Our heroes awards 2019

 

Photo of all the nominees

 

Our Heroes 2019 - bigger and better

We work in great areas, serving fantastic communities with brilliant people. And we want to celebrate it so we widened the scope of the awards to recognise those people making a difference in their local areas.

Our judges had the difficult task of combing through over 60 nominations across four categories.  

On 23 October we held the Our Heroes 2019 awards ceremony.

Click at the tabs below to see the shortlited nominees and winners.

 

Celebrating 'Our Heroes'

Celebrating 'Our Heroes'

Volunteers helping to transform rural Lincolnshire schools were among the big winners at our annual Our Heroes awards 

Following scores of entries and a lengthy judging process, the awards were handed out at a ceremony in Gainsborough. The awards celebrate great gardens, good neighbours, fantastic young people and people doing their best to enhance communities.

The Wonderful Neighbour of the Year award went to Don Pyle, who volunteers at St Mary’s Primary Academy in Welton. Originally volunteering to listen to some of the children read, he now regularly spends his time renovating and breathing new life into outside areas to help the children learn and play.

He said: “I’m so surprised. To even be nominated let alone win it; it’s come completely out of the blue. I just do what I like to do and help the kids where I can.

“I just like the school to look nice and welcoming to people. I just wanted to add a bit of colour to the place. I could do with twice the time though! By the time I’ve read with the children and done the gardening and other odd jobs they day’s over.

“I was gobsmacked when I found out I was even nominated. I don’t think I’ve done anything exceptional. Anyone else who likes to volunteer would be doing the same and that’s what I’d recommend to anyone.

“Anybody, no matter what your age, if you’ve got any spare time for the school it’s very much appreciated. The kids love you, the teachers love you and you can make a difference.”

Janet Wright from Tealby picked up the garden guru award. She said: “It’s amazing. I’m so pleased. I’ve not had the garden that long so it’s very pleasing to win.

“I love gardening. It’s very therapeutic and keeps me out of mischief. I was so surprised because there’s a lot of lovely gardens out there that people have done a lot of work on.”

Archie Smith from Gainsborough scooped the Young Person of the Year award for his work around the community, helping vulnerable people with various errands. He said: “I’m very happy. I was a little embarrassed but I’m happy.”

Maria Neall from Blyton won the Positive Change award – a new category this year – for her relentless work in helping to transform the playground at Blyton-cum-Laughton Church of England School. On winning the award, she said: “I’m so shocked but very happy. I’m surprised because the other two nominees were very good with what they’ve put into their community.”

Claire Woodward, Head of Marketing at Acis, said: “We had so many fantastic entries this year and it was really hard to whittle the nominations down to just 12, never mind pick winners from them.

“It’s great to see so many people doing so much to make their communities a better place. At the ceremony, we heard so many stories of people going the extra mile for others – being wonderful neighbours to each other, helping out, transforming schools, being there for people. They really are our heroes.”

For more information about our winners and shortlisted entries, see our Our Heroes page here

Our Heroes 2019 - Wonderful Neighbour

Wonderful Neighbour of the Year

Winner: Don Pyle, Welton

Don volunteers at St Mary’s Primary Academy in Welton. Originally volunteering as a listener for some of the children while they read, Don now spends lots of his spare time helping to renovate and breathe new life into outside areas to help the children learn and play.

He said: “I’m so surprised. To even be nominated let alone win it; it’s come completely out of the blue. I just do what I like to do and help the kids where I can.

“I just like the school to look nice and welcoming to people. I just wanted to add a bit of colour to the place. I could do with twice the time though! By the time I’ve read with the children and done the gardening and other odd jobs they day’s over.

“I was gobsmacked when I found out I was even nominated. I don’t think I’ve done anything exceptional. Anyone else who likes to volunteer would be doing the same and that’s what I’d recommend to anyone.

“Anybody, no matter what your age, if you’ve got any spare time for the school it’s very much appreciated. The kids love you, the teachers love you and you can make a difference.”

Wonderful Neighbour award winner

 

Also shortlisted were Christina Elizabeth Knowlson from North Kelsey for helping three of her neighbours and Christine and Gary Cookson of Retford for being supportive and caring neighbours, working hard to help bring a neighbour’s garden back into shape following illness.

 

Mrs Knowlson, North Kelsey

Mrs Knowlson of North Kelsey was nominated by one of our Area Service Managers, Debbie. She goes out of her way on a regular basis to help and support three of her neighbours.

Mrs Knowlson takes the time to check in and make sure they’re okay as well as running errands. She is a wonderful neighbour and gives up so much of her own time to make sure her neighbours feel cared for.

 

Mr and Mrs Cookson, Retford

Mr and Mrs Cookson from Retford have become wonderful neighbours to their community. Offering their spare time to support their neighbours, caring for them and even baking!

This led to them surprising one neighbour back in May when they organised for their family and friends to weed and mow their garden and generally get it back into shape.

Due to ill health their neighbours were unable to do this their self and were so grateful as the job had become a worry. What wonderful neighbours.

Our Heroes 2019 - Young people of the year

Young Person of the Year

Winner: Archie Smith, Gainsborough

Archie scooped the Young Person of the Year award for his work around the community, helping vulnerable people with various errands. He helps people who are clearly not as mobile as him by walking their dogs, cutting hedges and grass and generally being someone to chat to. In the winter, he also clears the snow from people’s driveways and gardens.

He said: “I’m very happy. I was a little embarrassed but I’m happy.”

Young Person award winner

 

Also shortlisted were the people involved in the #Iwill project in Woodthorpe, Sheffield, for their work to breathe new life into a community centre. The schoolchildren of Pilgrim School near Lincoln were also shortlisted for their attitude towards fellow pupils.

 

The pupils of Pilgrim Hospital School, Lincoln

The Pilgrim Hospital School in Lincoln is a school for pupils with various medical needs a vast majority of which are mental health issues. Their pupils are amazing and many of them have suffered more in their young lives than we could imagine. They demonstrate resilience; empathy and care for others. Recently they had a pupil who attempted to take her life and the support and care that her peers have given her since is outstanding. On top of all this, their Year 11 pupils have successfully undertaken their GCSEs and even with all that life has stacked up against them, they continue to undertake their exams and give 100%. The teachers never cease to be amazed at the resolve their pupils exhibit.

 

The #IWill project, Woodthorpe

The project is an excellent contribution to positive activities, community engagement and social cohesion in the Woodthorpe area of Sheffield. The project is working with young people in an area where Acis has lots of customers and it is excellent to see the cohort of young leaders being developed in an area facing saerious deprivation issues including gang crime. Woodthorpe Development Trust are supporting the young people as they deliver their skills and are now focussing on a project to regenerate a youth club with physical works, tree planting. They are focussing their efforts on something that will improve the area physically whilst also improving their confidence and skills

Our Heroes 2019 - Positive change

Positive Change Award

Winner: Maria Neall, Blyton

Maria won the Positive Change award – a new category this year – for her relentless work in helping to transform the playground at Blyton cum Laughton Church of England School. She volunteered to lead a project to transform the playground at the school. Once a boggy mess, the playground now has new features such as astroturf, playground games and is a much more exciting place for the schoolchildren.

On winning the award, she said: “I’m so shocked but very happy. I’m surprised because the other two nominees were very good with what they’ve put into their community.”

Positive Change award winner

 

Also shortlisted for the award were Richard Kane and Steve Ralf from Gainsborough. Richard for running a foodbank, offering training opportunities for the local community, fundraising and investing into Gainsborough, and Steve for providing affordable food hampers to the local community in need and doing all he can to provide opportunities through a Community Café.

 

Richard Kane, Gainsborough

Richard Kane of Gainsborough is a well known face in the community and has offered vital opportunities to local people. He has provided a foodbank from his business as well as offering volunteering and training opportunities for anyone who needs it. He can often be found fundraising for community initiatives, including artificial football pitches for Gainsborough as well as donating his own money towards resources for the town.

 

Steve Ralf, Gainsborough

Steve Ralf of Gainsborough is another who puts the community’s needs in front of his own. Steve runs the affordable foods initiative in Gainsborough which provides affordable food and free hampers to the community food bank. He also works to provide opportunities for the town including a community café which is used by local baby groups. This is on top of volunteering his own time to support all these initiatives.