Chiltern's Community Awards 2018

Sisters in their eighties, library volunteers, a super landlady and HS2 campaigners are just some of the people who were honoured at last night's Chiltern District Community Awards.

A huge number of nominations were received for the awards, which took place at The Kings Church in Amersham.

The ceremony was opened with a spectacular performance from Maggie Monk School of Dance and prizes for winners and runners up in each category were provided by GLL, the council's leisure providers.

There were record numbers of nominations for the various categories and all nominees were invited to the stage after the ceremony for a photograph.

The first award presented on the night was the Business in the Community Award, presented by GLL Regional Manager, John Amatt. The award recognises a business which supports or makes a positive contribution to benefit and enhance community life in Chiltern District.

The 2018 winner was Sweet Charity, a Prestwood charity shop. Volunteers at the shop have raised £400,000 in the last five years through their business, with all profits benefitting community groups.

The runner up was Marie Cavanagh from Chalfont St Peter.

The Older and Bolder Award, presented by Lord Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, recognises someone over 65 who has made a significant and beneficial voluntary contribution to the community in Chiltern District

The winner was Patricia O'Connell, a lifelong Buckinghamshire resident who has served her community all her life and still volunteers at Age UK and Rennie Grove hospice shops, among many other community activities.

The runner up was Tom Lee, a 79-year-old has helped more than 3000 people through his work at the Chesham Citizens Advice Bureau and had an incalculable impact on the local community and his colleagues.

The Group Award, which was presented by Dame Cheryl Gillan, was presented to Chalfont St Peter Community Library volunteers. The library faced closure in 2011 but the community came together to save it and today 74 volunteers aged from 16 to 84 run the library.

The runner up was Chiltern's Multiple Sclerosis Centre Volunteers of Amersham

HS2 Amersham Action Group were the winners of the Special Community Award, also presented by Dame Cheryl Gillan. The campaign group has worked tirelessly to challenge HS2's raison d'etre, the route and amount of tunnelling and will continue to work for the community for many years to come.

The Community Champion award, presented by Superintendent Vince Grey from Thames Valley Police, was given to Pat Miller, Landlady at The Gamekeeper's Lodge in Chesham. A pillar of her community, Pat has shown commitment, dedication and enthusiasm to benefit and enhance community life in Chiltern District.

The runner up was Ann Chapman, who is the driving force behind a holiday activity programme at Westwood Park in Little Chalfont

Margaret Walton and Joan Walton, two sisters who are both aged in their eighties, were the night's first winners of the Long Service Award, presented by the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Peter Kara.

Over the decades, the Walton sisters have done everything from volunteering at the hospital to organising village fetes, chairing the governors' board and working as a church warden. They judges praised them as shining examples of community spirit.

Another winner was Maureen Camier, who has worked tirelessly for guiding for more than 40 years. She runs Rainbow and Brownie groups and supports Guides, and has always encouraged girls and women to make the most of themselves and enjoy adventures and experiences they may never have dreamed of. 

The runner-up was Peter Healy, who has been active in his community since he moved there in the 1970s. He volunteers at Amersham Museum, is part of the Holmer Green Players am dram group and set up a website for local people.

The winner of the Young Volunteer award was Zinedine Ibesaine, who volunteers at the Chalfont St Peter Youth Centre and is a shining light and role model for many others.

The runner up in this category were the Chalfont St Peter Youth Club volunteers

The Healthy Living Award was presented by Chiltern District Council's Chief Executive Officer Bob Smith to two winners.

These were Marilyn Dickinson, the treasurer of a stretch and flex class for over fifties, and The Chesham Station Gardeners, led by John Harrison.

The Chairman's Award, presented by Chiltern District Council's Chairman, Cllr Nigel Shepherd, was given to Symeon Economou.

Symeon is the manager of a community not-for-profit shop in The Lee, which was established in 2007.

Along with a team of around 45 volunteers, Symeon has transformed the useful shop into what has been described as 'the beating heart of the village'.

Congratulations to all our winners, runners up and nominees.

Photographs from the night can be viewed on our Twitter page, @ChilternCouncil .