Over 100 people were nominated to receive recognition for their effort to make Swindon a better place, 56 were shortlisted to receive a certificate from the mayor, 18 were awarded the Pride of Swindon Brunel badge for their special contribution to the town.
The shortlisted candidates were brought together with their nominators at the County Ground on 15 April to hear how they’ve worked voluntarily for Swindon, or done something extraordinary.
Tony Martin, from the Zurich Community Trust, who, with other judges, worked through all the nominations to decide who should be invited to the County Ground, said, “this event recognises the unsung heroes in our local community. Some of the people here today probably don’t even want to be here to collect these awards because they’re quite happy doing the things they do. This is what the awards are about, recognising them.”
“The Pride of Swindon award is for somebody who goes the extra mile, somebody who does something for people that many others people wouldn’t do.”
Shirley Ludford of Swindon 105.5 FM community radio, Pride of Swindon judge and presenter of the Pride of Swindon awards said the ceremony focussed on the people who didn’t make headlines but they were the real people behind the headlines “We want to celebrate the dedication, selflessness and passion people have.”
Pictured right, the nominees.
Below, the winners of the Brunel Badge
Mike Buss – ex-serviceman injured while serving in Northern Ireland, aiming to be fittest man in the world in aid of Help For Heroes.
Christine Heath – a Samaritan volunteer who helps people on the verge of suicide.
Emma Court – GP who saved a boy from being a severe beating by a gang of youths
Nalni Sorr of West Swindon based education and support organisation Learning for Life
Clive Hall – a fireman at Swindon Fire Station who coordinated last years fundraising events during the stations fiftieth anniversary which raised over £67,000 for the Firefighters Charity
Betty Spence, key organiser behind Swindon Christmas Cares
Karen Leakey – Broad Street activist who took on the prostitutes and those with anti social behaviour to clean up her neighbourhood
Martin Vandervelde – a 70 year old cyclist who raises money for Prospect Hospice for those with life threatening illnesses.
Sue Hooper – advocate and tireless fundraiser for the NSPCC
Salas Khan – founder of the Pakistani Welfare Society, committed to racial integration and tolerance
Skye Thorpe – a young person who had severe confidence problems who with help from Swindon Twelve to Eighteen Project (STEP) is now helping out other young people become independent
Nazma Ramruttun – active in promoting closer relations between Mauritius and Swindon
Simon Dabbs – promoting youth work with the scouts
Nick Capstick – headteacher of Drove Primary School, working to bring diverse communities together in the town centre through education
Krystyna Nowicka – who distributes hampers to people in need
Jaleel Mohammed – who offers free physiotherapy clinic at the Drove Children’s Centre.
Trudy Evans – volunteer at Lydiard House and the Wyvern Theatre.
Shirley Ludford – coordinator of Swindon 105.5 – for her contribution to local radio.