Village of Haddenham

Community Champions Awards 2016

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Richard Lay 01
Helen Lewis 01

Back in the early Summer we invited Haddenham residents to nominate folk for the Community Champions Awards — an initiative of the Village Society, Haddenham.net and the Haddenham Garden Centre.

We were keen to highlight and celebrate the efforts of those individuals who go the extra mile for their community, selflessly giving up their time for the benefit of others.

The examples we offered to prompt nominations included those who run local clubs or activities for children, giving their time to support the elderly, organising charitable fund-raising events, providing voluntary help for local charities or non-profit making organisations, offering valuable friendship and personal support to vulnerable individuals or those with special needs, providing transport or collection and delivery services to those less able, or carrying out unpaid work for the Haddenham community in other ways.

We firmly believe that voluntary contributions like these help to make Haddenham the friendly and supportive community we know and love.

On Wednesday evening 23rd November, at a meeting hosted in the library by the Village Society, the nominations were announced and prizes presented to three particularly deserving individuals, as assessed by a panel of judges from the three sponsoring organisations.

Here are all the much deserved nominations:

John Wheeler Unpaid Village Maintenance Man
Helen Lewis Charity Fundraising
Chris Headlong Support Work for the Elderly
Ken Perry Voluntary work for the Museum & Abbeyfield
Brenda Spencer Support Work for the Elderly
Richard Lay Cub leadership and other work for youngsters
Graham Oliver Support Work for the Elderly
Jeanne Watt Running the Fish Scheme
Freda Dorrell Charity Fundraising & Theatre Trips
Robyn Thorogood Managing Snakemoor's Maintenance
Mary Miller Charity Fundraising
Lynne Colley Youth Theatre
Rachel Bamford & Shelley Smith Haddenham Playscheme
Andy Roff Youth Football
The Whole Beer Festival Team! Charity Fundraising & Raising Haddenham's Profile

Choosing just three from this very impressive list of noteworthy nominees was quite a challenge, but ultimately decisions were made.

The three winners were:

Brenda Spencer
Stuart Monro, Chairman of Haddenham & District Age Concern, spoke in support of Brenda to explain that even at 87 years of Age she is still supporting the HADAC luncheon club — having done so for 16 years and cooking those lunches for the last 12 years! Brenda is finally retiring from her role at the end of this year, so it was very fitting that her superb contribution should be acknowledged at this time.

Richard Lay
Richard Kendall, Chairman of the Scout & Guide Association, introduced Richard Lay to those who may not have met him, and explained the huge contribution he had made to the lives of hundreds of youngsters in Haddenham and the local area. Richard Lay ran the Haddenham Cub Pack for 15 years, and before that in Long Crendon for 10 years. He has also been involved in many other children's groups including 'before & after' school clubs in Haddenham. He has been a splendid role model, offering those in his care huge opportunities for fun and learning, while helping to establish excellent behavioural boundaries and a sense of fairness.

Helen Lewis
Carey Holah spoke with considerable love and emotion in support of Helen Lewis, explaining how she had personally supported Carey during her diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer, providing lots of practical as well as emotional support. Helen then went on to raise over £20,000 for cancer research through sponsored walks and many other fundraising endeavours. A real friend and community champion if ever there was!

Featured in the photographs presenting the Community Champions Awards are Roderick Floud, Chairman of the Haddenham Village Society, and Kate Hawkins on behalf of Haddenham Garden Centre. (Brenda Spencer was, sadly, not available on the evening, as she was away from the village visiting her daughter).

Our three worthy winners each received a gift token to spend in Haddenham Garden Centre, and also a token for 'Afternoon Tea for Two' in the Gardeners' Retreat cafe.

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