FRIDAY Night (February 1) saw the Finalists of the Spirit of Tamworth Community Awards and their guests gather at Drayton Manor Park’s Tower Suite for the annual awards ceremony, which is now in its third year.
The room was packed for the event which is organised by Tamworth Round Table and Tamworth Ladies Circle to celebrate the unsung heroes that we have right here, in Tamworth. In addition to the awards there were some really inspirational speeches from the likes of Georgie Moseley, the mother of Harry Moseley who sadly lost his life to cancer but before doing so raised over £750,000 for charity and from the brave Tamworth girl, Poppy Guilder.
The amazing thing about this event that sets it aside from all other events that I know of is that thanks to the kindness of the sponsors, the event is completely free of charge for everyone that attends – meaning that anyone lucky enough to make the finalist list doesn’t have to buy a ticket to attend.
A special mention should be made to Sean and Josephine from Flamingo Entertainments in Tamworth who did a fantastic job providing a lot of the equipment for the evening and ensuring the night ran smoothly.
You can see a timeline of the event here, which we were updating live on the night and below you can see a video of the presentation for each award, along with the write up from their nomination form so you can see exactly why they were put forward. You can also see a selection of images from the evening.
It is important to remember when looking at the winners below, that there were no losers at all. We know this is an old cliché, but it is so true – every single person in the room, and in fact, everyone nominated was truly amazing.
Carer of the Year
Sponsored by Roasters
Winner: Dylan and Tre Buchanan.
Finalists: Ann Brown, Carol Griffiths.
Winners’ Nomination: “Both my sons nurture, care and help look after foster children within our household. Sacrificing holidays, sharing their entire lives with children and young people. They are also supporting other “birth children” who share their homes with foster children. Sharing and supporting, arranging activities to help build a strong network to prevent placements from breaking down. Giving other young people an outlet to let off steam or just share stories and advice when things become difficult at home. On top of this, they help care for me sometimes, I have Crohn’s disease and other associated conditions. These boys both give their heart and soul to others, naturally and without a second thought. They are both thriving at school and despite trey also having Crohn’s disease, he has also joined RAF cadets and was helping bag packing the busiest Saturday just before Christmas. All this at the ages of 15 and 13 years old. I can tell them every day how proud I am of them and how amazing they are, but it always sounds better when others acknowledge it too.”
Sports Team / Person of the Year
Sponsored by Tamworth Football Club
Winner: Elizabeth Edden
Finalists: Monty Orton, TRUFC Girls, Tamworth Boxing Girls – Georgia Keast, Georgie Belt, Patrycja Gnatowska
Winners’ Nomination: “Lizzie has lived with a serious medical condition since the age of 11 but has never let it stop her. She was one of the best gymnasts at Tamworth Olympic Gymnastics but after contracting meningitis due to her compromised immune system she changed her sport to Pole Vaulting. Since 2012 she has risen through the rankings from 264th right up to 7th this year. She was 4th at the indoor British Championships and last year she was 3rd at the English Championships and inter-county championships. Alongside this, she has helped set up the Midlands Vaulting Academy which focuses on training children from less fortunate backgrounds to pole vault. This year the group sent 3 people to English Schools, 4 to the Mason Trophy and saw every member medal at their county championships. All of these members are either in care, from single-parent families, have medical conditions or from low-income families.”
Dance / Drama Group of the Year
Sponsored by Oscar Petfoods Tamworth and Lichfield
Finalists: Just Perform, Stage It, Aimee Louise School of Dance
Winners’ Nomination: “TACT ( total art community theatre) have been active in Tamworth for over 20 years and are one of the most successful drama groups in the country. They are multiple winners of the All England one-act play competition and have represented England successfully in the ‘All U.K’ finals. They run an award-winning youth theatre group IMPACT as well as long term associations with Two Rivers School drama. Amazing success combined with community activity and deserving of recognition.”
Volunteer of the Year
Sponsored by Oceans of Tamworth
Winner: Sheila and Sid Scott
Finalists: Susan Hollis, Simon Gilliver, Darren Bates
Winners’ Nomination: “Sheila and Sid are just amazing unsung heroes. Both have been involved in Tamworth community football for years and years and have been fundamental in keeping the Fazeley Charity Cup alive, raising funds which are then dished out to local community groups. Both are also involved in voluntary service of organising and transporting patients to local and outlying hospitals. Sid is also (secretly) well known for making appearances as Santa each year – and this year even more poignant as he deals with his own recovery following major heart surgery and follows up issues. They always both have smiles on their faces and have dedicated so many hours to Tamworth folk, it is long overdue that they are recognised for what they do.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
Sponsored by Clean Cut Catering
Winner: Christine Harris
Finalists: Keith Dawson, Dave Benton
Winners’ Nomination: “She has been a leader in the Girls’ Brigade for 50 years (July 1968), most of this time, based in Polesworth, Tamworth. Christine has organised a variety of opportunities for the local girls in her care (national parades, volunteering at Buckingham Palace, performing at the Albert Hall, BYBA national finals at Wembley Arena and National Indoor Arena, trips to Kosovo and Ghana as well as the several Queens awards achieved). She started the Polesworth Pioneers Band in 1979 and ran it for many years, at the height of the band they had 44 local girls and won the All England Girls Band Championships at Warwick Castle. She is an inspiration to the wider community as well as the people of Polesworth. Christine had been a Regional chairman for Girls’ Brigade for many years. It is an amazing achievement to have volunteered for such a long period of time.”
Coach / Instructor of the Year
Sponsored by Aston Unity Cricket Club
Winner: Michelle Darlaston
Finalists: John Gravenall, Josh Allsop
Winners’ Nomination: “Michelle has no idea what a great coach she is! Yes, she coaches us in our running but she encourages us to be confident in ourselves and push our own boundaries. I suffer from anxiety and have a brain tumour but through the coaching, Michelle has given me, not only can I now run 5km I feel so much better about myself and after each session, I truly believe I can take on the world and win my own battles. Michelle is non-judgmental, supportive, caring and funny! What a truly fantastic coach and inspiration”
Sponsored by Tamworth Informed
Winner: TAME Community First Responders
Finalists: Kelly Davis, David Chiles
Winners’ Nomination: “Tame community first responders are a volunteer from Tamworth they are a volunteer group that works alongside West Midlands ambulance service they all go to 999 calls. They do a lot of charity work as they are a self-funded group and help West Midlands Ambulance Service if they busy they go to all 999 call. Tame CFR’s all volunteer their time to work on the front line ambulance service, for free, helping the community unquestionably. Saving lives on a daily basis!”
Community Group of the Year
Sponsored by RST Midlands
Winner: Lions Lunch Club
Finalists: Simons Heroes, Tamworth Civic Society, Together 4 Tamworth
Winners’ Nomination: “Lions Lunch Club was set up in January last year and is basically a lunch club for lonely elderly people most don’t see or speak to anyone for days on end. Volunteers phone them the day before to check if they are coming and well and offer a lift then collect them all. (It was every Tuesday for about 6months ) but now every other Tuesday taking them to the Red Lion pub in Hopwas where they get a highly discounted meal and quizzes/ entertainment then they are taken home. Corrine has put an enormous amount of time effort and money into this. The people who go are very grateful, look forward to it and love it. As a result, many lonely elderly ladies and gents have something to look forward to and many new friendships formed.“
Sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre
Winner: Santa’s Little Helpers
Finalists: Drew Loveday, Sue Mccarthy, Green Turtles
Winners’ Nomination: “A group of community people brought together by Rob Bowker to bring something a little special to 4 families that are having a difficult time including terminal illnesses. They raised over £5000 in a short period of time and presents were bought for the families including parents and siblings. This was all delivered on Xmas Day by Santa himself and his naughty little elf. With a visit to Birmingham children’s hospital as well.”
“This man is a credit to Tamworth and the community. He fundraises endlessly, without thought for himself, just cares unconditionally for poorly children or those who haven’t got much. He fund raises voluntary and is always smiling or crying because he is so touched, either by the donations or by the children he does it for. He brings so much happiness into peoples lives”
Sponsored by Tamworth Round Table
Winner: Poppy Guilder
This award was a little different from the other awards, in that it was not open for public nomination. The video below speaks for itself as to why Poppy received this award. Poppy was invited along as a guest speaker and had no idea that she would be receiving an award just after her speech.
Spirit of Youth Award
Sponsored by Namco Funscape
Winner: Ben, Kaytee & Joshua
Finalists: Damian Bates, Megan Mcnab, Will Hopkins
Winners’ Nomination: “Ben, Josh and Kaytee have had a very difficult childhood coping with their Dad having a brain tumour. Sadly Simon passed away in July. Ben has autism, ADHD and dyspraxia so Josh spends a lot of time looking after his siblings. Obviously all 3 children have struggled terribly with losing their Dad however they have not let it hold them back and still continue to do things to help others. Amongst other things they have helped the Round Table, Ben has committed to around 13 nights out with Santa Sleigh, Josh around 16, Kaytee has also joined in whenever possible. I am not nominating the children because they have had a terrible year but because of how they have dealt with things and continue to put other people’s needs first. They always want to help people wherever possible and that comes from their incredible parents Simon and Nicky.”
Teacher of The Year Award
Sponsored by Top of the Class Tutoring
Winner: Allison Crook
Finalists: Louise Meakin; Eve Bryan, Kerry Davies and Nikki James
Winners’ Nomination: “Our son (aged 4) was scheduled to have heart surgery after his very first two days in primary school this year. Thomas’s teacher, Miss Crook of Millfield Primary in Fazeley, will never realise how much she helped both our son and us his parents, through this very difficult time. Not only did she make regular phone calls and emails to check on him, but she also visited Thomas at home in her own time to bring him gifts and a huge card from all of the children in his year. Since Thomas’s recovery from major open heart surgery at such a young age, Miss Crook has gone out of her way to ensure that his return to reception class at primary school has been controlled, supported and reassuring one. Miss Crook is an absolute asset to the school, going above and beyond her role in many ways and helping children on their journey in life.”
Child of the Year Award
Sponsored by Bibbledy Bob
Winner: Amelia Eldred and Lacy-Mae Hale (The competition was just too tough for this category and so there were two winners.)
Finalists: Round Table Children
Amelia Eldred – “Amelia (age 8) has undergone chemo for cancer in her leg. It didn’t work. She was faced with amputation. She chose rotationplasty attaching her lower leg to her thigh after rotating it, so her heel is her knee. She now has a prosthetic limb and is going to get a blade through funds raised by the village of Kingsbury. Through out all this she kept coming to school, always with a smile. This brave little girl is an absolute inspiration to us all . Whenever you face a problem you can’t help but see her smiling face and positive attitude as your model of how to face life. Amelia is an ambassador for how to live a positive life.”
Lacey-Mae Hale – “Lacey-Mae is an 8-year-old girl who has, unfortunately, had to battle a brain tumour over the last 3 years. Lacey is an amazing little girl it’s an easy thing to say about anyone but this girl is another kind. For everything she’s been through its never broke her spirit or smile. She always put everyone else first and cares about how they feel, she really does have a heart of gold. You only come across heartwarming people a few times in life but Lacey is really one of them. I work in Laceys school & I’m privileged to have gotten to know this amazing fighter, she has wowed me daily with her upbeat attitude & she always has a beautiful smile on her face despite going through the fight of her life. Lacey you are an inspiration xx”
Business in the Community Award
Sponsored by Expand Digital
Winner: Oceans of Tamworth
Finalists: Tamworth Co-op, SL Flooring, Fallen From Grace
Winners’ Nomination: “The owner of Oceans, Shaun, has implemented change in the area of Belgrave. He has changed the shop area to a welcoming place. He offeres free food to emergency services and unsung heroes like carers.”
“The person who I have nominated is a very kind-hearted gentleman, he takes the time to look after everyone, not only does he own a shop he does a lot for the community , he puts on fireworks display, he helps the homeless, he looks after the community he gives out free slushes to the children to encourage to the clean community , his heart is for al he always has a smile & always there with a kind word , he is a man who deserves to be noted for all his does.”
Shining Star Award
Sponsored by Tamworth Ladies Circle
Winner: Millie Bowker
This award is chosen by Tamworth Ladies Circle from all of the nominations, for each category, as someone who stands out for helping the community.
The Spirit of Tamworth Award
Winner: Amelia Eldred
This award is chosen by everyone in the room on the night, from all the finalists. Each person could cast their vote on who they felt deserved to be the overall winner, from all of teh categories.