The News ‘We Can Do It’ Community Awards
Welcome once again to the We Can Do It community awards with official radio partner Wave 105.2FM and headline sponsor Colas – the trophies that prove you really can do it. We have 10 categories designed to highlight the best in community spirit. But we need YOU to take part. We want you to nominate your candidate in any of the sections, and the top ones will go forward to a grand final.
Colas are proud to be the headline sponsor for all these very popular and worthwhile community awards.
To suggest a potential winner – not an individual, group or organisation, we will be adding an online voting form (watch this space) for you to tell us who you want to nominate in which category, and why; or you can ring reporter Ellie Pilmoor on (023) 9262 2138 or email at email@example.com or send a fax to (023) 9267 3363.
TICKETS ARE FREE
The News We Can Do It Awards are organised to recognise and reward the unsung heroes from our community. Come and join in the celebration of our unsung heroes at the awards presentation evening. Suitable for all the family.
As well as the awards ceremony there will be additional entertainment. Your presenter for the evening will be Steve Power from Wave 105
For tickets contact Kings Theatre Box Office on 02392 828282
The categories are:
WHEN landlady Elaine Fields sent a cheeky Facebook message asking villagers to help refurbish her pub, she was hoping a few would turn up. So the 52-year-old was left stunned when dozens arrived at The Farmer Inn inCatherington Lane, Catherington armed with tools, mops and buckets, ready to get to work. She wanted to give the pub a major revamp and in just 72 hours the gang, led by a carpenter and a painter and decorator employed by Elaine, painted the toilets and wooden panels, stripped out benches, put up hanging baskets, potted garden plants, stripped, sanded and varnished the ﬂoor and rearranged the bar. Elaine, who runs the pub with her son and daughter, James and Louisa, and her daughter-in-law, Alice Philpott, said: ‘The response to our plea was simply amazing. I was absolutely gobsmacked.’
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
PAINTERS Arms landlady Bernice Gofton didn’t like the thought of her single customers being alone on Christmas Day. So with the help of daughter Donna Holland, 34, and mum Dot Darbyshire, 87, she dished up a festive lunch at the pub inLake Road, Landport, for those didn’t have any company this year. After she closed at 3pm, Bernice pushed the tables together and got the place ready for a Christmas gathering. The 61-year-old introduced the idea last year when she let 30 regulars join the family for a dinner, some mince pies and a glass of mulled wine. This time around she served up a small buffet in the evening too and played festive tunes for her guests before they made their way home. Bernice, said: ‘It’s all about bringing the community together. It played on my mind when I thought about others who didn’t have any loved ones to stay with. ‘We all had a great laugh and every-one felt like one big family.’
WHEN teenager Sian Cook had the £1,000 she raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital stolen, she was devastated. She was due to have a life-changing operation at theLondonhospital to save her eyesight and the 16-year-old raised the money as a donation to say thank you. After reading about the theft in The News, kind-hearted staff at Veolia inPortsmouthdecided to replace the stolen cash. Paul Jackson, operations director for Veolia, which carries out environmental services, said: ‘As a team we were deeply shocked to read the news of the Cook family’s loss, especially as the money was a ‘thank you’ to Great Ormond Street doctors who are battling to save Sian’s sight. ‘The article in The News galvanised our team to get into action and it’s a great credit to the paper that we can proudly announce we have replaced the £1,000.’
FOR the past 12 years Margaret Shaw has helped poor children living overseas through Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. Margaret, 62, of Ripley Grove, Copnor, Portsmouth, ﬁlls up boxes with treats and every day essentials each year before donating them to the charity’s Operation Christmas Child project. Established in 1990, the project has reached out to huge numbers of children from Bosnia, Ukraine, Haiti and Serbia. Margaret, who has been a volun-teer for Samaritan’s Purse for the past four years, went the extra mile in her charitable efforts when she ﬂew to Belarus to see how a shoe box of gifts changed a child’s life. She said: ‘The experience made me realise how fortunate we are living in this country. ‘I was so moved and upset because these kids literally had nothing.’
DRAGON’S Den judges would do well to keep a close eye on schoolboy Carl Hewitt. The 13-year-old beat four professional companies to come up with a winning design for a ﬁrst aid sign. Carl, who goes to Springﬁeld School in Drayton, Portsmouth, created the perfect tool to help workers at Southern Electric’s Havant ofﬁces, where more than 2,000 employees are based, to spot who is a qualiﬁed ﬁrst aider. He came up with a 2.5ft car aerial with a large green and white ﬁrst aid sign on top, built into a solid wooden block that sits on the desk of a qualiﬁed member of staff. Carl, ofLower Farlington Road, said: ‘I feel great to have won the challenge and it’s a bonus knowing my design will help to keep thousands of people safe.’
SPIRIT OF YOUTH
WHEN it comes to caring for their younger sister, Megan and Brook Hopkins take it all in their stride. Their sister Macy, six, was born prematurely at 26 weeks, leaving her profoundly deaf, with cerebral palsy and behavioural problems. It means older siblings Megan, 14, and Brook, 11, need to help with household duties and sometimes put their own childhood on hold. They were given a much-needed break when they were treated to a visit to a ﬁre station before watching Cinderella at The Kings Theatre this month. Mum Tracy Hopkins, 41, ofMilton, said: ‘Megan and Brook help out so much it’s amazing. ‘ They started going to a Saturday carer’s club where they can let off steam and be with children who are in a similar situation.’
YOUNGSTERS have created stunning tiles representing their school to form part of a mosaic path for a community garden inFareham. A group of 24 artistic seven to 11-year-olds at Wallis dean Junior School designed and made six tiles with the help of mosaic artist Liz D’Ath for the Broadlaw Walk housing and shopping development. They came up with a range of themes-from the school logo of a child holding up a globe and the school’s woodland area to a rainbow and a paint palette. Cameron Warwick, nine, recreated the school logo. He said: ‘I thought every time someone saw it they would think of us.’ Deputy head Liz Baldwin said: ‘The children really enjoyed doing it and knowing that what they were making was going to be part of their local community.’
CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
ONE of Havant’s most senior council employees swapped her suit and laptop for a high-visibility vest and safety shoes as she joined a bin collection team. Gill Kneller, the executive director at Havant Borough Council, did the rounds with the rubbish and recycling crews. She said she loved being on the frontline for a change. Gill wanted to join the crews in their daily duties to gain an insight into the challenges that face them-as well as ﬁnd out their views on how the service is currently run and what improvements could be made. She said: ‘Being the executive director for this area doesn’t usually involve being hands-on and on the frontline. But I believe the experience has made me appreciate the work of my colleagues and helped me understand what a great job our collection crews do. They not only collect rubbish and recycling, but are also the eyes, ears and voice of Havant Borough Council.’
BEST ART/ COMMUNITY PROJECT
MEMBERS of Fareham Art Group donated a patchwork painting of a teddy bear to a support centre for seriously ill children and adults. Members of the group each painted a square of Big Ted, before ﬁtting the individual sections together. They donated the picture to the Rainbow Centre inPalmerston Drive,Fareham, which supports children with cerebral palsy and adults who have suffered a stroke, MS or Parkinson’s. The image is a recreation of local artist Helen Brown’s work Anyone for Chess. She gave her permission for the artists to reproduce her work in the painting, which will be hung in the centre’s main hall. D’Arcy Myers, the centre’s chief executive, said: ‘It was wonderful to be given something like this and to see members of the community offer their support to a local charity. It’s had such a great reaction, especially from the children.’
SHE cycled hundreds of miles in blistering heat and challenging terrain across Cuba. And now Helen Pearce is celebrating after raising thousands of pounds for Parkinson’sUK. Helen, 42, from Kingsmead Avenue, Stubbington, took on the mammoth challenge as her 78-year-old father, Eric Small, suffers from the illness. ‘I have always fancied doing a cycle challenge,’ she said. ‘When I saw it and knew I was going to be raising funds for the charity, I wanted to do it. ‘It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. ‘But it was really worth while. It was a great sense of achievement and I was able to raise a lot of money at the same time. ’ Helen was among a group of 12 cyclists who rode almost 200 miles across the Caribbean island, all to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. In total, Helen raised £3,000 for the charity.
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