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Guerrilla gardeners, inspiring sports leaders, fundraising exercisers, and green gurus were honoured alongside projects highlighting mental health awareness, hubs of community support and projects bringing music to their communities at the recent Mid Sussex Applauds awards.
Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, Cllr Colin Trumble hosted the new community recognition awards on 13th October in East Grinstead’s Meridian Hall. He commented, “We would like to thank all our sponsors who helped support the awards and make this such a glittering occasion. The celebrities of this event though are of course all those honoured and recognised, and what a fantastic range of projects, stories and events we have heard from across our fabulous district. A huge congratulations to everyone awarded and those commended, they really are stars in our community.”
Awards were made in the following eight categories -
Stronger Together Award
Winner – Karen Williams
Karen revived the Duck Fair in World’s End in Burgess Hill. Over 5,000 people attended. Karen ate, slept and breathed the Duck Fair!
2nd joint winners – Sarah Cheesmur and Jane Hill
3rd place - Gary Simons
Take Pride in Mid Sussex Award (sponsored by ID Verde)
Joint winners - Rob McIntyre and Colin McFarlin
Rob instigated the Balcombe Garden Guerrillas who care for the gardens at Balcombe Station. The gardens have won critical acclaim. He is now involved in renovating Balcombe phone boxes.
Colin volunteers as a Waste Prevention Advisor – he has delivered 28 talks to local groups and had notched up 220 hours of volunteering in 2019 alone!
2nd place Burgess Hill Recycling - Terracycle scheme,
3rd place - Richard Inman
Young Achiever Award
Winner – Peter McCleery
Peter was instrumental in creating a petition to highlight the issues around the closure of Haywards Heath College. Despite many obstacles, Peter has gone out of his way to help other students to get to their college near to home.
2nd place – Oli Saunders
Stronger Communities Award (sponsored by CAE)
Joint winners - Sussex Oakleaf and Spire Cafe IT Support
‘Sussex Oakleaf’s The Big Mental Health Pop up’ project was incredibly inspiring. It created mental health awareness for the general public to help reduce stigma and create a discussion platform. It brought a sense of vitality for the community in an area undergoing redevelopment.
The Spire Café IT support group hold weekly sessions and are in their 5th year. The team of volunteers are extremely dedicated, unassuming and committed with a wealth of knowledge between them.
2nd place - Sussex Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Community Support Group (Jane Green)
3rd place – Jubilee Hub
Business in the Community Award (sponsored byCaravan and Motorhome club)
Winner - Swoove Fitness - Esther Featherstone
Swoove stands for singing, whooping and moving. The classes are available for everyone, young and old, those with limited mobility and special needs. Swoove has raised over £64,000 for charities and Esther aims to raise £1milion in her lifetime.
2nd - Handcross Hardware and Craft Store
Joint 3rd – Mug Tree Tea Room and Mid Sussex Wood Recycling Project
Young Volunteer of the Year Award (sponsored by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner)
Winner – Ayo Odeyinde
During the summer holidays, Ayo arranged summer sports clubs and did all the work related to it. He is a really valued role model for younger children.
Joint 2nd – Nathan White and Stephen Beckett
3rd - Rhea Burman
Good Sport Award (sponsored by Places Leisure logo)
Winner - Marion Hemsworth
Marion has worked tirelessly to get people running and making running an enjoyable activity available to all. She is a great ambassador for running and proof that your passion can inspire others.
2nd - Linda Tullett
3rd - Hurstpierpoint Football Club
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner - Dorothy Lazenby
Dorothy has been running 4Sight lunch clubs for over 38 years! ‘Irreplaceable, inspiring, selfless, committed, thoughtful and kind’ are just a few words used to describe her!
2nd - Alan Kelly
3rd - Barbara Alderson
Peer Nominated Award
In this category each nominee is given the chance to vote for their favourite in any of the categories. The winner was – Dorothy Lazenby.
Awards were presented by sponsors and by High Sheriff of West Sussex Mrs Davina Irwin-Clark. Full details of the winners’ stories can be found at www.midsussex.gov.uk/applauds