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Derbyshire and High Peak Community Awards 2022 – Standing Together with Ukraine

We came together with Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel and Spa to host the Derbyshire County Community Hero Awards, which awarded 10 individuals and charities throughout the night and allowed a fantastic opportunity to celebrate, network, connect and develop strategic partnerships and awareness. It was also an ideal opportunity to stand together with the Ukraine collectively across Derbyshire and the High Peaks, to explore what more we can all do together! The County Council is represented along with lots of other councils, businesses and charities.

As things are starting to open up again, we had the privilege and honour to celebrate some of the people and organizations that have helped us all, particularly in the last couple of years.

Terry Eckersley, CEO

The event was held in the splendid 18th-century ballroom known as the Assembly Rooms. Originally built between 1779 and 1789 by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire, the Crescent is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country and provides a unique and exclusive backdrop for our county’s premier community event.

In support and attendance were the Mayor and Mayoress of High Peak, Councillor Paul Hardy and Mrs. Mary Hardy – They thanked River Network for hosting and honouring this prestigious event and for bringing the whole county together.

It was fantastic to see local community groups, charitable organizations and community stalwarts receive well-deserved recognition for their invaluable and selfless contributions to local communities across Derbyshire and High Peaks, especially after a difficult couple of years. Thank you to everyone connected to River Network Charity for organizing the Derbyshire County Community Hero Awards.

Cllr Ollie Cross, Deputy Mayor of High Peaks

Below is some of the phenomenal work being done by charities, churches and individuals across the whole region. Click their names to see what they have done!

We would like to thank Ian for the amazing work he has done over many years bringing together and supporting people with mental health through his group Arts and Minds. He beautifully combines peer support, acceptance, understanding and warmth with art. Ian and his group have bought a special light and vibrancy into our community hub in Chesterfield and we are so excited to continue the fun times we can all share there.

At the beginning of COVID Sally set up the Little Cherubs organization to provide much needed clothing to children. This has escalated to also providing beds, furniture and kitchen appliances to families fleeing domestic violence. Sally also organized a lorry filled with clothing for the Afghan refugees and more recently has collected and organized distributions of clothing, toiletries and nappies to the Ukraine population affected by the recent Russian invasion. Sally has done all this whilst supporting her four children and her step-son, losing much loved mum Sue to cancer and buying and renovating her home – she is a Wonder Woman with a heart of gold!

Carol has been a community safety officer in Derbyshire and the High Peak for six years. She really cares for her local community and goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and happiness of those around her. Carol cares about everyone no matter their background or circumstances, she will go above and beyond to help them. This could mean simply having a chat and brightening their day to multiagency working to ensure someone gets all the support they need. She may just feel she is doing her job but she really does deserve recognition for her hard work, selflessness and all around amazing attitude to helping the local community.

Kirsty has worked extremely hard to provide families in Buxton and surrounding area with baby and toddler equipment, clothes, toys etc. not only that she has brought together a team who support families not only with material needs but advise, baby weigh ins, sleep problems and general care and concern for anyone struggling. Kirsty and her team are wonderful and have become a much-needed service provider to the community and would be sorely missed if it were not there now. So Kirsty deserves an award for her brilliant vision in bringing this all together.

Tokkie has led an amazing team and has pioneering both charity shops and Foodbank & continuing to go the extra mile. Tokkie Haywood is a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Spiritual Leader, friend and The Project Manager for Living Hope Food bank. Tokkie is also the visionary who breathed life into starting the Project.
Living Hope FoodBand is an independent foodbank a Registered Charity in Holmewood. The Project has been running for 11yrs. Feeding and supporting those in need not only in Holmewood but including surrounding areas.

Understanding the need to help and meet the emerging needs, a small Charity shop was opened to fund the cost of buying food, with prices that reflect the communities needs and financial worries, as Gods People deserve not just the best but shoukd have enough to last and that takes finacial commitments. The food bank and shop are run by a very dedicated group of volunteers that continued to work hard throughout the Pandemic, collecting, buying and delivering food, sorting and packing food parcels, let alone doing shifts in the shop. We are all led from the front by Tokkie Haywood, who regularly goes above and beyond to ensure those in needed are helped and Supported, when she could be enjoying her retirement.
Since the outbreak of the Pandemic, Tokkie had continued to serve the community on a weekly basis and mostly on adaily basis, ensuring food is getting to homes where it was and in some cases is still is needed. Living hope, donated and delivered supplies to several community run food banks setup to help feed those in need in local villages and at schools and continues to support some local schools with breakfast club donations.

He has work hard all through the pandemic running chapel good neighbour food distribution network supplying people with food and has recently started chapel youth matters providing activities for the children at weekends and during school holidays.

Mark has done amazing at organising the project which is a massive hit with all members of the community and surrounding areas, not only does New mills youth and community project operate a community pantry it also offers clothes through a clothes bank, there are always activity packs for half terms which help parents out massively, as I have 2 young children aged 3 and 5 I would have been lost without the support from Mark and his project through these tough times we have all been through. Mark and his fantastic team of volunteers do an amazing job in supporting the community and I for one think they should be recognised for there hard work and dedication.

Covid-19 restrictions didn’t damped enthusiasm for community groups to work together across Buxton. Collectively through Kickstart Buxton, a Rotarian campaign or in small group collaborations, voluntary work continued throughout 2020 and 2021. The Friends of Buxton Station (FoBS) were at the very heart of things.

They shifted their gaze away from the station, across immediate wildlife corridors and into the town. Inclusively sharing goals, FoBS worked with many other associations: voluntary groups, independent traders, educators, local Government officials and others.

Their “new normal” approach involved FoBS in many different areas within perceived “new” roles as Promoter, Initiator, Partner, Campaigner, Mentor, Improver and Preserver.

Projects included conservation of a dangerously endangered pollinator species (Bilberry bumblebee), marketing their town using a museum-quality scale model at Piccadilly Station, creating the Rail Retail Trail of local independent traders to safely bring back customers, re-inventing the Carnival’s heritage wells dressing festival, hosting a community Christmas tree decorated with baubles made from recycled rubbish by school pupils, planting many thousands of wildflower seeds with junior school children and a local pub Landlady, setting up a car sharing scheme at the station, encouraging the formation of a nearby station adoption group, motivating the creation of positive stories by home-schooling schoolchildren and volunteers and restoring a dozen or so vandalised memorial bench seats about to be scrapped.

The sheer diversity of partnerships and expanse of projects undertaken show FoBS to be very much at the heart of their community. This was recognised by the granting of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2021 and three National Community Rail Awards in December 2021.

He has worked very hard to improve the hurst farm community and provides many different opportunities not just for those who are on benefits or struggling but for everyone equally. Top bloke

I would like to nominate this business, during the lockdowns l, they provided music outside to the village every Thursday night in support of NHS, at one point organising over 30 pubs playing the same song at 8pm (support by Peak Fm) provided food packages to vulnerable residents at the very start of the first lockdown. Also maintained all the village grass verges and grassed areas during the summer, walking around the area with their staff trimming and mowing, this provided an incredible boost to the locals after everything was getting untidy. They even cut out a huge NHS sign in their beer garden, this featured in all the local press from Derbyshire all the way to Leeds and beyond

Even after her kickstart contract expired she still came and devoted her time to help at our youth club nights and worship mornings

Jo has founded The Hummingbird Project: Community aid & Clothes bank & Local support. She runs this whole community project whilst working full time with a family of her own from her home. She coordinates a fantastic team of volunteers and I think her greatest supporters are her husband and two children. She is always there 24/7 to support people from all walks of life regardless. She has worked tirelessly to support refugees both with resettlement here and abroad, even personally delivering aid to camps in Greece. She works closely with the local community, social services and schools. Providing clothing for all ages, warm coats, shoes, baby equipment and anything that makes a house a home. Jo’s free uniform events have proved a huge success all around the Glossopdale community. During lockdown she was able to source, refurbish and donate laptops to a number of different schools so children without technology were able to learn from home. As if she isn’t busy enough, each Christmas she does an appeal and delivers over a thousand presents to vulnerable and isolated children and elderly in the surrounding communities.
Jo’s motto is community not charity and whatever she does she does so in such a positive inclusive way that brings people of all back grounds together. Jo is what community stands for. I’m sure there are now thousands of people that she has helped… her gestures I know have been life saving for some people. She has absolutely changed our community for the better and i couldn’t think of a more deserving person to win an award. she is a shining star.

Won the award for outstanding outreach, involvement and leadership.

Won the award for outstanding outreach, involvement and leadership.

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