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West Berkshire Council crowns its Community Champions



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West Berkshire's champions of our communities have been honoured, writes Cameron Blackshaw.

The district council announced the winners of its Community Champion Awards this week. The awards recognise people who made valuable contributions to their community over the past year.

The awards are split into a variety of categories with multiple winners as well as some highly commended nominees.

Dr Susan Millington received the Volunteer of the Year award
Dr Susan Millington received the Volunteer of the Year award

Chairman of West Berkshire Council, Clive Hooker, said: “Congratulations to each of the winners and a heartfelt thank you for all you have done for others in your community.

“There is a tremendous amount of goodwill in our communities and we appreciate those who go out of their way to help others.

“The calibre of nominations was extremely high and I’m delighted that we have been able to recognise some exceptional community champions again this year.”

Lillie Howe won the Junior Citizen of the Year award
Lillie Howe won the Junior Citizen of the Year award

There were three winners of the Junior Citizen of the Year award.

Cara Herman, 15, helped set up the ‘All Yours Period Box’ which has provided more than 3,000 boxes of period products to those in need. She has also helped to raise over £27,000 for community causes.

Lillie Howe, 12, received the award for her caring attitude and the help she has offered to the disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable during the pandemic.

Megan Dempsie, 14, was recognised for her work volunteering with the 5th Kennet Vale Rainbows, which provides weekly activities for young children; helping run Thatcham Litter Pickers; and raising significant sums of money to support local causes.

Megan Dempsie won the Junior Citizen of the Year award
Megan Dempsie won the Junior Citizen of the Year award

Dr Susan Millington received the Volunteer of the Year award for her outstanding work creating the Lockdown Woods project which commemorated individuals who lost their lives to Covid and honoured NHS workers.

During the multiple lockdowns she encouraged people to grow more than 1,500 saplings in their gardens which were then planted to renew natural areas in West Berkshire.

The two highly commended nominees for Volunteer of the Year were Suzanne Hubbard - for leading the MySpeakerFriend project - and David Carter - for his food parcel and prescription delivery work in Thatcham.

Three separate groups were awarded Community Group of the Year.

The Young Carers Project was recognised for the work it does supporting children and young people that provide regular care to another who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or who misuses substances.

The Newbury Road Club received the award for the strides they have made to make the cycling group more inclusive and were praised for the ‘feel good’ nature of their organisation.

The Mortimer Lunch Club received recognition for providing a social space for the elderly to meet and alleviate social isolation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Trevor Goodall for the work he has done for New Life, a charity which raises money for specialist medical equipment that increases the chances of survival for many premature and seriously ill babies.

Following the death of his prematurely born twin boys Joshua and Samuel in 1995, Mr Goodall set up New Life and has since raised over £1 million to help neonatal units across the UK.

Trevor Goodall won the Lifetime Achievement award
Trevor Goodall won the Lifetime Achievement award

Mr Hooker added: “The judging panel found Trevor to be a very worthy winner who has raised more than £1,000,000 and used a personal tragedy to make a difference for the benefit of a great many people.

“He has shown commitment and dedication over 25 years and is a true Community Champion.”

Mr Goodall said: “I am humbled to have been nominated and to be the winner of this fantastic award.

“I am just so pleased the charity has been able to help so many babies across the UK over the past 26 years and to give them a little kickstart into the world.”



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