Community heroes are honoured
Coastline Housing hosts Customer at the Heart Awards
People who have made a difference in their community over the past year have been honoured with an award from Coastline Housing.
The local housing charity thanked a number of true community heroes, who were all nominated for going above and beyond to help others since the pandemic began.
Ten local people received a ‘Customer at the Heart’ award for a number of wide ranging achievements and acts of kindness. In many cases, they were nominated by neighbours who said they had made a genuine difference to lives and communities.
One of those honoured with a Community Spirit award included Don Gardner from the CPR Foodbank. Don accepted the award on behalf of himself and his wife Jen, who passed away last year, and on behalf of the team of people he works with.
Don started the foodbank with his wife in 2008 and was behind 26,000 meals handed out in the first lockdown with around 500 local families supported.
Don said: “Working together, serving our area is a fantastic privilege. To receive an award, is not just for me, but all the volunteers that have dedicated their time and energy in the work we seek to achieve. Covid set many challenges for all of us and our cooperation has shown that we can make a difference in many lives. I would like also to include my late wife who worked tirelessly right to the end of her life alongside me, in serving the area and people we love.”
David Williams, from the Mustard Seed charity that offers food bank support in the Helston and The Lizard area was also given a Community Spirit Award.
The Young Hero Award was handed to Kira Mills, aged 17 of Redruth, who was nominated by a neighbour for helping her during the lockdowns with shopping and other chores. Kira is studying public services at college and wants to join one of the uniformed public services as she is passionate about having a career that helps others.
John Jasper from Redruth won the Community Hero Award for the great kindness and support he shows his neighbours. John cooked Christmas dinner for several neighbours and also looked out for a neighbour who was terminally ill. He was described by his neighbours as a ‘cheery soul’ who is always happy to help.
Meanwhile, Joe De-Ville of Trewoon was awarded Newly Involved Customer for helping to shape Coastline’s services and Wendy James of Camborne was given the Digital Achiever Award from going to being a self-confessed technophobe to embracing virtual coffee mornings to keep people connected throughout lockdown, even encouraging others to take part.
Wendy explained: “Embracing technology has enabled me. Without it, lockdown would have been very lonely. As a real technophobe I didn't want to do it, but a lot of trial and error led me to gain confidence and feel useful again, gaining new friends via Zoom often with hilarious results! Never forget you are in charge of your computer not the other way round. Do it and gain new skills.”
Suzy Currell of Constantine was the Green Project winner for taking a patch of grass and transforming it into a mini orchard to encourage people to use this piece of the environment recreationally and to plant more trees to help combat climate change.
Last but definitely not least, one of Coastline’s Homeless clients was awarded Volunteer of the Year award. Steve has been a huge help with running the Homeless Service library. He has also helped with the organisation of Christmas donations throughout December, enabling the team to provide food hampers and shoeboxes to all clients of the crisis and supported accommodation. As well as volunteering at the Homeless Service, he also donates his time to the Camborne, Pool and Redruth food bank, helping to provide an essential service to the local community.
A second client, Brian was also given a Long Service Award for spending ten years creating a fantastic vegetable garden project at our Homeless Service, the produce of which the clients enjoy all year round.
Mark Duddridge, Chairman of Coastline Housing, had the honour of presenting the awards to the recipients. He said: “It was a great pleasure to meet the winners of this year’s CATH awards and hear about the fantastic contribution they have made to our communities. Covid precautions meant that numbers attending the event were greatly reduced but that did not distract from the event. Next year we hope to be able to share these stories with more people. Stories that demonstrate how Coastline is making a real difference to creating homes and communities for more people around Cornwall.”