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Bovey Tracey Community Awards 2020

Added: 08 June 2020

"The Town Council is pleased to announce the winners and runners-up for the 2020 Bovey Tracey Community Awards. The plan had been to announce the winners at the Town Annual Meeting on 25 March, when presentations of certificates were also to have been made, but this had to be cancelled at short notice due to government restrictions concerning the Covid-19 lockdown.

There is currently much activity in the community relating to helping the vulnerable, the elderly and the lonely during the lockdown period, which ought to give rise to many nominations for the 2021 awards. It was felt therefore that the good work of those during 2019 and early 2020 should be recognised at this time as a good news story for our community during these difficult times.

The Honorary Representative of the Lord of the Manor of Bovey Tracey 2020:

This was awarded to Colin Back for his service to the residents of New Park as committee member and then Chairman of their Community Association for many years. During this time, Colin has helped residents with problems whether of a personal or official nature, while organising social events, outings, functions, and editing a monthly magazine for residents. He has helped establish New Park as a united and caring community.

Also nominated was David Heath, who has been Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator for Bovey and Heathfield for over 15 years. David has been Bovey Tracey’s Royal British Legion Standard Bearer at our Remembrance Day parades and services up until his retirement at the end of last year. David is to receive a special commendation from the Newton Abbot area RBL for his commitment to the Poppy Appeal and to our community.

Young Citizen 2020 Award:

The panel for this award found it impossible to decide on an individual winner, and four entries were agreed as a tie.

These were Evie Godwin, who is a member of Bovey Tracey Lifesaving Club, for her commitment as an ambassador for the club, and for the aid she gave to a child who fainted in the swimming pool, to the help she offered a disorientated adult in Exeter, and her assistance to a passenger who collapsed while on a holiday flight.

Candice Cousins was nominated because of her leadership at Bovey Tracey Youth Café, helping new members settle in, while assisting Café functions in any way she can. She is a shining example to all the younger members.

Eleanor O’Brian and Sian McLeod are both with the 2nd Bovey Tracey Brownies, where they have shown exemplary leadership in helping younger girls learn many skills and decision-making, joining in the many and varied activities that such Groups take on. All in all, they are valuable members who have demonstrated their own leadership capabilities, and willingness to work for the whole team.

Environmental Champion 2020 Award:

The winner of this new award was Joseph Burgess from Bovey Tracey Primary School. Joseph has been instrumental in leading an environmental group at the school, speaking on climate change, setting up recycling points in classes, and being involved in a planting scheme. He is passionate about campaigning against climate change and won a place with the Environment Agency to attend a big event in Birmingham. His passion and commitment to supporting Environmental issues  at his young age is a big example to everyone.

The runners-up are Sue Simmons, who is a leading member of the Bovey and Heathfield Climate Emergency Group, who leads on the Group’s communications workstreams on a regular basis, and Mark Bailey,  who has been involved with Bovey Climate Action over many years. Mark has helped raise funds for Devon Wildlife Trust and the World Land Trust and has been a champion for recycling long before the dangers of plastics pollution were recognised.

Good Neighbour 2020 Award:

The winner was Maggie Goodchild, chosen because of the exceptional level of help and care she has given to a number of residents in poor health or needing emergency assistance, including visiting them when sick or in hospital, accompanying to hospital when no relatives were available, arranging for workmen visits when repairs or maintenance were needed, taking them out for a break at a café or to the countryside. Maggie enabled many of these elderly and infirm  people to live happy and independently at home for as long as possible, then visiting them in hospital or at Rowcroft Hospice at the end of their lives. Maggie thoroughly deserves recognition of all she has done through winning this award.

The runners-up are led by Jon Evans, who, on 15th February, when the river Bovey broke its banks and was about to flood the properties of his neighbours across the road, produced sandbags, organised a team of people to bail water out into the nearby leat and helped move carpets and furniture upstairs for safety. Once the Fire Brigade had arrived, John arranged accommodation with his parents for two of the residents to stay overnight with them and contacted their son to tell them what had happened, a truly good neighbour!

Diane Willmore and Jill Halliwell were nominated for leading Neighbourhood Watch activities in their localities, looking out for others who may need help from time to time, and have gone out of their way to welcome newcomers into their neighbourhoods. Both have provided assistance to other residents who are disabled, unwell or lonely, and kept others up-to-date through their networking activities.

Peter Mallaband was nominated for the help he has given to his neighbours in New Park by taking some to the doctors surgery or to hospital when they have no means of transport, and advising others on the rules and regulations and other legal matters concerning living in a Park Home. He also helps some residents sort out their problems with utility services and bills, council tax and dealing with public agencies.

Volunteer or Voluntary Group 2020 Award

The winner was John Midgley, who was nominated for his work on setting up the Bovey Tracey Youth Café, raising the money to launch it, and chairing the Trustees for many years. He regularly attends the Café to talk to staff and engage with the young people, working tirelessly to raise awareness and funding for the Café, which has seen so many of Bovey’s youngsters pass through it. 

Tim Brook was nominated for his chairmanship of the Bovey Tracey Community Walled Garden in the National Trust’s Parke estate. Tim has built on the success of its founders, such that the garden has been open daily. He has encouraged volunteer families to grow their own fruit and veg, and has run events at the Methodist Hall and Green Man Festival, including Seedy Saturday selling veg seeds at 50p a packet, encouraging sustainable gardening.

Also nominated were:

Lunch Bunch Xtra, a voluntary group of around 25 people that has been providing a 2-course lunch twice a month for elderly and vulnerable people (some living on their own) at Bovey Tracey Baptist Church. Over the years the attendance has grown from about 15 to the current 60 or so. The volunteers prepare the room, and the food, serve it, clear up afterwards, and give lifts to those that need it. Children from the Primary School also come in to help serve the food, and to sing a song before they leave. The Group was set up by Steve and Jan Brown and has helped attendees to get to know others, provide companionships and form new friendships.

Bovey Valley Runners, a new group of about 170 members, which was set up as a non-profit organisation to enjoy running and form a sport and social club, meeting at various locations around Bovey Tracey. Their Wednesday Club provides running for all capabilities under appropriate supervision. Guided runs each week help runners develop fitness targets and improve their motivation in the sport. Voluntary contributions of £1 for each participant in runs is donated to a chosen local charity (which has included the Swimming Pool, Bovey Primary School and the Library).The Runners is a supportive group that fosters friendships, enabling a support network for many.

Rugby League club Devon Sharks, a relatively new sports organisation for Bovey Tracey, with both a senior Men’s team and a Ladies team. The club is developing junior players and carries out its training from spring to late summer in Bullands Field. The club has held tournaments here involving clubs from the north of England and is keen to attract players and supporters of opposing sides to Bovey Tracey during the summer, bringing economic benefit while in town.

Business of the Year 2020 Award

The winner is Bovey Tracey Kitchen Hub Café, a recently formed not-for-profit company which is seen as a good meeting place for a delicious range of freshly cooked healthy food from local produce provided at low cost. Meals can be taken away and can be delivered to the elderly in their homes. The Café provides cooking courses for young carers, while encouraging self-help and educational groups to meet there. It has created both full-time and part-time job opportunities. The Café focusses on the wellbeing of disadvantaged, disabled and lonely people by reducing social isolation, while targeting effort on reducing the Town’s carbon footprint through taking excess food from supermarkets for use in its meals. 

Runners-up were:

Whites “Quality Greengrocers”, a traditional established business having been run by the local White family for over 15 years. It was nominated because of the high level of service it offers to its customers, attracting shoppers to Bovey from the surrounding villages while meeting the needs of our own residents in the town rather than shopping elsewhere. With an amazingly wide selection of fruit, veg, herbs and spices, mostly sourced from Devon suppliers, it provides a personal service to the elderly and disabled, has regular window displays recognising seasonal events in the town, and allows for purchase of individual products in a mostly plastic-free environment. We talk of town-centre regeneration, but existing facilities should not be overlooked. Whites is a key part of our “High Street” and a real asset for the town.

And “Escape the Game”, a new business set up in Bovey Tracey offering the Escape Room experience. Participants are locked in a room with others and need to use their puzzle solving skills and endeavours to escape within one hour. Intelligence and great teamwork are required. The games are based on several themes and are aimed at ages from 8 years and all adults. The business is one that attracts groups from all over to visit and is aiming to expand with additional local employment opportunities.

A Special Mention

Stephen Ley: By popular demand from the residents of Bovey Tracey and Heathfield, the Town Council has recommended to Teignbridge District Council that Stephen, our Street Sweeper, be given a special commendation by the District Council for the high level of commitment and diligence that Stephen has shown to keeping the pavements, gutters and pathways in pristine condition each and every week. The centres of both areas of the parish always look well-kept and cared for. Stephen always works with a smile on his face, has pleasant words with anyone who greets him, shows a pride in his work, and is a credit to the District Council. This is the town’s way of saying “thank you” for a job so well done.

CELEBRATORY EVENT

While it is impossible to hold one in the near future, the council hopes it will be possible to do so later in the year. All awards winners and runners-up, plus their families and nominators, will be invited to attend this event once a date and venue are decided.

 

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