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Community heroes crowned at glittering event

cheering-family-md“Brilliant event, well deserved nominees and prize winners”, “Wonderful evening”, “It was awesome” – just some of the positive comments from guests attending our eighth annual community awards dinner.

At the special awards ceremony, held on Wednesday 11 February, the local community were out in force to crown the winners of this year’s CBH Awards 2014 which celebrate and recognise those people who go the extra mile and make a difference in the neighbourhoods they live in.

The awards ceremony, held at the Thistle Hotel, attracted over 120 people including tenants, leaseholders, CBH staff, board members and representatives from Cheltenham Borough Council.

Now in its eighth year, we created the awards to recognise individuals and groups in the neighbourhoods they manage, for their personal successes and sterling community work.

After much head scratching and deliberations the CBH judging panel declared this year’s CBH Award Winners 2014 to be:

Tenant of the Year 2014 – Winner: Bernard McBride
Bernard has worked tirelessly with CBH over the last year to help shape services. In 2014 he was elected Chair of the newly formed Cheltenham Senior Community Voice and has proved to be an excellent ambassador for older people in Cheltenham. In addition to being a committee member of the South West Forum on Ageing, he recently became a Parish Councillor for Charlton Kings South ward and is an active member on 4 sub committees. Outside of CBH Bernard has joined and encouraged others to become members of Healthwatch Gloucestershire, in order to give valuable feedback and help influence the delivery of current and future NHS services. Closer to home, as a resident of Coopers Court Bernard has worked with CBH to build up a range of activities and social events in the communal lounge to help combat loneliness. A very worthy winner of this award, he brings his unique enthusiasm and strong commitment to every activity to ensure he gives of his very best to everyone.
Highly commended: Ewa Cwiklak, Pauline Beal

Young Tenants of the Year 2014 – Winner: Thomas Swift
Tom has been involved in many community activities, including working on the allotment; gardening at Popes Close; and the Gloucestershire Bike Project. Currently Tom is on a one day per week work placement with CBH Repairs Team. Although only required to attend one day a week, Tom has continued to report for work every day during his school summer holiday, in order to gain valuable multi-trade experience. He even turned up on some Saturdays! Through his commitment he has developed new skills and shown he is a team player. He has represented both his school and CBH with a committed and positive attitude.
Runner up: Naomi Dubberley

Shaping Services – Winner: Mike Bailey
Mike has had significant input in giving advice and assistance on how CBH can shape service delivery for blind people. Mike, who is blind, is involved in many CBH community groups including the Disabled Community Forum (DCF), the Shaping Services Working Group and he recently joined the tenant panel of our Complaints Learning Group. He has become a member of the Cheltenham Senior Community Voice and has given really useful feedback through CBH to Healthwatch Gloucestershire, which will benefit the wider blind community.
Highly commended: Henry Hopkins, Senior Community Voice, Replacement Windows Contract Procurement Working Group

Community – Joint Winners: Ewa Cwiklak & Ben Kelly
Ben Kelly: As a DJ, Ben has supported numerous community events and initiatives at: Hester’s Way Partnership’s Easter Eggstravaganza and Winter Wonderland; Monkscroft Care Home’s Summer fete and Cheltenham’s Mid-Summer Fiesta, along with CBH Fun Days, International Children’s Day and the children’s Christmas party. A member of the CBH Disabled Community Forum (DCF) Ben undertook Chair training in order to help develop a constituted branch of the DCF which will serve the wider disabled community. A technical wiz, Ben has volunteered to lead the project to re-design the DCF website.

Ewa Cwiklak: Ewa volunteers and supports many community events and is an active member of the Polish Community Forum. She regularly translates text and designs posters and flyers for CBH to send out to the Polish community. She also supported Polish residents at English classes to help ensure that the classes were successful, and has acted as an advocate for Polish residents to help with translation. People enjoy working with her in the community because she has a professional, caring and positive attitude.
Runner up: Cheltenham Polish TARA
Highly commended: Helen Hope, Pauline Beal

Commitment & Determination – Winner: Beata Szadowska
Beata enrolled at GlosCol to take ESOL classes (English Spoken as a Foreign Language), to improve her chances of better employment. She was determined to get more involved with CBH and now has enough confidence in her spoken English to join CBH groups, such as the Shaping Services Working Group. She wants to be an example for other Polish tenants and to show that language need not be a barrier to joining in and contributing to the whole community. She is eager to share her enthusiasm and is a driving force in the Communications Group of the Polish Community Forum.
Runner up: Jackie Gibbons
Highly commended: Becky Hime, Wallace House Community Hub Group

Green Achiever – Winner: Taran O’Sullivan
An eco champion, Taran raised awareness of energy efficiency in her neighbourhood, promoted the benefits of recycling, and was instrumental in the development and maintenance of the communal allotments and garden areas at Edward Wilson House. She has supported her fellow residents to grow their own food and save resources, fuel, and money by organising many ‘green’ and eco-friendly activities and events such as World Earth Day in April. Taran also undertook the Level 2 Diploma in Environmental Conservation and completed it earlier this year
Runner up: Dave Walker
Highly commended: Adian Bermingham, Mike Richards

Community Safety – Winner: Oakley Domestic Abuse Project
This innovative community project focused on tackling domestic abuse and included workshops with a girl’s group, based at the youth centre in Oakley, around healthy relationships. The girls designed posters to raise awareness in their neighbourhood, in local schools and other youth organisations. The group also produced a short film which has been successfully used to promote discussion around the issue of domestic abuse and will be shown at future workshops
Highly commended: Chris Thomas, CBH Primary Schools ASB Project

Embracing Technology – Winner: Disabled Community Forum
The DCF has embraced the use of technology to connect with members and other groups through the use of their website, Facebook and twitter Following research, they are planning to re-launch the new website with: blog; news; events; services; resources; and more. Their aim is to get all of their members online and connected to each other and the wider community.
Highly commended: Andy Ives

After opening and closing the awards ceremony, our Chief Executive, Paul Stephenson, said: “It was a very inspiring evening and a great opportunity to recognise and reward some remarkable individuals and groups whose dedication and commitment has improved the lives of those in their community.

“We received so many high quality nominations this year and it was a very difficult task for our panel to pick the winners as all the nominees were deserving of an award. I’d like to personally thank all the nominees and unsung heroes in our community who go the extra mile to make a difference.”



Notes for editors

 Cheltenham Borough Homes:

  • CBH is one of the top rated ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) in the country. ALMOs are not for profit companies that run social housing services for their local council
  • Currently CBH manage and maintain around 5,000 tenant and leasehold properties with high satisfaction and performance levels, when compared nationally with other housing providers
  • CBH put their customers at the heart of what they do; working with them to shape services and ensure the company focuses on local need
  • CBH deliver more than high quality core landlord services: they have an ongoing programme building new homes and regenerating communities; they support people to find work and employment; work to improve financial inclusion and develop stock to make it more energy efficient 

Press contact: Catherine Best e: t: 01242 775317  



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