Pride of Swindon 2022 award recipients immortalised with commemorative plaque

By Jessica Durston - 12 May 2022

Community
  • (L-R) Stephen Trowbridge, Shirley Ludford and Mayor of Swindon Garry Perkins

    (L-R) Stephen Trowbridge, Shirley Ludford and Mayor of Swindon Garry Perkins

A list of the 2022 recipients of the Pride of Swindon award have their names displayed on a commemorative plaque at Swindon's central Library.

Speeches were given before the official unveiling

The official unveiling of the commemorative plaque took place today - 12 May - at 11am at the Swindon Central Library. 

Individual recipients and representatives from the winning organisations gathered at the library and were met by Shirley Ludford and Mayor Garry Perkins. 

Drinks and snacks were served and Shirley Ludford read aloud the names of the winners for attendees to applaud once again. 

Shirley said: "It's a very small but important ceremony. It's wonderful to see the excitement and pride people have when they see their names on an official plaque. This commemorative plaque enables the public who visit the library to see what a fantastic job these award recipients are doing.

"All the names of the award recipients, past and present, will stay there for posterity. The plaques here are recognising all the different organisations and individuals that have done, and continue to do, amazing work for the community."

Mayor Garry Perkins added: "This ceremony has been amazing - it's great that we have got the plaques up to commemorate all the previous and current recipients who have all done brilliant work. The plaques span a course of thirteen years and there are around 500 names on them. 

"Without these people I don't know how things would have happened in Swindon - particularly through the covid times. I did slip up and addressed them as Pride of Britain but to be honest, these people and organisations are the pride of this nation. 

"When I got involved in the selection process I thought it was going to be easy, with the normal chairs volunteering the recognisable people and orgnaisations but that wasn't the case. Instead we judges were faced with a large number of very hard-working volunteers - both singles and teams that we had the hard job of choosing between."

Stephen Trowbridge, Operations Director of First City Nursing was also in attendance. He was unable to attend the official awards ceremony in April, and used the opportunity of the plaque unveiling to congratulate the recipients of the award. 

He addressed those in attendance: "The people of Swindon are lucky to have you within their community."

One of the award recipients within the Pride of Swindon group category, was the Swindon Food Collective. The group helps to feed people in crisis. It is run by 54 volunteers and four part time staff members. The group collect donations from supermarkets, deliver food parcels to distribution centres and homeless hostels, and provide food for breakfast clubs for schools.

Des O'Hara is a driver and collection co-ordinator for Swindon Food Collective. He has been with the Collective for two years. 

He said of the plaque unveiling ceremony: "This shows recognition for not only the hard work that our team does through the Food Collective but also for the good people of Swindon that have kept us going by making food item donations.

"If we weren't having the donations coming in to the supermarkets, we wouldn't be able to keep running. I feel a lot of gratitude needs to go to the people of Swindon that have been making this food available to us.

"The Pride of Swindon awards are great because not only have we been recognised for what we are doing as an organisation, but other important individuals and charities that maybe go under the radar, are being recognised too."

The plaques can be found on the column in the middle of the library's atrium on the ground floor. 

More information about the 2022 Pride of Swindon awards and its winners can be found at https://swindonlink.com/news/pride-of-swindon-awards-2022/

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