Keighley volunteers take top prizes at community awards

Seventeen year-old Bethany Tomblin and Oakworth resident Janet Armstrong have been crowned joint winners of this year’s Gerry Pickersgill Awards.

Bethany and Janet were presented with their prizes at Victoria Hall in Keighley last night (29th October).

The awards are made annually by Bradford District Tenants and Residents Federation and Incommunities in memory of a popular Area Housing Manager who died in 2000.

The winning pair were chosen from five category winners by a panel of representatives from Incommunities and the District Federation.

The ‘roll call’ of winners on the night were:-

best neighbourMarcella Drennan of Braithwaite, Keighley for her tireless work in helping others in her neighbourhood. One nomination said: ‘Cilla is always there with a lending hand, a listening ear and a caring smile’.

best social event organiserJanet Armstrong of Oakworth, described as a ‘driving force and a star’ behind such community events as the Oakworth Summer Gala, local Remembrance Day event and the annual Christmas Fair.

best young volunteer Bethany Tomblin of Braithwaite, Keighley for her voluntary work at her local community centre including helping with their junior youth club and community café. She is also a member of the centre’s management committee. One nomination praised her ‘hard work behind the scenes’ and enthusiasm to make ‘the building look nice for people’.

best environmental project Wellesley House Garden Club in Laisterdyke, for overcoming the theft of outdoor furniture and displays and working hard to improve the look of the scheme with hanging baskets,  a garden bench and trellising for the benefit of the residents.

best community centre/social room The Keith Thompson Centre, which hosts a variety of groups and provides activities for people of all ages to get involved in. The centre is run by Braithwaite People’s Association and is made up of dedicated volunteers who share a passion to serve their community.

A record 111 nominations came in for the 2015 awards.

Alex Brown from the Bradford District Tenants and Residents Federation, which runs the annual awards in partnership with Incommunities, said: “Well done to Janet and Bethany on winning the top prize.

“This is the first time we have had two individuals share the top prize but the judges just couldn’t separate them. They impressed everyone with their commitment and dedication to improve the lives of others in their local areas.

“Congratulations too to all the category winners and everyone who was nominated.

Geraldine Howley, Incommunities’ Group Chief Executive, said: “This year, the Gerry Pickersgill Awards has attracted another fantastic crop of entries showing how local people and groups touch the lives of others in such positive ways.

“The standard of the nominations was again very high and it was very difficult choosing the top five category winners. I would like to congratulate Janet Armstrong and Bethany Tomblin and all our prize winners.”

Written on 30th October 2015Lillie Geistdorfer. Published in Members News, News