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Newbury man awarded for highlighting importance of male mental health

A West Berkshire resident has been awarded this year’s Specialist Housing Champion award by housing company A2Dominion for his “fantastic” community work.

Leo Vaughan has helped to organise a range of activities at Audrey Needham House, Newbury, aimed at combatting isolation.

Leo Vaughan, a Community Awards 2023-24 winner
Leo Vaughan, a Community Awards 2023-24 winner

After noticing many male residents were lonely and isolated, he created the Buddy Club to provide a welcoming space for them to chat and to get involved with craft activities.

And he has also been awarded £500 to fund ongoing and future activities.

Mr Vaughan was nominated for his hard work in establishing the club by scheme manager at Audrey Needham House, Julie Maidment, and her colleague, Bruce Ingersent.

In a joint statement, they said: “Leo became a volunteer at Audrey Needham House after his family member moved to the scheme.

“He is a very enthusiastic volunteer, encouraging individuals with his ‘give things a go’ and ‘enjoy the experience’ attitude.

“Leo encouraged the male residents, who often don’t get involved in activities within schemes, to form their Buddy Club, to be there for support and to enjoy a weekly evening together, having a laugh and a chat and being there for one another, within the scheme community.

“Well done and thank you very much Leo.”

Director of repairs and maintenance at A2Dominion, Jo Evans, added: “Well done to Leo for the hard work he has been doing at Audrey Needham House.

“Men’s mental health can often be forgotten about within the community, so Leo has shone a light on a very important matter.

“We are grateful for his commitment to the community and thank him for the work he has done.”

Mr Vaughan has since taken a step back from the club, but he has built a strong foundation for others to continue his work.

A2Dominion hosts the Community Awards each year as part of its three-year community investment plan to celebrate residents who go above and beyond within its specialist housing communities.

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