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Basingstoke: A Place to be Proud Of
Anne Diamond at Pride of Basingstoke

BBC Radio Berkshire's Anne Diamond presented a total of 11 awards at this year's Place To Be Proud Of Awards held at Festival Place on Sunday 23 May.

The evening was a celebration of extraordinary people from all walks of life that have made an enormous commitment to their local community.

The awards are now in their seventh year.

"This has been a tremendous evening," said Anne. "I'm a great admirer of people who get up and take action.

"Each of tonight's winners has seen a way to make their community a better place, a way to improve life for the people or environment around them, and despite all the pressures and barriers, they made things happen.

"They've changed their community and made it a place to be proud of."

The event is organised by Destination Basingstoke who also awarded grants of £200 each to five groups working towards giving something back to their community.

Arts & Culture Award: Individual

Winner: Christine Bradwell

Christine has worked tirelessly to not only develop a stronger cultural experience and draw new audiences to events in Basingstoke & Deane, but has also raised the cultural profile of the borough.

She has managed the merger of The Anvil and the Haymarket to create a new cultural destination.

Arts & Culture Award: Group

Winner: Proteus Theatre Company

The Proteus Theatre Company has fostered the arts in Basingstoke and supported the local community through various workshops.

These include 'Breakout', a workshop for adults with physical disabilities and learning disabilities and for young people who are no longer in education, often with complicated and deprived socio-economic backgrounds.

Schools and Education

Winner: Ben Kinross

Ben, a student enrichment officer at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCOT) enabled students to raise funds for a variety of charitable organisations, as well as having a real 'hands on' approach to the College's Learner Involvement Strategy.

Good Citizen

Winner: Multicultural group for women and children

This organisation helps ethnic minority women to become engaged in the community, by helping them to develop new, practical skills and share their cultural heritage with the wider community, especially with local schools.

Young achiever

Winner: Dawn McCrum

Dawn went from being a "far from ideal student" at Basingstoke College of Technology, Dawn will readily admit that she was far from an ideal student.

But, with the support of her tutor, she has since responded exceptionally well and turned her academic life around to become a model student.

Good neighbour

Winner: Mary Silver

Mary not only checks on her neighbours, she even clears snow from their footpaths in winter, despite the fact that she's in her 60s. One of her neighbours describes her simply as a 'lovely lady with a huge heart of gold'

Green Hero

Winner: Christine Aymes

Christine's activities started when she saw her local green space covered in rubbish, and decided to do something about it.

She launched a community group, getting scores of local people involved, and they now they have a website and a full calendar of activities to support their local environment.

They still keep the litter clear but have also moved on to actually developing a wildlife management programme, tree planting, stream clearing, and education and awareness programmes.

Unsung hero

Winner: Fred Berntsen

Fred has been an unsung hero for forty years, helping more than 4,000 children who have attended the local Loddon Sports Junior Football Club since 1970.

Ever since then, he has worked tirelessly to support local boys and girls to play and enjoy football.

Whatever job needed doing he does it; from fundraising and coaching to tournaments and planning applications.

Health & Care

Winners: Jan Lefley, June Balcombe and Alberto Culver

This team created an exceptional charity event that is actually the only one of its kind in the UK - the Run4Fun4Men.

Now in its ninth year, it's an event that has provided immense fun and been a real influence in bringing the community together to take action. The charity's focus is on prostrate cancer and other cancers that affect the male population.

Attracting around 1500 runners each year, not only has it raised significant funds for Cancer Research (over £300,000 so far), it has raised awareness of the threats to male health and saved many lives.

Basingstoke ambassador

Winner: Robert Tobin

Robert won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last year; the first time a local athlete has won a major championship medal.

He's also the current UK 400m champion and has great ambitions for 2012. Despite the intensity of his focus on the 2012 Olympics he continues to give his time to his local club, his sport and the town.

Judge's special award

Winner: Dave Holby

Dave is attempting to set a Guinness World Record by becoming the first person to row around the world on a land rowing machine raising money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

He will be attempting the challenge on the rowing machine based in Basingstoke Town Centre.

He has already rowed 25,317km and has 14,756 to go.

Highly Commended Certificates

This year, due to the record number of so many fantastic entries, the judging panel also decided that five nominations were deserving of a Highly Commended certificate. Barbara Applin, David 'Dai' Ogborn, Peace of Mind Trust, Sherfield-on-Loddon Lunch Club and Charlie Thorn each received a certificate on the night from Anne Diamond.

And this year's community grant award winners, presented by Liz Jackson from Great Guns Marketing who also sponsored one of the grants, were:

• Basingstoke and Deane German Festival of Sport

• Cruse Bereavement Care

• Peace of Mind Care

• Student Start-Up

• Cliddeseden Community Conservation Group

Felicity Edwards, managing director of Destination Basingstoke, said: "It's very humbling be able to honour such a great bunch of people that make such a difference in our community without asking for anything in return.

"We're also very grateful to our sponsors who help make this wonderful event possible and of course thanks goes to the people that nominate these incredible people and HCR for sponsoring the music entertainment provided by the Pan Everest Steel Band."

In Pictures: Pride of Bracknell
26 Nov 09 |  People & Places
Local heroes honoured at awards
25 Nov 09 |  People & Places

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