A great night was had by all at Hemswell Court for this year’s Gainsborough Standard Community Awards.
Now in its third year the event celebrates everyone from teachers, to athletes, to inspiring children.
The Standard’s Content Editor, Tim Paget, said: “Although these awards are relatively new, they have quickly become a celebration of the community spirit on display in Gainsborough. They have fitted in well with the Standard’s long tradition of championing all that is good about the town and the people who live here.
“There are many reasons to be proud of Gainsborough but the main one is the incredible people who call the town home.
“Children, quite rightly, hold a very special place in our hearts. Every parent wants the best possible start for their child and that’s why schools and their staff are such a key part of every local community.
“These awards not only recognise those who go that extra mile to provide the best education, they also honour the brave and the determined, the ordinary people who do the special things that prove to be such an inspiration to us all.
“I am incredibly proud to be involved with these awards as they recognise our area’s true heroes, the unsung people of courage and commitment who deserve recognition the most.
“Sifting through the nominations, it was obvious there are plenty of local success stories across our local community, and many heart warming ones.”
This year’s associate sponsors for the awards was McDonalds.
The Fundraiser of the Year award, sponsored by McDonalds, went to Matthew Lyner.
Matthew has been fundraising for his son Jack who has a condition called Hemiplegia which affects his body, learning and emotions, leading to seizures and problems with his respiratory system.
Matthew organised a Blues Night in March and was overwhelmed by the generosity of people. Matthew has also run the London Marathon raising money for the Hemiplegia charity. In just a short period of time, Matthew has raised more than £3,000.
Winners of the Special Recognition awards were Sylvie Annibal and the Scotter Ward Team.
Over the last five years Sylvie has been raising funds for Warren Wood School. The money she has raised has helped the school buy high quality bikes and scooters for the pupils, a brand new sensory room and large outdoor play equipment.
The Scotter Ward Team have set themselves a target of £60,000 to refurbish the palliative care suite. Events have included an Easter Tea Party, sponsored swim and they are holding a Grand Summer Ball later this month.
The Best Teaching Assistant of the Year award, sponsored by McDonalds, was won by Melanie Pidgeon from Hillcrest Early Years Academy.
Melanie works in a special needs class where she helps the children exceed their targets in every area and gives them the confidence to try new things.
Several class members had great things to say about Melanie. They said she’s really nice, helps people to learn, is good at talking about dinosaurs and is a little bit crazy, including singing and doing yoga.
Melanie said: “I would just like to say thank you to all the staff and children I work with.”
This year’s Outstanding Bravery award, sponsored by McDonalds, was awarded to Levi and Leanne Cross.
Levi and Leanne saved the life of a woman who suffered a cardiac arrest after taking her daughter to school.
They administered CPR and kept her heart beating until the emergency services arrived.
The woman spent eight weeks in hospital and Levi and Leanne both visited her on her road to recovery.
Now a year on, she is doing well.
On accepting their award, Levi said: “We would like to thank the person who nominated us.”
This year’s Best Teacher award, sponsored by KAL Design Group, went to Luke Lovelidge from Hillcrest Early Years Academy.
Luke’s lessons are fast paced, exciting, motivational and fun. Children become totally absorbed in his teaching and he has even had Outstanding feedback from Ofsted. The children in his class say he is the tallest teacher in the Academy and they his bad singing and silly dances.
Luke said: “This is a great honour for the Academy and for me to win this award.
“Would like to say thank you to Mrs McDonald and the children.”
The special recognition award winner was Philip Turner from Charles Baine Community Primary School.
Philip is a great role model to the pupils and has really helped the children over the years. He always has a smile and the children love him.
The award for Most Improved Student, sponsored by Gainsborough College, was presented to Chelsea Connolly from Gainsborough College.
After becoming a single mother two years ago Chelsea is building a better for her and her daughter, who is the driving force behind all her hard work.
Chelsea has been studying a Beauty Therapy Course for the past year. When she started she lacked confidence but has since become a highly motivated young woman and has a bright future ahead of her.
The Special Recognition awards in this category were given to Jami-Leigh Thompson and Oliver Stephenson.
Jami-Leigh, from Mercer’s Wood Academy, has made a huge improvement in her learning and behaviour. She is kind and polite and a role model for others at the school.
Oliver Stephenson, from Gainsborough College, is studying towards a Level 1 diploma in Carpentry. Throughout the course he has passed all of his exams and improved his skills. He’s also played a major part in enrichment activities and hopes to progress to Level 2 next year.
This year’s Sporting Achievement award, sponsored by Ping, was won by Jordan Skelly.
Jordan is an athlete who competes in competitions all over the world. This year he has represented Team GB in the European Duathalon Championships in Germany, coming home with a Gold Medal. And more recently he picked up a Bronze Medal at the Euro Triathlon in Lisbon.
Jordan said: “Thank you very much to who nominated me and for this award.”
Special Recognition awards were given to Paula Jacklin and Parish Church Primary School.
Paula is the Lincolnshire County Darts Ladies captain. Paula qualified for the World Darts trophy for the third year running and has recently won the Torremolinos Open and several county titles.
The Year 5 and 6 swimming team at Parish Church Primary School claimed the overall title at the Gainsborough and District Swimming Gala and the Year 3 and 4 swimmers qualified for the Lincolnshire county finals and secured third place at the Winger Games in Grantham.
The award for Inspiring Personality, sponsored by Ping, has been won by Alan Jarvis.
Alan has been a volunteer on the Scotter Ward at John Coupland Hospital for the last eight years. Alan will be celebrating his 80th birthday next year but is still on the ward every morning at 7.30am, seven days a week, to set up the breakfast trolley and delivering breakfast to the patients.
His dedication to the ward is admirable and he even helps over Christmas. Which led him to becoming a Twitter sensation after a photo of him was tweeted using #nhsworkingchristmas and was picked up by ITV news and more.
Alan has even created his own polo shirt to wear while working on the ward, leading to all the volunteers receiving one.
Alan said: “Thank you very much. I love all of the Scotter Ward Team.”
The Special Recognition award went to Laura McDonald from Hillcrest Early Years Academy.
Laura is an inspiration to her pupils and devoted to helping children and families. Laura never stops, she often visits families early in the morning or in the evening.
She never asks anything of anyone and is passionate about helping some of the more disadvantaged children in her class.
The winner of the Community Spirit award, sponsored by Cliff Bradley Funeral Directors, was awarded to Gainsborough Community Wheels, a voluntary car scheme which provides safe journeys to appointments, shopping or social visits for vulnerable people.
Costs for the journeys cover fuel costs only and drivers give their time and company for free. This scheme gives people a link to the outside world where they would otherwise be unable to make appointments, go shopping or meet friends.
Laura Packwood, who runs the scheme with Julie Brighton, said: “Thank you to everyone who supports us and those who nominated us. We are a team and everyone plays an important part. We are all one big unit.”
The winners of Special Recognition awards in this category were Donna Clarke and Lucy Picksley.
Donna is a director at x-church. Her commitment to the project is admirable. She is enthusiastic and has a passion for the community.
Lucy has navigated the redevelopment of the Gainsborough Uphill Community Centre. She has provided support and expertise along with her passion for the community.
This year’s Child of Courage, sponsored by Browns Department Store, is Maxen-John Turner.
Maxen-John was diagnosed with a brain injury after a traumatic birth and doctors told his mum, Kayley, that he would never walk, but after undergoing physiotherapy four times a day, and with the help of a walker, Maxen-John has taken his first steps.
Maxen-John also has severe muscle spasms and has hypersensitivity. Now aged two and a half he is much more confident and is able to walk with special pedro boots, despite a few falls here and there.
His family are so happy with how far he has come and will wait and see what the future holds.
Maxen-John’s mum, Kayley, said: “It’s all his hard work. It’s down to all the physio he has done to make him walk.”
The winner of the Special Recognition award in this category is Maddison Wileman. During a scan Maddison’s parents were told she had Potter’s Syndrome, a condition where the foetus develops without kidneys.
It is an extremely rare condition and the chances of survival once born are low.
However, at a later scan, a sonographer confirmed Maddison’s kidneys had started to develop.
Maddison was diagnosed with kidney disease after she was born and now at 16-months-old she is a happy baby and her family are proud of how far she has come.
This year’s Best Headteacher award, sponsored by Cliff Bradley Funeral Directors, was won by Julie McDonald, from Hillcrest Early Years Academy.
Julie has turned the school around from a failing school to an outstanding institution.
Julie ensures all children are given the same opportunities, despite some coming from severely disadvantaged backgrounds, and regularly participates in ‘wow’ days in academic, sport or performance subjects.
Julie is admired for her tenacity and determination to encourage the entire school community.
Julie said: “Thank you very much to all my team. To all the generous parents and staff and most importantly, our children.
“Our school is amazing. It is a little haven in our community.
“Thank you to everyone who supports us and is part of Team Hillcrest.”
The winner of the Special Recognition award is Beverly Riddle of Morton Trentside School.
Beverly runs the school with dedication, commitment and determination to provide the best education for the children at the school.
The children feel great pride in attending the school because Beverly has given them a voice in the way the school is run.
Beverly is supportive and welcoming to parents and always makes time for her students.