presented with a Young Persons Award for her volunteer work with Malvern Carer Group. Key IQ was recognised in the Business in the Community Award category for its work supporting the development of technology skills amongst young people, promoting entrepreneurship and founding the Malvern Festival of Innovation.

More than 100 nominees and dignitaries attended the event which also saw live music performed during the interval by members of local band Hennesea.

Cllr David Watkins, portfolio holder for healthier communities on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The evening was a magnificent celebration of the many ways local people get involved and make a difference to their communities. We were delighted to be able to shine a light on the many and varied examples of community spirit across our district. We look forward to doing it all again next year.”

A special video has also been produced to celebrate volunteering across the district and is available to view by visiting YouTube.