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Chippenham community help results in awards
Some of the most dedicated volunteers and organisations in Chippenham were honoured at last week’s area board with community awards.
With three categories – teams, individuals and youth – there was space for the town’s hardest-working volunteers to shine, and much competition for the top spot.
The first to be awarded was the St Nicholas Appeal for a Pool, coordinated by the Rotary club in Chippenham, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a hydrotherapy pool for the special school.
Highly commended was the memory cafe held at Sheldon Road Methodist Church in Audley Road, which helps people with Alzheimer’s and their relatives.
Councillor Mark Packard, who hosted the ceremony, was full of praise for both worthwhile organisations.
“The SNAP appeal eventually fundraised enough for a pool, which was put in for £750,000 – for a town this size to raise that kind of money is incredible,” he said.
Helpers nominated for the individual prize included Mike Oakes, a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society, and John Hargreaves, an artist who teaches disabled people, but in the end Barbara Stark took home the award.
She is a key fundraiser for the Dorothy House Hospice and a stalwart of the Clogs musical theatre group.
Coun Packard said: “Barbara has shown sterling support for the Dorothy House Hospice over many years and is always willing to help. She is also very involved in Clogs musical theatre. She is a person that puts people together and gets big block bookings for all of the shows. Barbara is someone who you can always call on for help.”
Runner up was Paola Meekins. Coun Packard said: “Paola has 50 years of experience teaching handicapped people, and helps with the pool at St Nicholas.
“She travels from Great Somerford to help children and has now added to her responsibilities to help people who are stroke survivors to use the swimming pool.”
Lucy Ibbetson won a youth award for her work with Clogs. Coun Packard called the young actress a ‘rising star’.
Youth team Creative Juices were awarded for hosting dance workshops last year, as well as juggling and circus skills masterclasses.