Spirit of Bromsgrove awards - the winners

By Beth Sharp Thursday 27 February 2014 Updated: 27/02 23:39

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Buy photos » Coun Margaret Sherrey, Unsung Hero winner Jules Evans and Ken Hazeldean from the community safety partnership. Picture by Ryan Maybury.

RESIDENTS gathered at Artrix to celebrate the first ever Spirit of Bromsgrove Awards on Tuesday night (February 25).

The SongStarShow Choir put on a special performance to open the evening.

In total there were 44 nominees up for the 17 accolades which were split into three categories - community, arts and sports.

The winners of each category received a certificate and glass trophy to mark their special achievement.

• Aspiring paramedic, St John Ambulance member and local controller for the group Adam Lote was handed the Young Volunteer Of The Year award. As well as his medical work, he is also the deputy chairman of the Someone at the Door Samba Band and a passionate committee member for both Bromsgrove Festival and Bromsgrove Midwinterfest.

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• Lorraine Aspland’s Volunteer Of The Year title was given for her commitment to being a key player, ambassador, secretary and volunteer coach for the Bromsgrove Ladies Hockey Club and, in the last 12 months, she has successfully managed the Astroturf for All campaign to get Bromsgrove its first ever all-weather astroturf.

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• To the audience’s delight The Unsung Hero of the Year award went to Jules Evans who trains guide dogs, works with young offenders, is a Lickey Hills path warden and spends her time volunteering and promoting numerous local events.

On receiving the award she said: “Thank-you Bromsgrove for loving me as much as I love you.”

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• The Outstanding Achievement Unsung Heroes title went to John Horwood whose role as the village’s PACT chairperson, work on the neighbourhood watch and Shopwatch Radio scheme had all seen retail crime reduced in Rubery.

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• Bromsgrove Street Pastors scooped the Safer Bromsgrove Award for the reduction its Friday night patrols had brought about in crime, being the link between the police and revellers. One member said: “We just want to say thank you very much to Bromsgrove for taking the time to recognise the work we do and thank all those who have helped us especially the pub landlords.”

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• The Most Promising Newcomer - Individual award went to Emma Leigh who runs the Madcap theatre company and works tirelessly with schools, venues and education workers to ensure their outreach work is relevant and interesting to young people.

•The Orchestra of St John’s Church picked up the Most Promising Newcomer - Organisation for its success in bringing talent to the town and fund-raising for the Landmark II project.

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•Outstanding individual went to joint winners Jennie McGregor-Smith and Jim Page.

Jim is chair of the Housman Society, on the board of the David Morgan Music Trust, an active supporter of Artrix, a key figure in Bromsgrove Festival, Bromsgrove Concerts and in many other groups.

After receiving the award Jim said: “Bromsgrove has always had a strong connection to the arts.

“But Artrix is the simple the best thing that has happened to Bromsgrove in years.”

Jennie was applauded for her 30 years of enthusiasm, energy and selflessness.

She was instrumental in the restoration of the John Adams Memorial, on the new Bromsgrove Festival committee and an organiser for the ‘Celebrating English Song’ recitals, now in its tenth year.

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• All and Sundry was announced as the Outstanding Organisation and, despite the loss of its founder Paul Vollans, had managed to become a community interest company cementing its mission to involve as many people as possible in theatre. Victoria Vollans thanked everyone for the award and said: “Paul would have been so proud.”

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• The Outstanding Individual Under 18 award went to the inspirational Shannon Brown, a driving force in the campaign to save the Rubery youth centre who is currently on a prestigious graphic design apprenticeship in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

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• The Outstanding Organisation In The Youth Arts went to Artrix Arts Centre for its extended programme of arts activities for young people.

Artrix was praised for its work with many performance companies which ensure numerous opportunities for young people.

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• A new Lifetime Achievement Award in Mary White’s name was unveiled with her being the first winner.

She transformed Bromsgrove Festival into a massive attraction for Bromsgrove and the West Midlands.

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•In the sporting section, Laura Rolinson from Bromsgrove Gymnastics Club won Junior Sports Volunteer Of The Year.

The young role model and captain for the British Gymnastics Leadership Academy was recognised for the time she spent volunteering at Bromsgrove Gymnastics, all day every Saturday, her organisation of competitions and her fund-raising for the club.

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• Simon Burgess, the Bromsgrove District Football League secretary, took home the Senior Sports Personality Of The Year award for his excellent communication and unbiased and fair advice which helped make it, arguably, the best-run and fastest-growing league in the area.

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•The Sports Club Of The Year award was handed to Redhill Archers in Wythall, which is ran completely by volunteers and is one of the area’s few to receive a £50,000 capital grant from Sport England. That will be used for a new indoor shooting range and headquarters.

The organisation was described as a community focused force which made a difference at both a grassroots and national level.

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• Sports Coach of The Year went to Rubery man Chris Garry from Elements MMA who, affiliated to tenth planet Jiu Jitsu, works to improve the wellbeing of people with mental health problems and disabilities. He also ensures others have better lifestyles and innovated a partnership with a recruitment agency to help local job seekers find out about the latest job vacancies on job boards at his premises.

The evening was brought to a dazzling conclusion with a performance from the Stage Door Dance Academy.

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Buy photos» All and Sundry members Alison Berrisford, Brian Wiggins and Victoria Vollans celebrated the group earning the Outstanding Organisation title. Picture by Tristan Harris.

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Buy photos» Emma Leigh scooped the Most Promising Newcomer accolade. Picture by Tristan Harris.

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Buy photos» The Bromsgrove Street Pastors won the Safer Bromsgrove Award. Picture by Ryan Maybury.

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Buy photos» Jim Page and Jennie McGregor-Smith - the joint winners of the Outstanding Organisation award - with Bob Foxall from Bromsgrove Rotary Club. Picture by Ryan Maybury.

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Buy photos» The Stage Door Dance Academy closed the show. s

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Buy photos» The Songstars Show Chior opened the evening. Picture by Ryan Maybury.

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