THE PEOPLE who make the district a better place to live were honoured at this year’s Pride of Stratford District Awards.
The seventh annual Touch FM-organised awards, supported by Sitel, were announced at the Crowne Plaza hotel at a ceremony attended by 350 people.
Steve Orchard, chief executive of Touch FM, and one of the judges, said: “These prestigious awards have grown to become the “must attend” highlights of the district’s calendar. Why are they so successful? Because they provide a platform for what would otherwise remain untold stories.
“These stories are about achievement, citizenship, teamwork, excellence and community spirit.”
The winners were:
Business of the Year (with Stratford Business Forum) – Dallas Burston Polo Club
Small Business of the Year (with Wasps) – Warwick Events
Business Person of the Year (with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce) – Paul and Rhiain Foster- Salt
Hospitality Business (with Crowne Plaza) – The One Elm
Town Centre (with Stratforward) – Gemini
Team of the Year (with Touch FM) – Sitel and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall
Customer Care Award (with Shakespeare’s England) – Marcus Roofing and Welcombe Care
Artisan Award (with Table Art) – Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen
Arts Organisation of the Year (with The RS) – In2Cultures
Tourism Initiative – Stratford River Festival
Carer – ILEAP
Citizen – Matt Beacham
Long Service Volunteer (with Stratford District Council) – Mike Strophair
Educator of the Year – Escape Arts
Young Achiever of the Year – Jack Sumners and Sophie Evans-Lee
Community Impact Award (with Stratford Town Trust) – The Stratford Foodbank
Stratford District Pride Award (with Sitel) – Hedgehog Friendly Town
Four Special Awards were also presented:
* David Beacham – at the age of 83 he is working in the same town centre business, Coiffure by David, he set up 60 years ago.
David has kept going despite major setbacks, including his family home of some 50 years in Welford burning down in 2013 at the same time his wife Shirley was diagnosed with cancer.
But David has continued to serve his dedicated customers and the business continues to thrive to this day.
* Janice Heritage – has been volunteering since 1976 with the Stratford Cubs and Scouts. For over 40 years she has supported and given guidance to literally hundreds of young people. Her dedication and commitment have enabled generations of youngsters throughout the area to continue to make new friends and develop valuable life skills.
She continues to be involved in fundraising and social events.
* Jo Wheelwright Horn – after her mother passed away from a brain tumour, Jo was determined to help others by fundraising for Brain Tumour Support.
She also created a monthly Sunday Lunch support group. In less than 12 months the group has grown to over 250 members. It offers friendship and companionship to members of all ages from all walks of life, and each event also raises funds for Brain Tumour Support.
Dr Diana Owen – through her leadership, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has gone from strength to strength over the past decade.
Dr Own has transformed the trust and put Shakespeare and his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon firmly on the world stage. She has forged successful partnerships and created new opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy Shakespeare.
Photos Jamie Gray Photography