The winners of the 10th annual Community Inspiration Awards were celebrated for their hard work in the community, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual awards, hosted by Chorus Homes in partnership with The Hunts Post, recognise local unsung heroes who go the extra mile to serve their communities and make Cambridgeshire a better place to live.
Awards are presented in six categories:
- Good Neighbour Sponsored by Anthony Collins Solicitors
- Young Achiever Sponsored by Softcat
- Community Spirit (Individual) Sponsored by T Clarke
- Community Spirit (Group) Sponsored by Aspen Build
- Lifetime Achievement Sponsored by Places Management Division
- Judges Award
The Good Neighbour Award, sponsored by Anthony Collins Solicitors, recognises those special people who give their time to come to the aid of their neighbours and help make their lives better.
The Good Neighbour Award was presented to Jan and Richard Peacock.
Richard and Janet Peacock are the most welcoming family in the village and will help anyone. They run a donation site on Facebook which has items donated then sold to provide a community foodbank.
The Peacocks run a foodbank and a second-hand toy swap which benefits the community. They provide the of Elton with an invaluable food bank service.
A local resident says, “They are amazing people, so welcoming and will help anyone with anything. Without them many families would not have had food when they needed it most.”
The Young Achiever award, sponsored by Softcat, recognises the achievements of young people who have demonstrated perseverance, ambition and tenacity.
The Young Achiever Award was presented to Stuie Delf.
Stuie Delf ran 5k every day in May in memory of his little brother.
Stuie Delf, aged 13, a pupil at Hinchingbrooke School, in Huntingdon, took on the mammoth task to raise money for the East Anglia Children Hospices (EACH).
Stuie’s brother, nine-year-old Fraser Delf, described by his family as “cheeky and loving” died on January 17 this year. Fraser was born with a rare condition called Coats plus syndrome.
Stuie was inspired to start his own fundraiser by seeing Captain Tom walk a hundred lengths of his garden for the NHS.
Stuie’s endeavours have raised more than £16,300 for EACH. Aside from being congratulated by The Duchess of Cambridge - as well as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall during the same video call - Stuie also received a video message of congratulations from Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Community Spirit (Individual)
The Community Spirit (Individual) Award, sponsored by T Clarke, celebrates the people who bring communities together or who have helped build community spirit.
The Community Spirit (Individual) Award was presented to Maxine Welford.
Maxine Welford founded a local Facebook group of sewists at the beginning of the pandemic that has 2,000 members.
Hospitals found themselves with a huge shortage of scrubs due to the pandemic.
Maxine’s Butterfly Legacy Project stepped in by making 8,000 sets of scrubs. They have also sewn thousands of washbags and face coverings and are now sewing reusable sanitary wear for young girls in Malawi. This is all handmade and given away for free.
Organisations that have received donations include Hinchingbrooke, Peterborough, Addenbrookes and Papworth hospitals, Magpas, Each, Sue Ryder, St. John’s Hospice, Arthur Rank and many local care homes and doctor’s surgeries.
The Butterfly Legacy Project is showing no signs of stopping and has meant so much to so many people. It has kept people connected with a purpose throughout lockdown.
The group’s legacy is to continue to maintain relationships with local hospitals and supply them with knitted baby hats, incubator covers, chemo bags and more. The list is endless, and the work has already begun.
The Butterfly Legacy Project will also be sending more scrubs out to hospitals in Uganda and Malawi.
Community Spirit (Group)
The Community Spirit (Group) Award, sponsored by Aspen Build, celebrates the groups who bring communities together or who have helped build community spirit in their neighbourhood.
The Community Spirit (Group) Award was presented to CARESCO.
CARESCO is a unique charity that serves Sawtry and nearby villages.
Under the CARESCO umbrella are many services, including the Green End Day Club and Thursday Club, a Man Cave, a Friday drop-in cafe, a carers support group, a music-based social group, a Christmas Day party and a charity shop. CARESCO also hosts the local foodbank (working with local churches) and the village car scheme (working with Cambs County Council). CARESCO also edits and publishes the popular Sawtry Eye magazine. Most of the services are run from the purpose-built CARESCO Centre in the heart of the village.
The support they give to the elderly is outstanding. They ensure that people have a hot meal and activities run throughout the week. This support is vital to ensure individuals are not socially isolated.
The support services that CARESCO has provided during the Covid pandemic have been crucial to maintaining the health and wellbeing of many in the local community.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Places for People Group’s Places Management Division, is awarded to someone who has made a difference to the communities they have served. This award is about recognising the achievement that someone has made throughout their life.
The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Mike Baker.
Mike, who taught economics to hundreds of pupils from Hinchingbrooke School’s opening in 1970 until he retired in 1999 and who was housemaster to thousands more, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his service to the community in Huntingdon.
Mike was housemaster of the Hinchingbrooke School’s Pepys House for 21 years – looking after a quarter of the young people passing through their secondary education there. He ran the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme at the school for more than 30 years.
Mike was also elected as a councillor for East Ward at Huntingdon Town Council
Mike is also a member of Huntingdonshire District Council and chairman of Easton Parish Council. As well as his work with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, he has been chairman of the Huntingdon Volunteer Centre and its preceding bureau for 10 years, is chairman of the trustee body for the newly-refurbished St John’s Alms-houses in Huntingdon’s Brampton Road, and a trustee of the Nene and Ouse Community Transport operation and Huntingdon Olympic Gym.
Mike has been an active member of the Rotary Club for over 20 years and was only the second person to be head of the club three times.
During the pandemic, Mike was worried about the most vulnerable people so he organised volunteers to collect food and take it to 30 people who would be particularly lonely and ensure they got a chat and a food parcel.
A resident said, “We want to let Mike know how much he means to Huntingdon and is a leading example for our community!”
The Judges Award
The Judges Award celebrates an individual or group, who, although isn’t a winner of their category, deserves to be recognised for their outstanding achievements.
The winner of the Judges Award is Ben Porter.
Ben, from Little Paxton, was inspired to run after hearing about Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising effort.
He ran 53 circuits a day in his back garden, which equates to a marathon distance. Ben completed his 1000th lap on May 5, which was also his 10th birthday.
He had set an original target of £300 to raise for Hinchingbrooke Hospital but has exceeded his target and raised more than £1,000.
Ben said, “I wanted to do something for charity like Tom Moore did and help to make the virus go away.
“I chose to raise money for Hinchingbrooke Hospital as my nana was cared for there for two months when she had sepsis.
“Also, I was born at Hinchingbrooke as well as my older brother Jack, who is 12.”
Ian Porter, Ben’s dad said: “Taking on this charity challenge was all Ben’s idea - after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore, we are so proud of him.”
Nigel Finney, Chorus Homes Managing Director, said:
“It is an honour to recognise and publicly celebrate the local heroes in our community.
The winners of these awards exemplify our values. We recognise individuals who have made the extra effort to improve the lives of others. They serve as great examples and are an inspiration to us all.”
A big thank you to our sponsors:
- The Hunts Post
- Anthony Collins Solicitors
- T Clarke
- Aspen Build
- Places Management Division
- The Business Printing Company