The Dudley CVS AGM and Kindness Awards 2021 took place at the Brierley Hill Civic on 21 October.
The theme of this years event was kindness and the abundance of kindness in Dudley’s communities, celebrating the achievements of individuals and groups of volunteers who have stepped up to make a difference during an overwhelmingly challenging year.
During the evening, the following individuals and groups received awards.
Dudley Kindness Awards 2021 – Highly commended and Main Award winners
Ask me if I’m really okay – Main Award:
Sgt Adam Sefton, Dudley Squadron The Royal Yeomanry
Sgt Sefton is a recruiter of the Dudley reserve unit and works tirelessly to ensure candidates feel welcomed and part of the family. “Sgt Sefton has saved the lives of many lost and wandering individuals who had no purpose or will to live, giving them not only a reason to live but also applicable skills to the civilian world that have landed them jobs as well as, most importantly, a family.”
Ask me if I’m really okay – Highly Commended:
Tracy supported her friend to seek help to leave an abusive relationship. “Tracy is special because she gives 100% support, compassion, love, kindness, to her friend in giving her the courage to find the strength to leave behind abuse and to start to build a new life.”
Being Neighbourly – Group Award – Main Award:
Friends of Abbey Street Park
“Throughout these difficult times, they have continued to litter pick, clean, plant, report fly-tipping, graffiti, gas canisters and deal with many incidents of ASB where flowerbeds and bins have been vandalised or play equipment graffitied.”
Being Neighhourly – Group Award – Highly Commended:
Friends of Chapel Street Estate
“Jamie and Angela have supported several people on the Chapel Street estate, as they were unable to go out due to shielding. They have collected shopping, prescriptions and provided friendship, and support. Even though the people are no longer shielding, Jamie and Angela continue to support local residents and have developed some really positive friendships.”
Being Neighbourly – Individual – Main Award:
“During Covid, Jenni has arranged sing outs for the street, treasure hunts and competitions for the children – when the circumstances allowed – lifting everyone’s spirits and bringing the community together.”
Kindest Kid Award:
Jesse Colin Whitehouse
“Jesse got involved and wanted to help every part of our community, the people, the plants and the wildlife. For a 3 year old my son is very empathetic and whenever we have learned something new over lockdown, he has asked to then plant flowers, or help people, or get involved.”
Stepping up in the Community Award – Individual – Highly Commended:
Neil Knott [Biscuit]
“Biscuit has been on hand every day to assist in the town as a very willing volunteer. This has included moving benches and heavy items, watering the Halesowen in Bloom plants, assisting with the Halesowen beach, and weeding the gardens and pavements.”
Stepping up in the Community Award – Individual – Main Award:
“Rosemary makes the environment more enjoyable, cleaner and safer for local residents, children, businesses and animals in the area by removing unsightly and sometimes dangerous litter.”
Stepping up in the Community Award – Group – Main Award:
Friends of Saltwells Nature Reserve
“They have applied for and won a number of grant bids including £5,000 for educational materials for the new Warden’s and Education Centre, to help schools and community groups get the most out of their experience. They also were awarded over 600 trees, which they have helped plant within the nature reserve.”
Stepping Up in Education Award:
Sophia Daly, Dudley College Students Union
“Sophia has been working exceptionally hard to help everyone throughout the pandemic, even if she was not feeling herself. She supports all students, no matter their background or circumstances. She also goes to any length to make everyone feel comfortable and confident in working in the Students Union.”
Tech for Good – Main Award:
Tough Enough To Care
“A completely volunteer-led organisation supporting the local community through mental health crisis alongside working full-time jobs and family commitments. Following the loss of 2 friends to suicide within 4 days of each other, Tough Enough To Care was set up to remove the stigma that surrounds mental ill-health in male-dominated environments such as the military and the construction industry.”
Young Believer – Highly Commended:
Amman Ahmed, Dudley College/Dudley Youth Council
“Amman made a massively positive difference to all of his fellow students and staff at the Dudley Sixth. He is an incredible role model and his dedication and kind heart has really shone through. By his actions anxiety, isolation and stress were tackled for all whether directly or indirectly involved. We are very proud of what he has achieved and feel he is an absolute worthy winner of a Kindness recognition.”
Young Believer – Highly Commended:
Lauren Nicholson, Dudley College/Dudley Young Health Champions
“Lauren wishes to spread awareness of the impact of bereavement and grief on young people and has launched a campaign ‘Ask me if I am REALLY OK’. This campaign encourages others to think about the everyday interactions that can make a difference to others if you take the time to listen and learn from others.”
Young Believer – Main Award:
Jack Stokes, Dudley Students’ Union LGBTQ+ Support, Friendship and Activist Group
“Jack is authentically him, and although shy with new people, he has pushed his comfort zone to act as an advocate for others. He’s fiercely faced the challenges set out in front of him and has represented and supported the student LGBTQ+ community without apology.”
You can watch the nomination films for Highly Commended and Main awardees on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/xO-OpxeW8Vg
Dudley CVS Spotlight Awards
During the evening Dudley CVS shared a seasonal review of the year April 2020 – March 2021 and celebrated the tenacity and kindness that colleagues showed in responding with compassion to a fast-changing situation.
The following individuals and groups received a Dudley CVS Spotlight Award:
Top Church Training (TCT)
During the pandemic, Top Church Training introduced a food delivery service to support vulnerable people and provided virtual opportunities to engage people who needed distractions from boredom in lockdown.
Kim Humphries, Darkhouse Baptist Church Foodbank
“In Coseley, we wouldn’t have been able to provide food, cooking equipment and other items people so desperately needed if it wasn’t for the dedication of Kim.”
Marlene Fortes developed a series of walks against loneliness at Wrens Nest Nature Reserve for families from migrant communities to connect with each other and with nature.
Moms Mindful Hub
Moms Mindful Hub supported moms across the borough to stay connected, healthy and active during the pandemic by moving activities online or outdoors to improve health and wellbeing.
Creative Health CIC
Matthew Pound, Broadway Halls Care Home
Matthew was passionate to make a positive difference, improving links between the care home and its neighbours. Sadly Matthew passed away in February. His wonderful contribution was recognised with a Dudley Spotlight Award.
The Christmas Lunch Project
1st Upper Gornal Scouts for their Christmas Kindness Cards
1st Upper Gornal Scouts asked people to make or buy a Christmas card and write a positive message inside. They then gave the cards to lonely and vulnerable people in the community.
Challenge Academy CIC
Challenge Academy CIC worked with people supported through Integrated Plus’s High-Intensity User project. By attending a course at their Adventure site, people supported have formed friendships, and their A&E attendances have significantly reduced.
A gallery of photos from the evening can be found here: