Proud of Bucks Awards
Our Proud of Bucks Awards celebrate all those who have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus outbreak.
After considering all the nominations we received in all categories we can announce our winners:
Ellie O’Connor and Louise Chamberlain joined forces to help people affected by the pandemic and lockdown in their local area of Chalfont St Giles and the surrounding villages. Using their skills in volunteering and fundraising the pair worked quickly to offer assistance to all those who needed it, from the elderly and isolated to families struggling to get by.
In conjunction with Chalfont St Giles Coronavirus Network, the pair helped to mobilise a team of volunteers so every street in Chalfont St Giles had a dedicated volunteer to assist residents with everything from shopping to collecting prescriptions and journeys to and from medical appointments.
The team also worked with local shops and businesses to create food boxes for families in need. The group is still working hard to support local people and flexing and adapting as needed to help in whatever way they can.
Highly Commended: Valerie Tuckwell; Wendy Dunn
Teenager Keyaan is already well known in his local community for his enterprising work helping the homeless, distributing soup and food to those on the streets. Keyaan has set up the Soup-a-CANdle initiative to raise money for the homeless and organised a coat and clothing donation programme to ensure homeless people can stay warm and well-clothed in the winter months.
Due to social distancing restrictions Keyaan was unable to continue his soup and food distribution direct to homeless people so he joined the Stokenchurch Community Support Group and threw himself into tasks including collecting for the One-Can Trust and supporting the shielding and vulnerable locally.
Amidst studying for his A-levels, Keyaan continues to expand his business to raise money to support the homeless.
Highly Commended: Henry Cleary; Esme Markland
With PPE in high demand at the start of the pandemic, Aylesbury’s 3D Print World sprang into action to assist. After being contacted by a local GP asking for their help, the company set about creating a new supply chain for printing, packing and distributing medically approved visors for health professionals and others.
The core team of three staff worked with a group of volunteers and partnered with local businesses and organisations to set up a print farm of 25+ 3D printers, working round the clock to produce the face visors.
Together the set up helped to produce more than 20,000 visors which have been distributed far and wide.
Highly commended: The Oasis Partnership, Thelma Sackman (WI)
Sue embodies the very spirit of being a good neighbour and the lockdown has only strengthened her efforts to support her local community. Sue already had a list of people she would regularly shop for but went out of her way to support as many others as she could during the lockdown. She would shop for them, take them to appointments, share produce from her own allotment and check in on the elderly and lonely.
On VE Day Sue arranged a socially distanced tea party for neighbours and is always looking out for everyone around her.
Highly Commended: Christine Koyce; Debra Farmbrough
All schools in Buckinghamshire were forced to act quickly when the first national lockdown was imposed in March and each worked hard to ensure pupils were supported during these unprecedented times. Of the nominations received for these awards, Bierton Church of England School has been chosen at the winner for their efforts, going above and beyond to support pupils and families.
The school made use of technology to support remote learning. Teachers recorded YouTube videos for the children, taking it in turns to read a bedtime story and make funny videos to cheer up the children. Headteacher Mr Gadsby also recorded assemblies for pupils to access. Staff in school supported the children of key workers and those with additional needs and every effort was made to support families, keeping them well informed at all times.
The school was the only one in the county to offer all pupils the opportunity to go back to school before the summer break.
Highly Commended: Samantha Garner
Nurse Maryam has worked on the frontline during the pandemic, caring for the sick and witnessing the devastation of the virus at close hand. Putting the care of others ahead of her own family, Maryam has selflessly given her time and medical expertise to patients across the local area.
Highly Commended: James Stockbridge; Alexandra Lowe & Victoria Robinson
The whole team at DAC Removals & Storage got stuck in to help serve the Aylesbury Vale area during the lockdown in March, working in partnership with the Aylesbury Foodbank. They helped organise food parcels and distribution to those unable to get out or get an online delivery slot.
They also hand delivered crucial items to families and the vulnerable. The whole team worked long hours in addition to their regular work, going the extra mile to serve their local community.
Highly commended: Chiltern Foodbank (Jill Pye & Kizzy Ross); One Can Trust
Staff at Bucks Fire and Rescue have supported local communities across the county and continue to do so. They have helped with deliveries to the vulnerable and shielding, delivered PPE supplies and even driven ambulances to support colleagues in the ambulance service during the weeks at the first peak of the pandemic when all the emergency services were working at full stretch.
They worked with care homes to arrange training sessions on using PPE and safe disposal, all on top of their regular day job, providing an exceptional service to the local community.
Highly commended: Shop Mobility High Wycombe; Lindengate Mental Health Charity; Bucks Mind Adult Services
When Minna Hughes’ gap year plans got postponed by COVID-19, she decided to put her time to good use by setting up a pop-up restaurant, café and bar on the towpath at Hambleden Lock to provide a new, open air dining experience for local people.
Minna’s perseverance saw her persuade the local landowner to rent the site. She then got the whole family involved including her mother, father, brother and sister to get the idea off the ground. Literally building from scratch, Minna oversaw the creation of the Lockdown Lodge, offering a mix of fine dining and street food with people queuing up to sample the menus.
The pop-up venture ran for 23 days in total but Minna’s efforts will be remembered and appreciated for a long time to come.
Highly commended: Active in the Community (James Cavalier); Agency Local (Chris Bantock)
Care workers have been at the forefront of looking after our vulnerable during the pandemic but who is looking after them? Trudi Scrivener, owner of the Ashridge Care Home wanted to make sure her staff were well looked after as they carried out their duties during lockdown.
In addition to the regular benefits Trudi gives to her staff, including a bonus scheme and dedicated support, Trudi made sure staff were able to keep in touch through technology and supported them so they were able to support their vulnerable clients.
When lockdown eased Trudi also made sure her staff were supported, even personally driving some of them to the airport to enjoy a well-earned holiday.
Highly Commended – Heart of Bucks (Henry Allmand); HAP Chartered Architects Ltd (Alan Hooper)
When forced to temporarily close due to the lockdown in March, The Mash Inn in Bennett End, put their culinary skills to other uses, supporting local residents and workers. The award-winning restaurant set about donating delicious home-cooked Meals from the Kitchen to hard-working staff at Stoke Mandeville and Wycombe hospitals.
They also worked with Stokenchurch Community Support Group to distribute meals to shielding residents. Kitchen staff worked non-stop to provide as many meals as they could to those in need and key workers including local school staff, medical staff and fire crews at Wycombe Fire Station.
Highly commended: Meals from Marlow; Watermead Inn
Local Community Impact Award winners
Nominations for this award were judged by each of our 16 local community boards. This award recognises the efforts made on a local level to support our communities.
The winners are:
When the Chiltern Foodbank closed its collection and distribution centre in Little Chalfont, two local residents stepped in to form the new Little Chalfont Community Food Bank. Working in partnership with other local groups, the organisation continued weekly drop-off points for food donations for distribution to those in need in the local area.
Highly commended: Maggie Turner; Little Chalfont Facebook Group
Dayo has concentrated his time on ensuring everyone in his local area has been able to access food supplies and other necessities. This has included individual families and organisations such as homeless projects and care homes. One of Dayo’s initiatives has been to manage the collection of unsold food from local chain stores and supermarkets, overseeing its redistribution to those in need.
Highly commended: Tamara Zimmerman; Deanne - Aylesbury Eco Store
Keen amateur baker Alison, decided to put her skills to good use during lockdown by baking cakes and treats as pick-me-ups for local residents in Flackwell Heath in need of cheering up. Alison refused to accept any payment and funded the baking completely from her own pocket. Her cakes were gratefully received by everyone. Alison was inundated with requests to make more but never complained, she just carried on baking!
Alison went out of her to do something small for her local community and her efforts have been widely praised by all.
Highly commended: Holtspur School PTA
Saera has always been at the heart of community life in the village of Stoke Poges but stepped up her efforts even further during the pandemic. Saera became the catalyst for a range of support to everyone living in the local area. She helped set up a group of volunteers to support the most vulnerable. She also helped set up the Community Store Cupboard where villagers could donate food and household items to assist others in need.
Saera also got involved in litter picking, cake baking and lots of small but touching initiatives to cheer up those who were shielding and unable to get out and about.
Highly commended: Maureen Barton; Karen Mayes
Chris set up the local Buckingham Support Group and worked selflessly to ensure everyone who needed support got it during the lockdown in March. The Facebook group quickly became a fantastic source of advice and assistance to the local community providing food and medicine deliveries to those isolating or shielding and ensuring patients could get to appointments.
Highly commended: Annmarie (Annie) Carter (Buckingham); Mikey Dyson-Smith
During lockdown Carl reached out to the whole community via Facebook, linking up isolated people and collected and delivering necessities. He set up a gardening gang, helping those in need to have their gardens tidied and maintained. Carl also helped others in dire need, who came into the community with literally nothing. He brought the community together through his Facebook radio show, broadcasting at breakfast most days.
He also shared his mix tapes to host online music parties in the evenings and even late night chat shows for those who couldn’t sleep or who were anxious and in need of a soothing and kind voice. Carl made sure the whole community and those further afield didn’t have to feel alone.
Highly commended: Chesham Help for Coronavirus; The Shop@the Lee
When the lockdown came into force in March, James Foraye created Denham Community Support in the space of just one week. The group acted as a local response to help vulnerable residents in the local area. James helped organise a mass leaflet drop and set up a telephone helpline which received over 790 calls. The support group has also set up Denham Foodbank to support local families and individuals.
Highly commended: Emma Hinton - Chalfont St Giles Information and Selling page; Stratton Bakers, Fruits and Roots, Warners Butchers and The Deli; Chiltern Foodbank
The church set up a new foodbank during the pandemic, in partnership with Thrussel Trust, providing a much-needed service to the local community.
Highly commended: Chris Swatton (Waddesdon Support Group); Jill and Bob Hughes
The Karima Foundation organised a range of initiatives during the pandemic to support the whole community. From food drops and prescription collections to befriending services and virtual Easter egg hunts for local children, the organisation has offered a lifeline to many in the High Wycombe area.
Highly commended: Steve Philp; Rachel Stevens
As soon as the pandemic and lockdown began in March, Lindsey set up a dedicated Facebook group to support the local community. She recruited 150 volunteers to cover every road in the area. The volunteers carried out tasks from shopping and prescription collections to dog walking and checking in on residents who were elderly or shielding. Lindsey’s efforts have seen the support available expand to cover the whole area.
Anyone who needs assistance just has to ask and help will be on its way.
Highly commended: Karen Nunnington; Jane Fallon & Jo Henderson (Holmer Green Village Aid)
Set up by Princes Risborough Town Council, the Risborough Basket provides an online platform for residents to contact local shops, buy goods and have them delivered the same day. Over 30 local shops signed up to be involved and a team of 55 volunteers helped to deliver the orders.
The initiative has helped local people who were shielding or vulnerable and has also given many local shops and businesses a much needed boost in what has otherwise been a very difficult year.
Highly commended: Ava White; Stokenchurch Community Support
Professional chefs and a team of hard working volunteers came together to donate their skills and time, producing up to 750 meals a day during the first wave of the pandemic. The meals were delivered to frontline workers and staff at Wycombe, Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park hospitals and the Link Foundation.
Highly commended: Liz Ferris; Shelley Robson
Four local residents set up the Stoke Mandeville Community Support group after recognising a need in the local community. They designed and distributed a leaflet to local residents, set up a bank of volunteers and set up a dedicated phone line and email address for people who needed support to contact.
In total 92 volunteers signed up to help and more than 175 requests for support were dealt with including food deliveries, befriending calls and gardening services.
Highly commended: Wendover Good Neighbour Scheme
A team of volunteers, supported by the Ivers Parish Council set about delivering parcels containing non-perishable food stuffs and cleaning items to vulnerable residents and families on a weekly basis from the beginning of lockdown. The volunteers collected donations, packed parcels and delivered them to more than 80 houses every week for a five month period.
Recipients were very grateful for both the items in the parcels but also the opportunity to have a quick chat and smile when their deliveries were made.
Highly commended: Cllr Ann Mayling; Residents of Martindale, Iver
The Chederoos village volunteers formed in response to the Covid-19 crisis to support the local community in Cheddington. The group collected and delivered prescriptions and medication, delivered shopping to those who were shielding and offered whatever support was needed to local residents.
Highly commended: Tais Bonafe (Wingrave Together); Watermead Volunteer Army
Margo was nominated as deserving recognition for her continuing visionary, compassionate and robust leadership of Young Carers. During lockdown she organised a range of vital support to a range of vulnerable young people and their families.
Highly commended: Bob Pomoroy; YC2 Buckingham and Winslow, Young Carers (Ricardo, Daisy, Emily, Freya, Amy & Millie)
Visit our YouTube channel to view videos of the winners receiving their awards.