THE NOMINEES for this year’s Pride of Stratford Awards have been announced.
The annual Touch FM Pride of Stratford Awards with Simplify IT will be held on Friday February 3 at Stratford’s Crown Plaza.
The nominees are:
Business of the Year with Grenfell James Associates – Alderminster Group; Gemini; Miromedia.
Small Business of the Year with The Federation of Small Businesses – The MAD Museum; Marcus Roofing; Take Flight Aviation Ltd.
Customer Care Award with Shakespeare’s England – The Charlecote Pheasant; The One Elm; Stratford Town Hosts.
The Artisan Award with Stratford District Council – Hannah Cossentine Cake Tops; Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen; NIYM – The Nut Roastery; Sweet Boutique.
Hospitality Business of the Year with Crowne Plaza Stratford – The Charlecote Pheasant; Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel; Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens.
Town Centre Business of the Year with Stratforward – The Dirty Duck; A Fine Tattoo Establishment; Gemini; Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen.
Team of the Year – The One Elm; The Royal Shakespeare Company; Shakspeare’s New Place staff & volunteers.
Arts Organisation of the Year with The RSC – In2Cultures; The Phoenix Players; Stratford Music Theatre Company.
Business person of the Year with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce – Maria Clack, Alderminster Group; Claire Wright, Gemini; Blake Beckford and Ian Hancock, Miromedia / Bladder and Bowl Foundation; Mike Roberts, Take Flight Aviation.
Tourism Initiative of the Year – Shakespeare’s Celebrations 2016; Shakespeare’s New Place; Stratford Butterfly Farm; Stratford River Festival.
Educator of the Year with Take Flight Aviation –
* David Cobley lends a hand at Southam Tae Kwon-Do club twice a week and teaches the beginners and junior grade students.
He gives them more personalised tuition focusing on basic techniques so they have a solid grounding for their Tae Kwon-Do ‘career’.
* In2Cultures was created and run by Liz and Devinder. They provide multicultural creative arts projects for schools, colleges and the local community and work with all ages from nursery to adults.
* Stratford Music Centre has been running for 42 years.
It providies music, dance and drama lessons to people of all ages and abilities – the youngest student is three years old and the oldest in her 80s.
* Welcombe Hills School is a Special Educational Needs school which caters for children and young adults from two to 19 years old. The school prides itself on being a visual and performing arts school. They aim to work towards as many qualifications as they can and many of these include local community projects.
Young Achiever of the Year –
* Jack Sumners has had a very successful year in sport becoming the Warwickshire hurdles champion for the fourth year in a row and breaking the county record which was previously held by Andy Pozzi. The teenager trains four times a week alongside studying for his GCSEs so he can eventually go to university to study sport.
* Katie Cummings has been a member of Southam Tae Kwon-Do for 4 years and is hoping to take her black belt grading in 2017. The 14 year-old regularly competes locally and nationally and her first World title at the World Championships in July;
* Max Willson is on the Aspergers Spectrum and also has severe Dyslexia but has a passion and talent for photography and film. This year he achieved an A* in his Art and Photography A level, has passed his Civil Aviation Authority drone camera pilot’s licence, has his own website – www.maxfilms.co.uk – and has already made films for Bentley, Hertz and Visit Florida.
Citizen of the Year with Orbit –
* Chris Ricketts is a retired engineer, husband, father and grandfather. He is committed to making the area around where he lives a much nicer place to live and pass through.
He grows wild flowers in public areas for everyone passing to admire and appreciate, he mows paths in the public area for walkers and children to play, he has made a den for the children to play in. And he puts signs on his fence giving information for passers by about bees and nature.
* Jackie Grey organises the food bank in Southam, is a ‘lady lion’ and volunteers to feed the homeless in Leamington.
She always goes the extra mile if someone is in need – she found out a family didn’t have a cot so asked around until she found one and made sure a man had socks and boots because she noticed his had holes in.
* Roger Edmunds, a lifelong Stratfordian, works as a full-time heating and plumbing engineer for a local company. The 39 year-old has committed over 20 years of voluntary service to Stratford Sea Cadets where he is the Officer in Charge.
And Roger recently become a volunteer instructor for the Children’s Kayaking Charitable Trust where he helps children from ages eight to 18, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, learn kayaking, CPR and river awareness.
* Sophie Mansfield is a Sunny Side Up volunteer and arranges a number of activity groups throughout the week, gathering volunteers to help her in addition to some special events. These include the ukulele group, computer skills, writers group and new groups in the pipeline from ancestry, windowsill boxes and singing.
Carer of the Year –
* Ben Russell works for Victoria Domcare. He loves his work and strives to ensure that all of his clients are well cared for and happy. Ben always goes over and above to ensure his clients individual needs are met.
* Katie Berry works with Stratford-based Heart of England Mencap supporting adults with learning disabilities and runs events and activities for older folks. She provided end of life care to her grandfather earlier in the year as well as continuing to care for her son Luke who has additional needs.
* Victoria Domcare is a small Domiciliary Care Agency providing personal care for people in their own homes. Their managers Aneta and Peter Van Rensburg set up their care company which is designed around their clients’ care requirements.
Stratford’s Pride Award with Barclays –
* Dan and Jen McDonald and Nic Allen have helped support the Stratford Cancer and Eye Hospital Appeal.
They hosted a masquerade ball in 2015 which raised some £45,000 towards the appeal’s target of £1million. And this year they hosted from A Night at the Big Top which raised a staggering £65,000.
* Sarah Summers was instrumental in including a very special group of people in the Shakespeare 400 celebrations in April. Over 400 delegates can from Stratford’s of the world visited the town to mark the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and Sarah, who has also served as celerk at Stratford Town Council for many years, ensured they were a vital part of the event.
* Roger Edmunds was nominated in this second category of the awards again for his work with the Stratford Sea Scouts. He is a positive role model to the young people under his care, enabling them to gain confidence and to be a positive part of the Stratford community.