Here are your Community Stars winners

Our annual Community Stars Awards are a little different this year. Whilst the current situation prevents us all getting together to celebrate the work of our 110 nominees, we will still be thanking the customers, groups and partners that have been supporting neighbourhoods in these difficult times.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate. Well done to the 110 nominees who were put forward and this year’s winners. Congratulations goes to:

Community Champion Award - Connie Nixon from Stoke

Despite facing her own challenges, Connie fundraises to offer activities and trips for local families who might not be able to afford them. Her dedication even went as far as shaving her head for a local charity. Her nominators have described her as ‘outstanding’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘amazing’ for her work in the community.

Independence and Wellbeing Service Award - Housing First Delivery Team

This team has been working hard across Greater Manchester supporting people who have been previously ‘street homeless’. Their energy and enthusiasm whilst pounding the streets in the early hours has seen customers who were sleeping rough flourish in their own homes.

Great Places colleague - Amjad Khan in Oldham

Amjad was nominated by his customers for the polite and helpful way he supports others. His pride in his work was reflected by customers in the way it makes them feel proud about their area.

Community Project - The Wellspring in Stockport

This year’s Community Project winner has been supporting Stockport’s most vulnerable residents for over 25 years. Despite the current challenges, they have continued to offer food parcels and phone support to people alongside their outreach work providing hot meals and clothing to those who are homeless.

Highly commended in this category was Stuart Hutton-Brown, a recent Housing Heroes Award winner, who has been supporting residents in Blackpool with a ‘Counselling in the Community’ service.

Senior Award (Over 70) - Kath Samuels from Poulton-le-Fylde

This resident hasn’t let the fact she is about to celebrate her 90th birthday slow her down. Described by her nominators as ‘a constant part of the community’, Kath helps others with their shopping and cooking, as well as supporting those who are ill. She even fits in time to bake for coffee mornings and is a member of Great Places’ Senior Tenants Voice group.

Highly Commended in this Category was Reg Webster of Manchester who is a treasurer and events organiser. Reg was nominated by 10 of his neighbours who wanted to recognise his dedication.

Green Champion - Tulloch Gardening Group from Blackpool

This newly set-up group has helped transform a communal area and one nominator highlighted the positive impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of those who use it.

Promoting Independence - Sebastian Szmidt from Accrington

Sebastian has overcome personal struggles in his life and is now making a positive difference in his community. Working with Great Places colleagues after engaging with More Positive Together, he has gained a Level 3 Certificate in Adult and Children’s Mental Health and uses these skills to mentor others.

Young Award (Under 25) - Rizwan Ul Haq from Manchester

This young man volunteers his spare time to coach sporting sessions at local schools and supports Greater Manchester Police’s Half-Term Football Scheme. He was nominated for supporting people to improve their skills whilst making sessions fun and helping people of all abilities feel included.

Community Residents Group - Romney Voices in Blackburn

Second time winners, this group were not just content to carry on with their well regarded community events, but have been supporting their community further. During this difficult time, they have been working hard to help those who have been struggling financially by working with local charities to offer a ‘fair share’ food box scheme and providing cleaning products at a fraction of the cost to local families.

Highly commended in this category was the Bowland House Breakfast Club from Blackburn, who have used funds from the club to support activities for their residents’ group.

Independence and Wellbeing Resident - Graham Lawson from Trafford

With no fewer than five nominations from neighbours and colleagues, this winner is described as ‘giving 100%’ to every challenge he faces. Alongside supporting neighbours with practical and emotional support, he runs ‘Beefy’s Cafe’ which provides low cost breakfasts to his community.

Good Neighbour Award - Pete Rosser from Manchester

Despite his own challenges, Pete has been nominated for the support he offers his neighbours with house-sitting and shopping for those who can’t get out. He is regularly seen litter picking on the streets and keeps an eye on neighbours’ homes when they are on holiday. A true good neighbour in every sense.

Highly Commended in this category was Philip Wilkinson of Oldham who supported neighbours through flooding in recent years.