The Be Proud Awards Gala Evening took place on Friday 6 December 2016, where Manchester residents and businesses celebrated their hard work and dedication to their communities. It was a fabulous evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all!
The 2016 winners were:
Neighbour of the Year - Linda Hodson
Linda organises a wide variety of social events to bring people together – including trips to the theatre and the seaside. Linda also provides opportunities for people to get together over food – providing daily tea and toast (a cooked breakfast at the weekend), a weekly hot lunch and even a delicious three course Christmas lunch!
Community Project of the year (Individual) - James Gregory
Following the tragic murder of his sixteen year old son, James has been working with Fathers Against Violence to prevent the same thing happening to another family. They reach out to fathers and young men to help change their life path and increase their life chances
Community Project of the year (Group) Gorton Growing Together
The project, driven by a resident-led group has seen the transformation of an underused green space at Gorton Community Centre into a vibrant neighbourhood allotment and community event space.
Blossoming Communities – John and Mary Thomas
The couple have worked for over ten years in creating Ford Lane as a Didsbury in Bloom street. They have recently built a community herb bed for the resident’s use and hold gardening tips sessions for neighbours throughout the year.
Unsung Hero (Individual) – Mary Gifford
Mary provides a unique voluntary service to support blind and visually impaired people, making it possible for them to access and enjoy art galleries, museums and heritage centres. Using audio descriptions, sense of touch and smell, they are able to supplement any limited sight they may have and build up pictures in their minds.
Unsung Hero (Group) - BMCA Youth Zone
Barlow Moor Community Association Youth Team is not just a youth group - they support, care for and guide the children who attend. They provide homework help, offer a drop in support session and will work with parents and families to help young people deal with issues they are facing.
Business in the Community - The Firbank Pub & Kitchen
The Firbank is the hub of the local community – it is part of the age-friendly Manchester scheme and provides communal meals where people can meet up and socialise over lunch. They fundraise for charity and provide opportunities for young staff to gain work experience and on the job training.
Creativity in the Community – Cheetham Festival Organisers
For the past thirteen years, Cheetham Festival has celebrated the rich cultural history and diversity that has shaped the area. The event is a chance for residents to share their own faith and passions while also learning more about their neighbours
Young Achiever of the year - Kazbano Kalhoro and Emma Okomoh
Kaz and Emma volunteer on a weekly basis at Levenshulme Youth Project - attending the Youth Forum, sitting on the management committee, and helping to run events and activities such as play sessions, the Youth Festival and cookery sessions. They are described as inspirational and a role model to their peers.
Community Force - Jimmy Egan's Boxing Academy
To quote Jimmy Egan’s ethos, “It’s not about the sport, it’s about the community”. The club provides stability and friendship as well as sport and exercise, giving members pride in themselves and respect for themselves and others.
Volunteer of the Year (Individual) - Lisa Clover
Lisa volunteers at the Wythenshawe Safespots Project which offers support and advice to women experiencing domestic violence. Lisa is a real leader in the community and supports many other women who are starting out on the journey to rebuild their lives following very difficult times.
Volunteer of the Year (Group) – Friends of Wythenshawe Hall
In March 2016 a devastating fire destroyed much of this iconic building in Wythenshawe Park. The Friends Group are now doing everything they can raise money to restore it back to it’s former glory, by organising events and activities such as guided tours, garden parties, history festivals and open days.
Clean City - Whitworth to Platt Student Welcome Scheme
In an area where forty to seventy percent of homes are student lets, the aim of the scheme is to get new students managing their rubbish well from day one and to bridge the gap between permanent residents and students to make the neighbourhood a more friendly, welcoming and cleaner place for all.