We’re delighted to announce the winners of our third annual Resident Celebration Event held last week (5 December)!
The celebrations saw a huge turnout with residents, Radian staff and partners from Now Heritage, Bordon Junior School and Wiltshire Council coming together to celebrate every nominee’s achievements and give thanks to residents who have made it their mission to improve the lives of others and their communities.
At a time when many social and environmental issues such as climate change, food poverty and homelessness are reported as being at an all-time high*, these awards highlight how everyone can do something to tackle national, even global, issues at a local level.
See pictures from the night below and read on to find out about the award winners:
Guy Stewart and Simon Fry – Positive Impact on the Environment Award
Guy Stewart and Simon Fry, from Southampton, took home the new award for their commitment to establishing the successful Community Allotment project in Mansbridge, Southampton. This project aimed to unite the community and encourage both a love for growing and a respect for the environment. They took an overgrown, underused space and spent the summer clearing rubbish and weeds, growing in its place an abundance of produce. The effect on the health and wellbeing of the community and the local environment has been huge, and further projects are now in the pipeline such as the MANSbridge Community Shed project.
Nathan Moger – Young Volunteer of the Year Award
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award went to Nathan Moger, Southampton, for his work to clear the River Itchen of rubbish and debris as well as his continued support for events such as the Mansbridge Clean Sweep and work on the allotments. Nathan has gone above and beyond, using his Kayak to not only collect rubbish floating on the water but even to chase down a bottle of shower gel thrown into the river, managing to pull it out of the water before its contents spilt and polluted the environment. Fly tipping, litter, and poor rubbish management are big concerns in the Mansbridge area, having an impact on the environment and wildlife as well as the wider community. This is why Nathan’s contributions are so outstanding; he has acted as an inspirational role model, encouraging other’s young and old to care for and take pride in their environment.
Nathan said: “Winning this makes me really happy and it shows that children my age can actually do something to help the local community. Being here is amazing. People should get involved in volunteering as it helps out the community. Even if people think that it’s funny that you’re doing it, don’t listen to them and just do what you think is right.”
Carys Beard – Young Volunteer of the Year Award
Carys Beard, Southampton, also won Young Volunteer of the Year. Carys, is a selfless twelve-year-old who has been a much-welcomed helper at the Round About Café, Mansbridge, for five years. Carys supports the staff and volunteers with day to day tasks from cleaning and sweeping, to sorting through Fareshare items that are distributed to local families. More recently to celebrate the cafes five-year anniversary, Carys’ helped arrange a table top raffle and tombola, raising over £130 towards an older persons party. Carys’ enthusiasm and drive to volunteer has been an inspiration to other young people.
Carys said: “This award means a lot to me as my nan also helps at the Round About Café, so she’s worked just as hard too. I think people should get involved in the local community because everyone should experience what it is like to do something good.”
Kim Penny – Unsung Hero Award
Kim Penny won this award for her commitment to the management and organisation of a youth club for young people with additional needs. Kim’s budget is small and the children she works with often display challenging behaviour, which can sometimes lead to frustrating situations. Despite this, Kim, from Amesbury, has never been negative and never given up, running activities and events that engage young people with something meaningful. Her positive attitude has had a significant impact on the lives of these children; she has increased their self-esteem and given them a chance of success, encouraging them to grow and develop as people throughout their time at the club.
On winning the award, Kim said: “The atmosphere has been amazing tonight; everyone has been so friendly, it’s just felt really welcoming, really inclusive. I honestly didn’t think I would the award. It’s nice to think that people think what I do is a big thing, I don’t think it is a big thing. I think it’s just helping some children in the community and giving them something to do and somewhere to go. It’s nice to feel recognised, it makes me feel proud about what I have done and makes me want to do more. It’s important to volunteer, you get that good feeling that you’re helping someone. I think even if you can only help for just an hour or just check on an elderly neighbour, that might seem like a minor thing but it’s amazing for that person.”
Louise Gubby – Involved Resident of the Year Award
Louise Gubby, Bordon, won the award for her work tackling food poverty; she helps with an after-school cooking club and also spent her summer helping to run six children’s Food Academy sessions at Café 1759 every Monday. The academy taught children to follow a healthy recipe, allowing them to produce a meal to eat on the day and also take extras home to their families. This successfully built children’s confidence in the kitchen while improving their knowledge of healthy eating and portion sizes as well as helping to combat holiday hunger.
Louise said: “It’s amazing to have won! It was a joint effort with my colleague Debbie Wren. I loved helping the children learn about healthy foods and getting them cooking. It was a very enjoyable course. Hopefully there will be more”.
East Petersfield Community Group – Resident Association or Community Group of the Year Award
East Petersfield Community Group won the award for their significant contributions to the community since forming in 2010; they have made positive changes to every aspect of their local area with just some of their efforts including:
• organising litter picks and clear-up days to cut back hedges and trees and remove rubbish;
• running children’s activities;
• raising £22,000 for a new football pitch;
• raising £500 every year for insurance of two Streetwatch teams;
• two Gazebo’s;
• community benches and tables;
• litter pickers and high-viz vests;
• sports equipment;
• arts and crafts;
• Streetwatch equipment; and,
• refreshments at events.
They also actively tackle concerns such as parking, road surface improvements, and speeding, by engaging with local agencies such as the local council and Police.
Members who attended the award night said: “Firstly Thank you for organising and Inviting our community group to The Radian Celebration 2018 Resident Awards. Those of us who were able to attend had a wonderful evening, which we all enjoyed very much not just because we came away with one of the awards, but to have the opportunity to spend an evening with many deserving people – I am sure everyone deserved an award for the support they provide to their own communities.”
Emma Keet – Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award
Emma Keet, from Bordon, won the award for her hard work and never-ending enthusiasm when volunteering at Café 1759 two days a week. Emma has Down’s Syndrome but has never let this stand in her way. She uses her own initiative to find new jobs to do and always carries out any task to the highest possible standard. She is unfailingly reliable, always helpful and prepared to help with the less enjoyable jobs such as pot washing or staying back late to help others in the team.
Emma said: “I never thought I would get the award. I was really surprised, it’s amazing! I think everyone should have the opportunity to get out there and volunteer!”
Jeanette Nunn – Good Neighbour of the Year Award
Jeanette Nunn’s commitment to not just her own estate but others in her local town of Petersfield won her the award. During her time as chair for the Cranford Estate Resident’s Association, Jeanette has delivered newsletters to over 500 properties on numerous occasions, organised community events, quiz nights, day trips and children’s activities as well as always being there for anyone with a problem. But her work has not stopped there; she has helped older residents in another estate to get their papers, help them with their gardens and visit those in hospital most mornings. Not only this, but is also a Radian Community Champion, working to identify issues such as overgrown hedges and blocked pathways while still finding time for her job at a local school.
Jeanette said: “I don’t deserve it, I just do what anybody else would do. I’ve been chairman of the local resident’s association and I just love interacting with all my neighbours, helping them wherever I can. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to help and if I can’t I will try and find the right way for them.”
Trevor and Frances Lloyd – Outstanding Personal Achievement Award
Trevor and Frances won the award for their unfailingly positive attitude to improving the life of their youngest son, Tom who was born with a cystic fibrosis alongside severe autism and complex mental health issues. Despite some challenging times, Mr and Mrs Lloyd, from Andover, have fought to care for their son at home whilst working hard to get places for him in specialist schools where staff are able to manage all of Tom’s needs. This came at a cost, with the financial and emotional strain taking a toll on the family. But they have never given up, never been negative about their situation and have finally reached an outcome which is the best it could possibly be. Their positive attitude, even in the darkest of times is an inspiration to anyone facing adversity.
Trevor and Frances Lloyd said: “The highlight of tonight has really been winning the award – it means a great deal and I think the recognition for what we’ve done is amazing. We weren’t expecting it, it came out of the blue! I don’t think you have a choice to fight for your children. That’s the bottom line, you just have to keep going. You will have doors shut in your face, but you just have to keep going. Tom is now in a fantastic place. People will turn up, like the people at Radian turned up – good people always come along. It doesn’t matter how much fighting you have to do, you keep on going, keep it polite, keep it friendly but never give in. Never ever give in until you win. That’s all you have to do.”
Talking about the evening, Gary Orr, Radian’s CEO said: “We’ve heard stories tonight about the major contributions of our residents, volunteers and community activists, who come together to make our communities thrive. Without these people and without these contributions, our communities would not be the places they are today – vibrant communities where people have a voice, can influence Radian’s priorities, and ultimately, put pride into the areas in which Radian is involved. What we heard this evening were real life stories and examples of where people make a real contribution to others and their community. They care about their environment, they care about their local neighbours and they step out of their front doors and contribute to the wellbeing of their fellow residents. This evening was a celebration, an acknowledgement and a chance for us to say a big thank you on behalf of Radian.”
Emma Golby-Kirk from the TRANSITion project said:
“Thank you for inviting Now Heritage to last night’s wonderful Radian Awards event. Having worked with other housing associations, we really are impressed by Radian’s genuine commitment to the communities and people they serve.
We have witnessed fabulous work at the Round About cafe , but it was also so inspiring to hear what else is going on throughout the ‘Radian region. Here’s to next year’s Round About community adventures”
Rather fittingly, the awards night also fell on International Volunteers Day (IVD), a day that celebrates the power and potential of volunteerism and its ability to strengthen local ownership and community resilience in the face of problems such as economic, political and environmental stresses.
The night was a perfect way to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of these voluntary contributions that local residents make on a regular basis to other individuals and their communities.
Guests arrived were entertained by Wessex Community Circus and Nigel Hoar, a local resident who captured the room with his singing.
We are incredibly proud of every resident nominated for these awards, and all were incredibly deserving – it certainly was no easy task to pick a winner!