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2014 High Sheriff Community Award winners announced

PUBLISHED: 10:59 04 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:02 04 March 2014

Archant

After spending the past six months searching for Hampshire's community do-gooders, Hampshire Life and the High Sheriff are happy to reveal the winners of the High Sheriff Community Awards for 2014

Minstead training projectMinstead training project

Cast your mind back to September’s issue and you may remember the article we published on the High Sheriff’s Community Awards. A programme, instigated by the man himself, Rupert Younger, to recognise and reward all those working tirelessly to turn their local areas in to better places to live.

In the past six months we at Hampshire Life have been working with the High Sheriff and his eight regional award chairs to shortlist 36 worthy winners who we feel have gone the extra mile for their local communities.

Travelling around the county, meeting these extraordinary people has really brought home to us the magnificent sense of community spirit within Hampshire. From the individuals working as volunteers to the trusts and groups created to make a difference to people’s lives; we have never been involved in something more heart-warming.

The awards themselves will be handed out at a ceremony in Winchester Great Hall on March 1st and will be an excellent memento for those involved. Don’t miss the April issue for behind the scenes photographs and to hear what the winners had to say.

To give you an idea of just some of the fantastic groups and indivduals who have been nominated for an award meet The Minstead Training Project, The Tall Ships Youth Trust and Terry Austin Esq, who all stood out to us as being particularly community spirited.

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Minstead Training Project

Many of you may have heard of and even visited Furzey Gardens in the New Forest but did you know it is actually part of a registered charity which provides, through the work of the Minstead Training Project, activities and training within day opportunities and accommodation based services for people who have learning disabilities?

Tim Selwood is the Chair of Trustees and founder of the Project, which was set up in 1986. He explains: “The aim of all our services is to enable students to live, learn and grow to their fullest potential, enhancing their quality of life by developing maturity, self respect and independence through the opportunities to achieve new skills and meet new challenges in all areas of their lives.”

You only need to spend a few moments at the impressive country house headquarters in the middle of Minstead to realise what a unique venture the Project actually is. People whose lives could have very easily taken a different turn are working towards becoming independent and self-sufficient in a safe and rewarding environment. Whether it is through carpentry, cookery, gardening (the project recently won Gold at Chelsea), music, art and more, the students learn a variety of skills needed for independent living; and judging by the smiles on the faces of both staff and students when we visited, there is a lot of fun to be had at the same time.

The Project employs 80 members of staff across its two sites but relies on the support of 100 volunteers to help with classes, trips, maintenance and whatever else it is involved in. Accepting students who are 18 and over (the oldest student is 66), the Project has helped a vast number of people with learning difficulties across Hampshire and beyond gain a sense of control over their lives; a truly inspirational organisation.

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Tall Ships Youth Trust

The Tall Ships Youth Trust, based in Portsmouth, is the world’s oldest sail training charity dedicated to the education and personal development of young people aged 14 to 25 through the crewing of ocean-going sailing vessels.

Around 70% of voyagers are disadvantaged and/or disabled, and following their trip, 95% of people report an increased level of self-esteem.

It is an inspiring story of volunteer led success - TSYT aims to increase young people’s life chances and well-being by supporting them to develop their life skills, build self-esteem and aspirations, embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle and also to get them involved in volunteering.

The Trust sends 3000 young people and adults to sea every year on either their Tall Ship, Stavros S Niarchos; one of their four Challenger yachts or their Tall Ships Catamaran, which is more suited to people with disabilities.

While on board the young people will be taught all they need to know about sailing and will become an important part of the ship’s crew; taking on responsibilities and problem solving whilst making new friends and having fun.

We managed to sneak a look onboard one of the challengers and to say space was tight would be an understatement. It is no wonder the Trust have had such a huge amount of success in motivating young people and changing their mindsets, coping with uncomfortable surroundings alongside people you don’t know would be very character building to say the least.

Like the Minstead Training Project, the Tall Ships Youth Trust also depends heavily on volunteers and currently works with over 1,200 people to help the voyages get off the ground, or water rather. Around 20% of the young people who attend one of their trips goes on to become involved in the Trust in some way, which is a fantastic example of how this organisation is helping to support its local community.

With 30 volunteer support groups around the country creating links with local community groups, the Trust can be available to a wide variety of young people and adults across the UK and is definitely a worthy winner of the High Sheriff’s Community Award 2014. »

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And the winners are...

The following individuals, trusts and community groups will receive a High Sheriff Community Award this month

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Portsmouth & Fareham

Haslar Visitors Group - Provides a visiting project and support for male asylum seekers and immigration detainees.

Tom Prince Cancer Trust - Was established in 2004 to raise money for research into osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

Tall Ships Youth Trust - The world’s oldest sail training charity dedicated to the education and personal development of young people aged 14 to 25.

Graham Newcombe - Volunteer at Southsea Greenhouse co-operative community project.

Mrs Helen Dulake - An ‘unsung heroine’ helping out with backstage work at the King’s Theatre in Southsea.

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South East

Bill Hindley - A long standing cricket nut and volunteer, Bill is 86 and coaches Portsmouth U15 team.

Mrs Sue Robertson - A real community ‘do-er’, Sue organises village events and fundraisers for the Droxford area.

Alan Redman - Is a coach at Denmead Tennis Club and has inspired many young people to take up the sport.
Graham Sansome - Turned around the youth cricket organisation in the Greyshott area.

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Winchester

Anji Palmer-Clarke - Plays an active role in the befriending service helping people with mental health issues.

Spurgeons, Invisible Walls Service - Provides a safe and friendly environment for families of those in prison to wait and prepare for their visits.

Isobel Hughes - Does a great deal of work with Winchester Young Carers.

Julie Roberts - Is an integral part of the team at the Theatre Royal who goes beyond what is asked of her. 
Charlotte Gould Smith - Is part of a team of performance students who worked with prisoners at HMP Winchester on a public drama production in the prison. Darcie Jackson - Is also part of a team of performance students who worked with prisoners at HMP Winchester on a public drama production in the prison.

Mollee Vasey - Is part of a team of performance students who worked with prisoners at HMP Winchester on a public drama production in the prison.

Winchester Churches Nightshelter - Provides a vital lifeline to the homeless and remains the only nightshelter in Hampshire.

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Basingstoke

Living Paintings - A charity that provides a free postal library service of specially adapted tactile books for blind and partially sighted children and adults.

Barrie Hiscock - Has done an awful lot for Headley FC and football in the area.

Paul Temple - Has been involved with the Basingstoke Gymnastics Club for over 30 years and was a key player in relocating the club and funding the construction of the Active Life Centre.

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North West

Andover Food Bank - A charity organised and run by volunteers providing food boxes for the vulnerable all over the Test Valley area.

Keith Jay - A volunteer at Radio Enham, run by the disabled community in the area.

Linda Fox - Is also a volunteer at Radio Enham, run by the disabled community in the area.

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South West

Lynn Willmott - Manages the volunteering programme at Mottisfont Abbey.

Nelson Thompson - Is one of the key volunteers at Mottisfont Abbey.

Minstead Training Trust - Provides a range of day services, residential training services, supported living tenancies, leisure opportunities and respite care for people with special needs.

Brian Graddige - A local character in Copythorne who works tirelessly for his local community.

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Southampton & Eastleigh

Barry Dawson - Works at the Prince’s Trust as an employment and training mentor.

Cliff Manton - Founder and Chairman of Hedge End Running Club.

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North East

Mr Kamal Bahadur Purja - Started the charity Maddhat Shamuha (which translates as Nepalese Help) in the Aldershot area. 
Mrs Christina Jordan - Instrumental in setting up Charlie’s Day Unit at Basingstoke Hospital.

Trevor Osborne Esq - Gives a huge amount to the community in his role as the site manager of Samuel Cody Specialist Sports college.

Step by Step - Provides a service to young adults who find themselves on the streets or in vulnerable situations.

Lisa Stalley - Volunteers for the Brain Tumour Charity and is a mentor at The Prince’s Trust.

Mrs Hester Leeke - Runs a mother and toddler group in Hannington near Kingsclere.

Terry Austin Esq - Hero of the Fleet Pond Society.

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