Thank you, Spirit Award-winners – you are all amazing!
THE Spirit of Corby shone bright again this year as winners were given their prizes.
Members of Corby Borough Council and sponsors gathered last month at a ceremony to reward our local heroes.
The Spirit of Corby Awards took place again this year in the Core at Corby Cube theatre and the room was full of local dignitaries, nominees, guests and a sea of supporters.
Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Tom Beattie, said: “What a fantastic night! Just hearing some of the selfless things that people do in Corby, the time they give up and the difference they make to others makes you so proud of our borough.
“These awards really do show that what these people are doing in our community is being noticed, residents in Corby have taken their time to nominate each and every one of the nominees and more than 1,300 people voted – that truly speaks volumes.
“We couldn’t believe how close the results were this year and so a huge congratulations to all of the nominees; they all have shown they have the Spirit of Corby and we are very proud of them.”
The winners are:
Community Spirit Award (sponsored by Northamptonshire Police): She Matters – which works tirelessly supporting local women, is staffed entirely by experienced volunteers and has approximately 2,500 visits per year. Volunteers deliver an amazing support and counselling service and provide activity groups four days a week, providing a safe, supportive environment. She Matters has referrals from GPs, ministers, mental health services and victim support, and helps women form friendships, grow self-confidence and feel part of the community.
Club Spirit Award: Sheila Lauder – in 2011, Sheila recognised that while there were a number of girls’ teams in Corby, there was no longer a dedicated girls’ club – so the Corby Gems Girls FC was born. Over the past three years, Sheila has given her life to the development of the club, growing it from a handful of 13 to 16-year-olds to girls from five up to 17 years. She has embedded an ethos of development, encouraging and paying for girls to train as coaches, referees, leaders and committee members. She now has girls who have qualified as referees, completed leadership training and have become coaches themselves.
Creative Spirit Award (sponsored by Quantum Print): Jean Devenney – Jean first volunteered at Lakelands Day Care Hospice in 2004. She had little experience of art and craft, but threw herself into the daily activities at the hospice, igniting a huge passion for craft. Jean spends hours teaching and encouraging sewing, design, jewellery-making and painting and also creates hand-made items for hospice funds.
Pride in Your Area Spirit Award (sponsored by Kier Environmental Services): Cameron Kellie – Cameron shows great interest in the Beanfield area in which he lives. He has cleaned up litter, passing on his beliefs in a cleaner community by getting his grandchildren involved, too. He has also taken his time to tidy up the nearby park, resolve issues, and improve the area.
Education Spirit Award (sponsored by Tresham College of Further and Higher Education): Leanne Buckingham – Leanne has worked as a carer for Corby’s accommodation and support team for the past nine years. Although she is only 28 and bringing up two children under five, as well as being a carer for her sister, Leanne is also a governor at Penn Green Children’s Centre, where she has helped raise funds. She has set up and helps run a support group for young mums and has also just passed her training and attestation as a Special Constable in Corby. She has been a mentor, giving support, knowledge and encouragement to all.
Jimmy Kane Young Spirit: Exeter’s Little Ambassadors – this group of children from Exeter, aged between eight and 11, have made improvements to their estate. They have raised concerns about safety at their play area, given presentations about the changes they want and have succeeded in getting an overgrown area cut back, to create a wildlife garden. They have raised funds to improve play equipment and run activities for older people in the area.
Overall Winner – Jean Devenney.
A Special Recognition Award was also awarded in memory of the late Andy Coupland – part of Corby Radio for 14 years. He championed local music and bands and was always open to helping local musicians reach their potential. Andy sadly lost his fight against cancer in August, but will be remembered as part of Corby’s musical history. Stuart, Andy’s son, accepted the special award on his father’s behalf.
Pictured above – OVERALL WINNER: Pictured with Cllr Tom Beattie is 2014 winner Jean Devenney, who also won the Creative Spirit award for her help at Lakelands Hospice. View more pictures in the online issue of Extra Local – page 10 – here.