Mayor awards community champions
Basingstoke and Deane’s outgoing Mayor Cllr Paul Miller has honoured community champions, a local business and young people to thank them for their outstanding service to the borough.
The outgoing Mayor traditionally gives awards to individuals and a business at the annual Mayor Making ceremony that took place last night (Thursday 11 May). The awards mark the contribution they have made – and continue to make – to community life in the borough.
Cllr Miller said: “Community-minded people and businesses like these make Basingstoke and Deane a better place and I am really pleased to be able to honour their commitment to our borough and the people in our communities, by presenting them with these Mayor’s awards.
“It is only right that they are thanked for the work they do in our communities and I am delighted to do that on behalf of the people of the borough.”
The Mayor chose to honour Michaela Riley for her work with Spotlight Tadley, which provides emotional and practical support as well as free youth activities to children and families; David Chatten-Smith for his work with Basingstoke Community Radio and Nick Lewis for his fundraising as coordinator of the Aldworth School Charity Club.
Cllr Miller said: “Michaela Riley started Spotlight UK 14 years ago, working across Hampshire and Berkshire. It is now expanding across the south of England with its ‘Show A Little Love Campaign’, which supplies free pick-me-up packs to children who have experienced trauma, children in care, young carers, children affected by domestic abuse, children who have a long term or terminal illness or who have mental health issues. Spotlight UK is well known in Basingstoke, and Michaela’s unbound energy ensures its continued success.
“David Chatten-Smith lost his sight in 2005 after contracting Meningitis. He created Helping Hands Charity for the Blind in 2012 and Basingstoke Community Radio in 2019. It has around 30 volunteers and a fully equipped professional studio that broadcasts all day every day. David is also the Chairman of Basingstoke Community Transport that provides transport to the mobility impaired in the local community and affiliated members. He deserves a great deal of gratitude from us all, for his courage and determination and for what he has given to the people of Basingstoke.
“Nick Lewis coordinates the Aldworth School Charity Club. Since it was formed in 2017 the club has raised £20,000 for many local charities and good causes. The club has also been a keen supporter of the local foodbank, coordinating many donation days ensuring that thousands of items have been contributed to help keep stock levels up. Over the years the students in Charity Club have carried out a wide range of activities including marathons, bike rides, bake sales, non-uniform days, 'soak the teacher’ events and hair shaving activities. Nick and his colleagues should be congratulated for their fundraising efforts which have made a real difference to local people.”
The business award was presented to Lavazza Professional Limited, for their support and sponsorship of several charity events raising funds for local charities and awareness of support for vulnerable families and children.
Cllr Miller said: “Lavazza Professional has 45 years of expertise in vending and 120 years of passion for coffee. Their UK home is in Armstrong Road, Basingstoke where they employ over 200 staff.”
Mayor also surprised Scarlet Cripps aged nine, a local girl who has been supporting the Mayor’s events despite suffering a severe debilitating condition for several years, by presenting her with a Special Recognition Award.
The Mayor also recognised Janet Walker from Home Instead, Dr Gill Barrett of Loddon School and Linda Mead from Tadley Age Concern for their services to the community. He also honoured 12 young people from around the borough who were nominated by schools, organisations and community groups for their services to the community at a separate ceremony in the Mayors’ Parlour the previous evening.