MAD Awards shine a light on the unsung heroes of Salford
Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities
The winners of the City West Housing Trust Make A Difference Awards.
A Salford-based housing association has recognised the unsung heroes who go the extra mile to make their community a better place to live at its annual customer awards.
The Make a Difference (MAD) Awards celebrate the inspirational work and outstanding achievements of City West Housing Trust customers in their communities.
City West, which is transforming homes and communities in West Salford, asked its customers to nominate those people who they feel are making a difference in their community – those who are striving to make their neighbourhood a better place to live.
More than 100 nominations were received for the nine award categories and the winners were selected by an eminent panel of judges – community reform campaigner Baroness Helen Newlove, social innovation specialist Chris Dabbs and City West’s Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods David Cummins.
The winners included a 10-year-old boy who is a committed and enthusiastic member of City West’s Youth Empowerment Panel (YEP), a pensioner whose fundraising efforts have raised thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal and a good neighbour who is the life and soul of the sheltered scheme where she lives.
David Cummins, Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at City West, said: “These awards celebrate some of the most inspirational people in our community who have been nominated by their neighbours and friends for their selfless and exceptional commitment to others.
“This year the standard of entries has been very high, making the judging increasingly difficult. Everyone who was nominated should feel incredibly proud of their achievements.
“These awards demonstrate that community spirit is alive and thriving in West Salford’s communities. I have been amazed at the efforts of everyday people and would like to congratulate everyone who was shortlisted in each category.”
The winners of the 2012 MAD Awards are:
Community Leading Light – awarded for exceptional contribution to the community.
Derek Hodgekinson, 71, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution in Monton, Eccles, where he lives. Derek lends a helping hand to his neighbours and cares about the environment, regularly organising litter picks, tending to gardens and representing the estate on Monton Village Community Association. This is all done on a voluntary basis and with great enthusiasm.
Derek said: “It’s a fantastic event and it’s great for so many people to be recognised. I enjoy helping out where I can and it’s nice to make a difference.”
Fairway Champion – awarded for championing minority groups, improving accessibility to services and stamping out harassment, discrimination or intimidation.
Little Hulton and Walkden Community Group provides essential services to vulnerable people and promotes unity, respect and tolerance in the community. Members stand up for minority groups and represent them in a positive light.
Green Achiever – awarded to those who have introduced a green initiative to their community.
Tindall Street Allotments in Eccles has received recognition for its work with local unemployed people, the probation service and young people in the community. Through horticulture and gardening skills they are helping offenders turn their lives around and running a young person’s gardening club.
Number One Neighbour – awarded to a special person who goes out of their way to help other people.
Cath Read, 75, will do whatever she can to keep community spirit alive and get residents involved in activities at Enfield House sheltered housing scheme at Barton Village, Eccles. She is an outstanding example of a good neighbour and regularly organises a healthy hips and hearts club, craft afternoons and bingo sessions.
Commenting on her award, Cath said: “There is a great community spirit where I live and I think it's important that people have something to do and get involved in. I enjoy putting on events at the community centre and they've gone from strength to strength as more people have started attending. I think this award shows how much people enjoy getting involved and I do all I can to help them."
Charity Supporter – awarded to someone who supports a local charity.
Ivor Williams, 77, has raised more than £11,500 for the Poppy Appeal which is a charity he has supported for a number of years despite having overcome his own health problems. Ivor, who lives in Eccles, spends his retirement tirelessly helping out various charitable causes and working with local schools and community groups.
On receiving his award, Ivor said: “The Poppy Appeal means a lot to me and I’m happy to help them in any way I can. I think these awards are a great idea and you can see how much it means to everyone who has been nominated.”
Greatest Group – awarded to an outstanding group of people who get involved in their local community and have a positive impact.
Based in Little Hulton, The Big Dance Group started off as a small group of people who couldn’t afford to go to the gym and has now grown to a membership of more than 30. They meet regularly to promote good health through dance. GPs are now signposting local people to the group.
Representative Role Model – awarded to a customer who has been an exceptional ambassador for City West.
A tenant for 15 years, Carol Mawers is heavily involved with her landlord - striving to improve services and performance for fellow tenants. She regularly takes part in estate walkabouts where she lives in Little Hulton, is a witness mentor for anti-social behaviour, a member of the complaints performance panel and Little Hulton Area Panel.
Star for Seniors - awarded to someone who works tirelessly to improve the lives of older people.
Singing with Dementia supports Dementia patients and their carers living in West Salford, helping them to communicate and express themselves through music. They also provide a counselling and bereavement service for carers.
Young Rising Star – awarded to a young person under 25-years-old who has had a positive impact on their community.
At just 10-years-old Declan Birkett is the youngest member of the Youth Empowerment Panel (YEP). He is full of enthusiasm and is an active member of the group. Although he has had his own struggles, involvement in youth projects has helped to channel his behaviour in a positive way.
The Judges’ Special Award was presented to YEP, which provides a voice to local young people aged 13 – 24 years. In times when young people are often portrayed in a negative light their positive work is an inspiration to others.
The MAD Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 25 September at The Lighthouse in Eccles and attended by more than 250 friends and families of all of the nominees.
Head of the judging panel Baroness Newlove said: “I was so pleased to be a judge of the Making a Difference Awards again this year. It's an honour to see and hear about the great things that people do in and for their communities.”