Honours given to community heroes

Outstanding Dales residents had their achievements recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Derbyshire County Council hosted its annual Excellence in the Community Awards to honour individuals, groups, businesses and charities which are making a difference to the lives of others.

Dales community champs included Matlock Derwent Valley Lions Club who raised funds for a vital defibrillator for Matlock First Responders.

They also supported the British Heart Foundation, a Help for Heroes concert and stepped up to help Marie Curie Cancer Care with their charity collection week.

Matlock Advanced Motorists group was honoured for working to make our roads safer for more than 25 years. Volunteers have helped around 600 motorists pass their advanced tests and offered advice to many more.

Volunteers including Iris Wagstaffe of Darley Dale, Carol Walker of Bakewell, Dick Foxon of Over Haddon and Bronwen Slack of Sheldon, were praised for their work in the community.

The Peak District National Park Volunteer Rangers from Bakewell, were also recognised for their enthusiasm and skills in helping around 300 people overcome health problems through walking.

Bakewell charity Helen’s Trust received an award for their work helping people with incurable illnesses to stay in their own homes and Crich shopkeepers Kirpal and Raj Sohal were honoured for transforming the village Costcutter store and helping other businesses thrive.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Andrew Lewer said: “Derbyshire is very fortunate to have people who volunteer, raise money, look after our environment, and help others stay safe.

“Our annual awards are our way of bringing the community together to say thank you and recognise the amazing work of dozens of people.”

A full list of winners is below:

A list of winners is below.

Guardians of Strutts

Belper – VOLUNTEERS WORKING IN OUR COMMUNITY

Members of the Guardians of Strutts group have worked tirelessly to bring the old Herbert Strutt School building into use as a community centre after it closed as a school in 2008.

The site is now called “Strutts” and is run entirely by volunteers who have set up the “Guardians of Strutts” fundraising group. Around 90 groups use the centre and Belper Town Council nominated the group for the award for the benefit it brings to the community.

Chris Edwards

Ilkeston – IMPROVING LIFE

Chris is chairman of the charity Derby Kids’ Camp. He gives up many unpaid hours to make sure some of Derbyshire’s most vulnerable children get a week’s free holiday in the Peak District. His work has helped the number of children benefitting from a free holiday rise from 250 to 310 each year. Chris has also developed links with the Beasley Trust to provide weekend camps throughout the year. He was nominated by Dave Thomas, with the enthusiastic backing of everyone on Derby Kids Camp’s management committee

Clare Childerley

Creswell – VOLUNTEERING

Clare devotes much of her time to improving the lives of young people in Creswell. She runs the youth club as a volunteer on Mondays and Fridays – giving local youngsters a place to relax and have fun with their friends in a safe environment.More than 100 young people are able to enjoy spending time at the club, thanks to Clare’s dedication. Clare has also volunteered for B-Safe, an initiative on alcohol misuse, run with Derbyshire County Council, the police and local health services, on Saturday nights.

Friends of Pevensey Green

Chesterfield – VOLUNTEERS WORKING IN OUR COMMUNITY

Seven years ago Pevensey Green was a muddy bog and a haven for anti-social behaviour prompting regular calls to police. A small group of pensioners joined together to form the Friends of Pevensey Green group and the area is now transformed. Councillor Tony Rogers nominated the group saying its work had made the green ‘one of the most beautiful greens in Chesterfield’.

Valerie Smith

Heanor – IMPROVING LIFE

Val works constantly to improve the lives of children in the community, especially in Marlpool. She runs a junior drama group each Thursday evening for children aged four to 10, where she encourages them to act, sing, dance and express themselves. She runs a mother and toddler group every Friday for more than 20 mums and holds assemblies at various schools. Val was nominated by Alison Bailey.

Dick Foxon

Over Haddon – IMPROVING LIFE

Dick, of Over Haddon Village Hall Committee, worked hard to find the necessary funding to complete one of the country’s best carbon-neutral buildings. Funding was critical to a village hall project in such a small rural community. The years of research and hard work has provided Over Haddon with a high-quality project in terms of sustainability and green energy production. Dick was nominated by Richard Godley of Peak District National Park Authority.

Peak District National Park Volunteer Rangers Bakewell – IMPROVING LIFE

Over 220 volunteer rangers help conserve and enhance the National Park for the benefit of visitors, residents, and wildlife. They’ve been running leisure walks for the past 20 years. Almost 300 people attended last year – referred by medical professionals to help them overcome health problems or isolation. Volunteers also run activity programmes for adults with learning disabilities – including sailing, golf, abseiling, climbing and cycling. Nominator Rose Clarke says the volunteers’ experience, personal skills and enthusiasm are second to none and help improve the lives of many, many people.

Roy Buckland

Glapwell – FUNDRAISING

Roy has raised funds for military and non-military charities for many years. SSAFA Forces Help, Royal British Legion Poppy Fund and Help for Heroes have all benefitted from this old soldier’s efforts. As have Macmillan Nurses, Ashgate Hospice, Bolsover Daycare Unit and many more. Roy has undertaken sponsored runs, walks, raffles, bring-and-buy sales and coffee mornings. Roy was nominated by Peter Bower.

Claire Brennan and Josie Winbow

Ashbourne – FUNDRAISING

Claire and Josie have organised the Ashbourne Breast Cancer Walk for three years and raised an incredible £35,000 to fight the disease. Last year £15,000 went to Royal Derby Hospital’s breast cancer unit and was used to buy a machine to aid breast reconstruction and the associated training costs.This year’s total – expected to be in excess of £10,000 – will go to the same unit for more equipment. The pair were nominated by Gerry Brennan – Claire’s husband.

Playground for Litton’s Active Youth

Litton – IMPROVING LIFE

Five determined young mums took on the huge commitment to bring a children’s play area to the village of Litton – raising money and overseeing development every step of the way.

From a rundown area with a few rusty bits of equipment, children in the village can now play on a fantastic new playground. Over the last three years the mums have given up over 3,000 voluntary hours. They’ve raised over £10,000 and have successfully submitted funding bids for almost £60,000 to make their vision a reality.

Peter Corbett

Buxton – FUNDRAISING

In May 2009 Peter was seriously hurt in a banger-racing accident. His injuries were so severe that there is no doubt that had he not been airlifted to hospital, he would not be with us today. Peter has since focused his energies on fundraising for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and has raised more than £27,000. His niece Laura Bowers, who nominated him, says she is immensely proud of the ‘superman’ uncle and that he is an inspiration.

Elizabeth Hepworth

Dronfield – FUNDRAISING

Liz raises money for various charities including Breast Cancer Research, Ashgate Hospice and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. She’s taken on some difficult personal challenges – completing the 26 mile Moonwalk twice, the Ashgate Midnight Walk and 100 miles in four days on the Nijmegan Marches in Holland. After a knee replacement she completed the 43 miles Keswick to Barrow Walk in 12 hours and more recently the 25 mile Chatsworth Challenge. Nominator Kathryn Wileman says Liz has raised well in excess of £20,000.

Heanor Festival Trust

Heanor – IMPROVING LIFE

A small group of volunteers came together to set up and run Heanor Festival. They give many hours of their time to fund-raise throughout the year to pay for the event. And the volunteers run a wide range of events and activities throughout the week-long celebration, including exhibitions, competitions and entertainment. Nominator Councillor Celia Cox says the work of Trust members benefits the whole community.

Brian Storer

Swadlincote – FUNDRAISING

Since Brian lost his wife to cancer he has raised nearly £70,000 for various charities through his popular open garden weekends. Last year alone he raised £5,400 for the Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy and this year he set his sights on raising thousands for the Air Ambulance. He has been nominated by Sheila Jackson who says he has worked tirelessly over the years to raise this amount of money and many charities and good causes have benefited.

Colonel Mike Cheetham

Stanley, near Ilkeston – FUNDRAISING

Colonel Mike Cheetham has been credited with raising between £5 - £6 million over the past 30 years for a number of good causes across the county. For many years he raised money for the Army cadets and Army Benevolent Fund, and when he became County Secretary for the Derbyshire SSAFA, based in Belper, he turned his attentions to raising money for them. He has been nominated by Philip Hall who says that most of the money raised has been done single-handedly.

Strutt’s North Mill Museum Volunteers Association Belper – IMPROVING LIFE

Volunteers work tirelessly to promote Belper’s historic North Mill, which is a World Heritage site. Nominator Wyn Edwards says their work at the North Mill Museum goes way beyond the call of duty – encouraging future generations to take pride in local heritage. People come from across the globe and school parties visit North Mill to take in the museum, and learn about the environment in the beautiful river gardens. And volunteers have recently taken on running the Tourist Information Centre for the whole of the Amber Valley.

Bronwen Slack

Sheldon – VOLUNTEERING

Bronwen has spent more than 40 years volunteering in the community, raising money for good causes and enhancing the environment around Sheldon. She began ‘Sheldon Day’ 27 years ago and co-wrote the Sheldon village information leaflet for visitors. For more than 15 years she’s volunteered as a driver for Bakewell and Eyam community transport and has fulfilled many other voluntary roles. Bronwen was nominated by Professor John Herbert.

North Wingfield Darby and Joan

North Wingfield – IMPROVING LIFE

North Wingfield Darby and Joan is a long standing club that regularly attracts 70 members to its weekly meeting. A small group of volunteers, led by Janet Cox, organise the running of the club. Nominator Councillor Kevin Gillott says without the time and effort of the volunteers over the last 25 years the club’s members would be at greater risk of isolation and wouldn’t have the same quality of life.

Keith Thompson

Glossop – FUNDRAISING

Keith Thompson has been raising money for a number of charities for more than 25 years. He’s completed long distance walks, climbed mountains and staged events. In August he did a tandem skydive in aid of the charity When You Wish Upon a Star.The charity does many things to help make sick children’s dreams come true including taking terminally ill children to Lapland every year. Keith was nominated by Brian Bentley.

Karen Dobson

Chesterfield – FUNDRAISING

Karen has been a Cub Scout leader for more than 10 years and her commitment and enthusiasm for working with young people has never faltered. She works hard to provide activities and organise camps for the cubs, developing their skills and friendships. She also supports the Beaver Scouts on outings and fundraising so that subscriptions for the 100 young people remain low. She has been nominated by her husband Andrew Dobson.

Derbyshire Voice

Ripley – IMPROVING LIFE

Derbyshire Voice supports those who experience mental health services to have real and meaningful involvement in the way they are provided in Derbyshire. The organisation has a network of over 350 members who are all actively involved in around 50 projects and meetings. Members also provide training to other organisations in mental health awareness and have produced a number of informative books.

Gill Riley

West Hallam – SAFER DERBYSHIRE

Gill is a true community champion and has spent the past four years making the Ilkeston area a safer place for its residents. She has been a dedicated member of the Ilkeston and District Neighbourhood Watch Support Group since taking over as secretary and campaigns for new members as well as raising awareness of crime and security. Gill was nominated by members of the Ilkeston and District Neighbourhood Watch Support Group and Derbyshire Neighbourhood Watch Association Trust.

Sue Hughes

Parwich – PROTECTING DERBYSHIRE

Sue has been chairwoman of the Parwich First Responders for five years. She volunteers as a responder herself and organises the group – fundraising and recruiting new members. Because of the village’s rural location, villagers felt it was essential that there were some residents trained to use defibrillators and Sue ensures this vital service is always available should it ever be needed. She has been nominated by Dr Jean Stanton but insists she accepts this accolade on behalf of all the volunteers!

Tupton RUFC

Tupton – IMPROVING LIFE

Tupton Rugby Club, near Chesterfield, has a long-standing adult section. A few years ago a mini section for under tens was set up.Through the hard work, dedication and perseverance of a small group of volunteers giving up their time during evenings and weekends over 50 young people a week now play rugby. Councillor Kevin Gillott nominated the rugby club for the award.

Joan Evans

Glapwell – VOLUNTEERING

Joan has been keeping her community safe since she joined St John Ambulance as a cadet more than 50 years ago. Since becoming a divisional superintendent in 1976, Joan has organised regular first aid training events for adults and children. And when she is not passing on her life-saving skills to others, Joan can be found providing first aid cover at public events across Derbyshire. Joan has been nominated by fellow members of Glapwell Parish Council.

Transition Hope Valley

Hope Valley – PROTECTING DERBYSHIRE

Since it began in 2009 Transition Hope Valley has developed a number of environmental projects to develop a more self-sufficient community. The project brings people together, from the Hope Valley and beyond to develop a market for local food and to increase community resilience to outside influences such as increased energy costs. Adele Metcalfe nominated the group for an award for the work its members do to benefit the community.

Ian and Kath Sharpe

Whaley Thorns – VOLUNTEERING

Ian and Kath are described by their nominator, Joanne Dixon, as ‘an astonishing couple who work selflessly at the heart of their community every day’. Their commitment to their local community has led them to become involved with the heritage centre, the bingo club, the community café and the cricket club.

Margaret and Aubrey Parkes

Coton in the Elms - VOLUNTEERING

Over the years Margaret and Aubrey have spent more than 5,000 hours making sure that their local community centre continues to thrive.The couple have been nominated by Coton in the Elms Parish Council who credit them with bringing the community closer together and describe them as ‘exceptional people who will go the extra mile in putting other people first’.

Friends of Dronfield Station

Dronfield – IMPROVING LIFE

The efforts of the Friends of Dronfield Station have transformed the station, the image of the town and the opportunity to travel by train from Dronfield. The action group was set up in 2006 when Dronfield Station was threatened with closure. Vigorous lobbying with the support of councils brought the introduction of Dronfield’s best ever service in 2008. Peter Hayward nominated the group.

Volunteer Centre Buxton and District (Volunteer Transport Scheme) Buxton – VOLUNTEERING

More than 60 volunteer drivers give up their time and use their own vehicles to take older, disabled and vulnerable adults out across the county on journeys that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to make. These range from vital doctors and hospital appointments to social outings they would miss out on if it wasn’t for this dedicated group of people.The scheme has been nominated by Howard Gunn.

Justina Wilkinson

Scarcliffe – VOLUNTEERING

Justina finds plenty of time to help other people despite having to undergo daily dialysis following a failed kidney transplant. As chair of Community Voluntary Partners (CVP), the overall body of voluntary and community sectors for Bolsover District, she helps make decisions for the good of the community. She is the administrator of the national charity, Polycystic Kidney Disease, a trustee of Hillstown Miners’ Welfare Trust and an executive member of the Tiny Tim Trust, a Derbyshire charity which helps children with special needs. Justina was nominated by Marian West.

Jeff Barnes

Swadlincote - VOLUNTEERING

For 25 years Jeff has shown unswerving commitment to the parish of Smisby. He has served as chairman on the parish council, been editor of the Smisby newsletter, and became a trustee of the village charity in 1982 – playing a significant role in helping it to grow. Jeff continues to be a church warden at Smisby Church, a position he’s held for the last 25 years. He was nominated by Hazel Salt.

Matlock Derwent Valley Lions Club

Matlock – VOLUNTEERING AND FUNDRAISING

Members of Derwent Valley Lions Club provide help where it is needed within their local community. When Matlock First Responders needed a defibrillator, the Lions organised a fundraising concert. They also made a vital donation when the local air ambulance needed to buy new equipment.They helped the British Heart Foundation to run a charity bike ride, supported a Help for Heroes concert and stepped up to help Marie Curie Cancer Care with their charity collection week.

Graham Buckley

Creswell – ACHIEVEMENT

Graham began playing bugle aged 11 and was the district bandmaster for Sheffield by the age of 19. He has now been playing in brass bands for 52 years, founding and playing an active role in several junior and senior bands in the north east of the county for many years as well as volunteering his time to teach youngsters in school. He was nominated by Margaret Smith

Catherine Cleary

Derby – IMPROVING LIFE

First Steps is Derbyshire’s only eating disorder charity and was founded as a self-help group by Catherine Cleary in 2004. It is run by staff and volunteers, all of whom have personal experience of eating disorders either themselves or through family members. In seven years Catherine has raised more than £413,000 to provide services for people living in the county whose lives are affected by eating disorders. She was nominated by Robert Dawes.

Matlock (Derwent & Hope Valleys) Group of Advanced Motorists Matlock – SAFER DERBYSHIRE

Matlock Advanced Motorists have been working to make our roads safer for more than 25 years. Volunteers from the group have helped around 600 motorists to pass their advanced tests and offered advice to many more. In recent years the group has worked with local councils to provide discounted training to high risk groups such as young drivers, motorcyclists and older motorists.

Betty Thompson

Long Eaton – FUNDRAISING

Betty is described as an inspirational person, who unassumingly and tirelessly continues to organise fundraising events for local churches and charities and provide support to individuals, groups and other projects. Over many years Betty has raised thousands of pounds for good causes. Her nominator wishes to remain anonymous.

George and Geraldine Lamb

Ilkeston – FUNDRAISING

George and Geraldine have spent most of their adult lives doing charity work. Since joining the Erewash branch of the Royal Air Forces Association in 1991 they have played a leading role in the fundraising activities of the group from organising barn dances to games nights and raffles and staffing the stands at community events. They have been nominated by Wing Commander Phillip Giles who says it is through loyalty and determination such as theirs that the branch was able to collect an impressive £25,000 for the Battle of Britain Wings Appeal in 2010.

Macmillan Cancer Support – North Derbyshire Fundraisers North Derbyshire – FUNDRAISING

Members of North Derbyshire Macmillan Cancer Support have raised £20,000 so far this year – and they’re not done yet. They have three more fundraising events scheduled before the end of the year. Since it was established nearly 40 years ago, the group has raised more than half a million pounds which has been used by Macmillan to provide practical, medical and financial support for people with cancer.

Iris Wagstaffe

Darley Dale – IMPROVING LIFE

Iris set up and continues to work for the charity First Taste for elderly people. She secures funding to support the organisation’s work to improve the quality of life for older people in residential and day care in Derbyshire through activities, classes and talks aimed at broadening their horizons. Iris has been nominated by Susan Jelf.

Bill Hutchinson

Ripley – VOLUNTEERING

Bill spent over 20 years volunteering for Derby Mountain Rescue, and over 30 years working as a volunteer porter at Derby Royal Hospital on Saturday evenings and on New Year’s Eve.

He’s also been a prolific poppy seller for the Royal British Legion and collected all the names of service men and women from Ripley killed in conflicts since the Second World War to feature on the town’s memorial. Bill has also dedicated 60 years to the Scouting movement and still finds time to serve as president at his local Spiritualist church. Bill has been nominated by Colin Newton

Chapel Fundraisers for Blythe House Hospice Chapel-en-le-Frith – FUNDRAISING

For the past 11 years Chapel Fundraisers have organised monthly events to raise vital funds for Blythe House Hospice. Their dinner dances, fashion shows, talks and beauty events have also helped to raise awareness of the services provided by the hospice so local people know where to turn in their hour of need. In addition to fundraising, many members of the group also carry out essential volunteer roles within the hospice.

Helen Marriott

Pinxton – VOLUNTEERING

For more than 30 years Helen has helped at local Scout and Brownie groups as well as being a volunteer leader with a branch of St John’s and a fundraiser for groups around Pinxton. She has been nominated by Susan Barrett who says Helen is a very hard working person, always willing to help anyone.

Phil Manford

Chinley – VOLUNTEERING/IMPROVING LIFE

Nominator Hayley Lever describes Phil as ‘the friendliest most helpful person you could wish to have in your village’. He established Chinley Junior Football Club over 10 years ago, is an active member of Chinley Community Association and works tirelessly for the community, despite his wife suffering with Alzheimer’s. Phil is also central to the organisation of the summer fair, over 60s Christmas lunch, children’s Christmas party and village games, as well as looking after Chinley Community Centre.

Pleasley Vale Canoe and Activity Club

Pleasley – FUNDRAISING AND VOLUNTEERING

Since it was set up in 2003, Pleasley Vale Canoe and Activity Club has helped many young people to experience outdoor activities such as canoeing, white water rafting, cycling and archery. Several years ago the club joined forces with Bolsover District Council to develop an outdoor activity centre at Pleasley Mills. The centre has proved to be a great success and has attracted youngsters from across the county and beyond. The club – which has raised funds for Help for Heroes - has also worked with Chernobyl children, young people with special needs and those from disadvantaged communities. Pleasley Canoe and Activity Club was nominated by Councillor Marian Stockdale.

David Collier

Glossop - VOLUNTEERING/IMPROVING LIFE

David is head coach of Manor Park Bowling Club where he has been involved in helping the club include children and young people in bowling. Nominator Councillor George Wharmby says he gives ‘a tremendous amount of his time to not only maintain the bowling greens but also as a club official’. David has helped the club achieve the ‘Clubmark’ from British Crown Bowling and has also helped other clubs in Derbyshire, Shropshire, Lancashire and Manchester to achieve the standard.

Linda Brown

Long Eaton – VOLUNTEERING/IMPROVING LIFE

Erewash Volunteer Centre provides vital help in the local community, supporting older and disabled people with their direct services. Over 80 clients receive visits by volunteer befrienders and nominator Michael Curtis says centre manager Linda Brown has played a key role in helping with this by liaising with other groups to ensure clients are receiving the help they need.

Bradda Dads

Bradwell – IMPROVING LIFE

Bradda Dads is a long-standing group which has organised various community events, such as bonfires, duck races and Christmas meals for 150 pensioners. They have undertaken jobs on behalf of the community, for example resetting gravestones. And they have given grants to other village organisations. Bradda Dads have been nominated by Steve Lawless, clerk to Bradwell Parish Council.

Danny Le Grice

Ashbourne – VOLUNTEERING

Danny has been chairman of Ashbourne Sub Aqua Club for four years. Nominator Gerry Brennan describes him as ‘a reliable, trustworthy and hardworking gentle giant’ who works tirelessly for the community including helping to fundraise for local charities. Danny has helped Ashbourne Divers achieve the ‘Clubmark’ status as well as run the Derby County Supporters Club Ashbourne branch.

Donna Rogers

Glossop – VOLUNTEERING

Donna is the assistant manager at Gamesley Community Café in Glossop where she has been offering friendship and support to people when they are at their most vulnerable for over five years. She works closely with different agencies on the estate and also helps to coordinate a team of volunteers as well as run a football club for young people. Nominator Gill Ellison describes Donna Rogers as inspirational.

Harlequin Productions

Staveley – IMPROVING LIFE

Harlequins Productions have put on a musical production and a pantomime each year since 1993 and given more than £42,000 to dozens of local charities including hospital wards, schools, youth clubs, playgrounds, medical charities and sports clubs.They’ve given huge pleasure to audiences, often comprising people in care homes or with learning disabilities.

They produce and perform the shows and make costumes in their own time. Harlequin Productions was nominated by Mary Davison.

Simon Riley

Hilton – VOLUNTEERING

Scout leader Simon Riley has been volunteering for nearly 17 years. As well as running a successful Scout troop, he plans the 73rd Derby Scouts annual camping trip. In 2007 he arranged for Scouts from across Derbyshire to attend the 21st World Scout Jamboree held in Essex. When he is not volunteering with the Scouts, Simon helps out his local drama group, St Nicholas Players as sound and lighting director.

Friends of Hadfield Hall

Hadfield – IMPROVING LIFE

Hadfield Hall was built in the late 1800s and bequeathed to the area by mill-owner Edward Platt to be used as a community resource by local residents. The building houses the library and rooms are available for community groups, exhibitions, fundraising events, dances, coffee mornings and many other activities. The Friends of Hadfield Hall, chaired by Joy Hallsworth, works hard to promote increased use of the building by community groups. It was nominated by Margaret Laurence.

Margaret Biddle

Hadfield – VOLUNTEERING

Margaret has been a volunteer at her local Brownie group in Hadfield for over 30 years. She recently retired as leader but still helps at each weekly meeting and takes the girls on several trips out. Margaret is also a volunteer with Macmillan Cancer Support. Nominator Anne Biddle says the hours she puts in are endless.

Margaret Laurence

Tintwistle – VOLUNTEERING

Margaret is dedicated to caring for animals, especially cats, and takes them in when they are abandoned or made homeless by circumstances such as family separation or bereavement. She fundraises tirelessly for her sanctuary, called Fred and Ginger’s, to ensure that there is always enough money to cover food and vets bills. Margaret has been nominated by Helen Griffiths, Maxine Garrett and Valerie Wilkinson.

British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service (Derbyshire) Derbyshire – IMPROVING LIFE

Volunteers from the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service provide help to victims of house fires who have often lost many of their possessions and are suffering emotional distress. In 2010 volunteers were on call for 5,600 hours, attended 97 incidents and provided practical and emotional support to 342 people.The service enables people to plan their recovery and to access the help available from statutory and other agencies. This nomination has been made by David White.

Gary Topley

Chesterfield – IMPROVING LIFE

No fewer than 25 different nominations were received for Gary to receive an award. Himself a recovering alcoholic, Gary launched the Free From Addiction Project when leaving prison after serving a sentence for alcohol-related violence. He wanted to prevent others from treading a similar path. The group holds weekly meetings and has helped many alcoholics in Chesterfield and the surrounding area. Gary works hard to educate others about the dangers of alcohol abuse – often visiting college to give talks and working alongside police and community safety partnerships.

Derek Cook

Duffield – VOLUNTEERING

Derek has been active in the Duffield Community Association for many years and has been its secretary for more than 25 years. He has been closely involved with organising the annual carnival and in recent years he has been the voice of the event as the public announcer. He is also in the Derby branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, taking up the post of chairman and more recently treasurer. Derek has been nominated by Roy Pooley.

David Stone

Draycott – VOLUNTEERING

Dave puts a lot of hard work and enthusiasm in to Draycott United Football Club, where he trains, manages and organises one of the youth teams during the season and trains players of all ages during the summer. He even cleans the pavilion and marks the pitch. He is also keen to widen you people’s horizons and has organised three trips to Uganda where players have experienced a different way of life while improving facilities for young people and fundraising. Dave has been nominated by Val Lewis.

Jane Truman

Long Eaton – VOLUNTEERING

Jane deserves recognition for the dedication and hard work she puts in to running Long Eaton Judo Club. She gives up hours every week to ensure that the club is open for sessions and organises the day-to-day running of the club, from the accounts, licenses and insurance to event demonstrations. She even organises training for the coaches. Jane has been nominated by Alison Bowman.

Helen’s Trust

Bakewell – CARE AND SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE

Helen’s Trust helps people with incurable illnesses to stay in their own homes. By providing the right care and equipment, they help some people to get discharged from hospital more quickly while making sure that others never need to be admitted in the first place. Lucy Nickson, the trust’s chief executive officer, said: “Our experience shows that it is often the smallest of things that can make the biggest difference to a family and we are proud of our creative approach to supporting people to stay at home.”

Eileen Cheeseman

Heanor – IMPROVING LIFE

Eileen Cheeseman is the manager of the Stepping Stones Day Centre in Heanor. She has been nominated by David Cox for the dedication, support and friendship she gives to people attending the centre, many of whom have disabilities. She ensures people at the centre get good quality care while they are there as well as feeling valued and supported.

Derbyshire Youth Offending Service Volunteer Community Panel Members Countywide – VOLUNTEERING

There are 36 volunteer panel members offering a dedicated, loyal and flexible service across the county. When a young person aged 10 to 17 has offended for the first time and pleaded guilty in court they are given a referral order.Two volunteer panel members are part of a panel which meets with the young person and draws up a behaviour contract. Nominator Zoe Pritchett says the unpaid work of the volunteers is often the difference between the young person becoming a valued member of the community rather than a career criminal.

Carol Walker

Bakewell – VOLUNTEERING

Since moving to Bakewell nearly 40 years ago Carol has thrown herself into community life, becoming a member of the parish church, starting the Explorers Club for young people and getting involved in many school and community activities. Carol is also a tireless fundraiser, particularly for Cancer Research and the RNLI, and she and husband David regularly host charity events at their home. Carol also organises group walks to help residents with health issues. Carol helped Bakewell become a Fairtrade town, was governor of Bakewell Methodist School and works hard as a governor of Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Rita Packwood

Staveley – IMPROVING LIFE

Rita has given many hours of her time to improving her community. She was an active member of Staveley Neighbourhood Management’s board as a community representative and is now part of ‘Staveley Forward’ – a community group set up to improve the area.

Rita is also a valued member of the Community Forum and was the driving force in the Mastin Moor Community Gardens Scheme, a project to bring a derelict site back into use.

Rita has been nominated by Staveley Town Council clerk Graeme Challands.

The Pegasus Monday Club

Ilkeston – IMPROVING LIFE

The Pegasus Monday Club has been nominated by Councillor Michelle Booth who says that Mathew Newport and his small team who run the club are dedicated and committed volunteers. Mr Newport replied to a public appeal for volunteers when the club faced closure due to a dwindling number of helpers. Adding his own flair to the club, he has boosted its numbers, introducing music to the lunchtime gathering and making it a real fun affair.

Lynn and Keith Bennett

Coal Aston – IMPROVING LIFE

Since Lynn and Keith Bennett moved to Coal Aston from London, they have been become deeply involved with their community. The couple are members of the local first responders scheme and last winter saw them work tirelessly through the bad weather, including Christmas and New Year, to help people in need. Lynn and Keith also dedicate their time to a local scout group, taking on extra responsibilities to enable it to keep running. Nominator Susan Dowling says Lynn and Keith are exceptional people and have made a huge difference to the community.

Cyril Leason

Pilsley – IMPROVING LIFE

As an avid runner Cyril has completed many races, including seven marathons. Cyril’s love of running and the countryside surrounding Pilsley and Hardwick saw him set up the Annual Hardwick Road Race 31 years ago. Since then, Cyril has worked tirelessly to organise the race annually and it has grown from 32 runners in its inaugural year to 240 more recently.

Andrew Cooper who nominated Cyril, says the determination, enthusiasm and selflessness he shows each year to keep the event going deserves an award.

Tracey and Darren Parker

Ilkeston – IMPROVING LIFE

Tracey and Darren set up The Ben Parker Trust seven years ago in memory of their 13-year-old son who died from leukemia in 2003. They raised £11,000 with a cabaret auction and bought a caravan in Mablethorpe which they named ‘Ben’s Den 1’ to give children diagnosed with cancer and their families a free holiday. They’ve since raised enough money to buy another caravan – ‘Ben’s Den 2’ – to give even more families a much-needed break without worrying about cost or cancelling. Tracey and Darren have been nominated by Councillor Glennice Birkin.

Breastmates

High Peak and Derbyshire Dales – IMPROVING LIFE

Breastmates help new mums to master the art of breastfeeding and they work across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales. Volunteers run a phone support line and visit new mums to offer support and guidance with breastfeeding. The group has helped over 3,000 new mums to continue with breastfeeding over the past couple of years.

Esther Collington

Kirk Hallam – VOLUNTEERING

Esther is secretary of the Friends of Kirk Hallam Church. She is the former treasurer of Friends of Kirk Hallam Lake and Meadows, secretary of Friends of Stanton Road Cemetery, and is the Event Coordinator of the Friends of Shipley Country Park. She donates much of her free time to fundraise and inspire others to do the same. Michelle Booth, who nominated Esther says she has far exceeded 5,000 hours of voluntary time and is an inspiration to all.

June Richardson

Grindleford – VOLUNTEERING

June is a guide leader for 1st Curbar Guides and has been for 30 years. She has become hugely involved, planning and running weekly meetings and organising activities such as crafts, first aid, camp fire skills and outdoor cooking – all serving the local community. Carolyn Shepherd who nominated June believes she deserves an award for the huge amount of time she has given to the community over the years.

Jane Ward

Riddings – VOLUNTEERING

Jane was a real driving force when Riddings Community Centre was built in the 1980s – helping form a committee to raise funds through a lottery. Jane has helped in all sorts of ways including serving behind the bar, taking bookings for the centre and still volunteering as secretary. Councillor Jack Watson Brown nominated Jane, saying she deserves the award for all her hard work down the years.

Roy Lowe MBE

Chesterfield – FUNDRAISING

Roy has been nominated by John Galliford for his charity work which he says is ‘out of this world’. The former bus driver has raised thousands of pounds for different causes, including Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield. Roy is well known around his home town and received an MBE in 1999 for his charity work. He dressed up as Father Christmas to drive his bus and gave young passengers sweets as gifts as they climbed aboard.

Paula Elliott

Chesterfield – IMPROVING LIFE

Everyone needs good neighbours – and they don’t come much better than Paula. She was nominated by social services worker Barbara May for transforming the life of an 80-year-old male neighbour whose house had become a health hazard after he’d failed to throw anything away for 40 years. Paula contacted social services for advice, her neighbour’s doctor for support and a welfare benefits officer to check on correct income. She’s also supported her neighbour to have the house cleaned top to bottom and has helped replace all the curtains, bedding, lamps and kitchen equipment.

Kirpal and Raj Sohal

Crich – IMPROVING LIFE

Shopkeepers Kirpal, or ‘Paul’ and wife Raj moved to Crich in 2002 and took over the local shop. As well as transforming the shop nominator Keith Emery says that other businesses have started to thrive as a result of trade which the Sohal’s grocery shop has brought to the village. And the Sohals are keen to give something back to the community with charity work.

Raj and two other staff members recently raised £600 for Race for Life and the store raised funds to send local teenager Sara Shortland to the USA to compete at the World Equestrian Games.

Anne Heathcote and Dr Jill Scarfe

Barrow upon Trent – VOLUNTEERING

Anne and Jill make a great team. Together they have made a huge contribution towards improving life for people in their local parish of Barrow upon Trent. Their achievements include helping found the Barrow Singers – a choir with more than 50 members, securing grants for local projects, setting up a weekly youth group, and running coffee mornings and family services at St Wilfred’s Church.

Michael Ennis

Ironville – IMPROVING LIFE

Retired school teacher Michael runs an after school club at Codnor Park and Ironville Primary School where his wife, Jean, is headmistress. Mick and Jean take members of the group on trips to further education with places visited including Devon, Holland, Germany and Spain. Mick was nominated for the award by Councillor Jack Watson Brown who says Codnor Park and Ironville School has benefitted greatly from his work.