Whitworth Business & Community Awards
Date published: 15 November 2023
Photo: Mike Burgess
Poppy & Me Project
Awards have been presented to businesses and community groups who have shown that they care for the people of Whitworth and the community.
The Whitworth Business & Community Awards were held at The Ashcroft on Saturday 28 October with entertainment from MC Chris Britten and local vocalist Victoria Sladen.
10 awards were presented on the night, across eight categories and two Mayor’s Special Awards.
The Small Business Award was presented to Small World Nursery; the Solo Trader Award to Seasons Florist; the Single Shop Award to Healey Deli; and the Large Business Award to Finlay Jude.
Additional awards for school project, group activities, voluntary organisations and ‘business serving Whitworth from close by’ were respectively presented to Tonacliffe Forest School, Samba Dance & Fitness, The Lighthouse Foodshare and Healey Dell Tea Rooms.
Two Mayor’s Special Awards were presented to Stronger Together and the Poppy & Me Project.
Stronger Together is a support group for unpaid carers, started by Angela Forster and Kathleen Proctor, who are both unpaid carers. They started the group earlier this year, which meets at Sunnybank Community Hub each Monday, due to a lack of groups in the area offering support for carers.
Stronger Together provides fun activities at its coffee morning every week including bingo, drawing and knitting. They also arranged a celebration event for the King’s Coronation in May and held a fundraising raffle to further the work of the group.
The Poppy & Me Project was started in October 2023 by a Whitworth veteran, who wishes for her name to remain anonymous.
She was once a lifeguard at the pool whilst under CLAW’s management and spent 12 years in the Royal Military Police, which saw her serve two tours in Afghanistan.
Now an active reservist, she had the idea to enhance the memorial gardens with a display of metal poppies.
With the help of Councillor David Chorlton, BCH was approached to manufacture 454 metal poppies – one for each British military personnel who died during the Afghanistan conflict – for attachment to the railings of the memorial gardens.
Mayor Councillor Mike Royds said: “After looking through all the nominations, we felt there were two that brought a tear to our eye because they meant so much to us personally. So, we decided that we would award two Mayor’s Special Awards on top of the eight categories.”
Presenting the award to Stronger Together, he said: “Dealing with things like Alzheimer’s and dementia can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.
“This Mayor’s special award goes to two ladies who set up a group to meet with those that are unpaid carers of which there are many in the community.
“They are truly inspirational to the community and offer support, guidance and advice for many that are unsure of where to seek advice and where or who to turn to.
“The Mayor’s Special Award goes to Stronger Together.”
Addressing the Poppy & Me Project, Mayor Royds said: “This second Mayor’s special award goes to a young woman who was born and raised in Whitworth, attended local schools and helped in the community from a young age.
“BCH, on hearing her idea and the reasons behind it, wholeheartedly got behind the project and is producing the poppies at no cost, so I think a big round of applause to BCH.
“You can sponsor a poppy in remembrance of your loved ones for any reason, doesn’t have to be military related, just a nice way to remember them with a permanent fixture in the memorial gardens, The proceeds from sponsorship will go to The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
“The Mayor’s Special Award goes to The Poppy & Me Project.”
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