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Community heroes crowned at glittering event

20160308-KF1_5516.300dpi“Well deserved winners”, “Great evening enjoyed by all”, “Inspirational” – just some of the positive comments from guests attending Cheltenham Borough Homes’ annual community awards dinner.

At the special awards ceremony, held on Tuesday 8 March, the local community were out in force to crown the winners of this year’s CBH Awards 2015 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 Jury’s Inn, attracted over 100 people including tenants, leaseholders, CBH staff, board members and representatives from Cheltenham Borough Council.

Now in its ninth year, CBH 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 2015 to be:

  • Tenant of the Year 2015: Tanya Harrison
  • Young Tenants of the Year 2015: Harry Doxsey & Billy Minchin
  • Champion for Change: Veronica Overton
  • Achievement in Learning: Alan Grant
  • Unsung Hero: Dave Walker
  • Best Community Project: English Speaking Club
  • Personal achievement: Alison Cook & Julie Rickards

After opening and closing the awards ceremony, Paul Stephenson, Chief Executive at CBH 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.”

For the first time this year CBH was delighted to receive sponsorship for event from Travis Perkins, Harpers Group and Bailey Garner.

Full details of winners and highly commended below:

CBH Tenant & leaseholder Awards 2015 at The Jury Inn, Cheltenham Tanya Harrison - Tenant of the Year 08/03/16 Pics Kevin Fern Photography

Tanya Harrison – Tenant of the Year

Tenant of the Year 2015
Presented by Stuart Hutton, Chair of CBH

Winner: Tanya Harrison
Tanya has been an inspiration to her local community throughout 2015 by being instrumental in transforming the ‘Living Room’ project in Rownafield. Thanks to Tanya the project is now a great success and welcomes many parents and young children. Passionate about supporting her community, she volunteers at the Youth drop-in at the project where she offers young people a range of support, including help with homework and time to talk. Tanya commitment and enthusiasm also extends to her involvement at CBH and at the start of 2015 she joined our Tenant Scrutiny Improvement Panel (TSIP). She continues to make a positive impact in her community and at CBH.

Highly commended: Erika Jackson & Liz Barnard
Erika Jackson’s creativity and hard work has helped to develop ‘The Growing Tree’ at the St Paul’s Community Hub. She has fantastic ideas for activities that show great value for money and she puts this into practice by organising special activities for the group including Christmas, Easter and birthdays events. She is always a friendly face and very welcoming when new mums come along helping them to quickly settle in and feel part of the group.

Liz Banyard is passionate about supporting older people and became involved with Cheltenham Senior Community Voice to promote services that help reduce isolation. She attends Shaping Services Working Group meetings and various focus groups. Liz also regularly supports activities at the CBH Community Hubs whilst spreading the word among local residents.

CBH Tenant & leaseholder Awards 2015 at The Jury Inn, Cheltenham 08/03/16 Pics Kevin Fern Photography

Top young tenants Billy, Gerard & Harry

Young Tenants of the Year 2015
Presented Bernard McBride, CBH Tenant Board Member

Winner: Harry Doxsey & Billy Minchin
Harry’s determination to overcome any challenges he faces make him a fantastic role model. As a public speaker for Gloucestershire Young Carers he works with the charity to raise awareness of the challenges for young carers and at school he is a Young Mentor, giving support to younger children who might be struggling with sports or school life. He has also taken part at the Aston Project and successfully achieved a drama qualification.

Billy is an excellent young tenant, involved in many of the activities in the St Pauls area, his engagement and commitment the St Pauls Youth Club and the football session sets a positive example to others. At football, he has been commended for his excellent team work and his dedication to the game. At Youth Club, staff have noted a real maturity in the way Billy interacts with others. He is well behaved, polite and enthusiastic, often encouraging the other young people to follow his lead.

Highly commended: Gerard Griffith
Since joining the football training sessions at CBH St Pau’ls Hub, Gerard has improved his football and team skills and has shown a growing maturity. His fellow team mates and staff at St Paul’s find him a pleasure to work with.

CBH Tenant & leaseholder Awards 2015 at The Jury Inn, Cheltenham 08/03/16 Pics Kevin Fern Photography

CBH Unsung Hero, Dave Walker

Unsung Hero
Presented by Tim Atkins, CBC Managing Director (Place and Economic Development)

Winner: Dave Walker
A true community hero, Dave has worked tirelessly to improve his local community green spaces. After applying for and successfully being awarded £5000 of funding through CBH’s environmental improvement programme, he worked extremely hard to make the communal gardens at the rear of his block one of the most attractive in the whole of Cheltenham. He has encourages other tenants young and old to get involved with planting and remains motivated to encourage the next generation’s interest in gardening.

Highly commended: John Joynes
In addition to his full time job John has provided volunteer IT Support for four years at the Oakley Neighbourhood Project. A regular IT whizz John maintains the servers and computers, implemented a remote monitoring system and supports staff with PC support 24 hours. He also runs weekly evening IT session at Oakley Community Resource Centre.

CBH Tenant & leaseholder Awards 2015 at The Jury Inn, Cheltenham 08/03/16 Pics Kevin Fern Photography

Award winning ESC members

Best Community Project
Presented by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Chris Ryder
Winners: English Speaking Club
The first of its kind in Cheltenham or Gloucester, this free club is held weekly for anyone over the age of 11years old and offers support, encouragement and coaching in spoken English. Since it began, there have been 75 different learners attending the club, from 9 different nationalities: Polish; Slovak; Czech; Romanian; Iranian; Chinese; Spanish; Belarusian; Belgian; and Italian. This mix of tenants, leaseholders, residents work in small groups and support each other, encourage learning. This has increased learners confidence and has helped some move into employment.


CBH Tenant & leaseholder Awards 2015 at The Jury Inn, Cheltenham 08/03/16 Pics Kevin Fern Photography

All the Personal Achievement winners

Personal achievement
Presented by Steve Slater, CBH Executive Director
Joint Winner: Alison Cook & Julie Rickards
Alison Cook :Overcoming challenges with learning difficulties, Alison has refused to let this hold her back and in 2015 she worked hard to improve her confidence by starting math and literacy classes and attending the CBH Oasis Ability Hub. Alison is also a regular at the Butterfly Garden and enjoys the opportunity to meet new and old friends at her local walking group.

Julie Rickards: Julia’s persistence and determination over 12 months has made her inspiration to others and has allowed her to achieve her goal of getting back to work. Attending the CBH work club helped her to build confidence and self-belief and Julie embraced the challenge, enrolling in a maths and English course to her improve skills. This commitment and determination paid off and a delighted Julie had now found full time employment.

Highly commended: Bartosz Nowicki, Becky Hime & Emma Ogden
Bartosz Nowicki:
A true community networker, Bartosz developed a Square Coworking website and shares his vision for a technology and humanist hub with the local community. He has built an online directory for Cheltenham West of small businesses and community organisations and is harnessing the next generation he had started a weekly Code Club for young people with Hester’s Way Library.

Becky Hime: Shows great determination and resilience in the face of adversity. Having been a wheelchair user for 14 years she aims to get back on her feet. She attends weekly at the Oasis Ability Hub where she practices walking a little every week with the assistance of a frame. Involved in community projects in her neighbourhood and is a very active member of her church.

Emma Ogden: Emma has completed courses a number of self-development courses including cooking, healthy eating and exercise. Attending these courses has increased her confidence and she feels ready to look for a job having overcome some of the challenges of her disability

CBH Tenant & leaseholder Awards 2015 at The Jury Inn, Cheltenham 08/03/16 Pics Kevin Fern Photography

CBH Champion for Change, Veronica Overton

Champion for Change (Sponsored by Travis Perkins)
Presented by Martin England, Travis Perkins

Winner: Veronica Overton
Veronica Overton, has a long history of involvement with CBH and in 2015 she played an active role on the Replacement Windows & Doors Project Group and championed for safer communities as part of the Safer Estates Focus Group. Always taking an active part in her community, she is a member of the Oakley Residents Association and makes sure that she keeps abreast of what is going on in her neighbourhood and how it affects CBH tenants.

 Highly commended: Nikki Almond
Nikki is enthusiastic about getting involved at CBH and recommends changes for improvement. Involved with many focus groups, she is regularly part of the shaping services working group and in addition she has an interest in equality monitoring, community engagement strategy review, tenants leading change and Cheltenham Senior Community Voice groups.

Top learner, Alan Grant

Top learner, Alan Grant

Achievement in Learning
Presented by Jason Langley, CBH Board Member

Winner: Alan Grant
Having missed out on learning to read and write at school, Alan’s learning achievements have helped him to become more positive and outgoing. For the past two years he has attended Maths and English sessions at the Oakley Neighbourhood Project. He now supports the others by volunteering there and last April he completed a sponsored walk to raise money for the Project.

Highly commended: Pauline Wyse & APP (Alternative Provision) Catering
Pauline Wyse – Despite having vison and hearing loss, Pauline is keen to keep her mind active and is open to opportunities to learn new skills. Pauline is an excellent example of using training opportunities to combat loneliness and isolation. As a bonus, her good humour at these sessions has rubbed off on other participants and helped make them feel more confident and welcome.


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