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Hearts and Stars returns in style

The popular Hearts and Stars volunteer award ceremony returned in style on 9 June  – with an evening of glitz and glamour at Filwood Community Centre.

All that was missing was the red carpet at the event hosted by Community in Partnership (CIP) to celebrate Volunteers’ Week  – honouring the huge contribution of unsung heroes in Knowle West.

With 11 categories of awards ranging from Best Newcomer to Volunteer Co-ordinator – there were over 80 nominations from the local neighbourhood.

CIP Development Manager Jo Southard introducing the event said Hearts and Stars was not just about people living in Knowle West – with 21 million people across the UK volunteering every week.

She said: “…A lot of clubs would not be able to run because they couldn’t afford to pay paid staff – and to be nominated by your peers is an accolade. Please feel very proud of yourself that you have been nominated for that award …”

Compered by CIP trustee Adrian Williams, with awards presented by Chair Denise Britt – the ceremony included drinks on arrival, a two-course dinner prepared by Filwood Cafe as well as entertainment provided by 18-year-old singer Daniel Quick.

Knowle West Art Promotion run by Gloria Tucker scooped the Group award out of 10 nominations.

Gloria (75) who has been running the tap and drama group at Filwood Community Centre for 12 years said she was “absolutely over the moon.”

She said: “It’s a great achievement but for me it’s all about the children… It’s getting the talent out of the children, that’s what it’s about – and there’s a lot of talent in Knowle West.”

There were nine nominees for the Young Person’s Award – which was won by twenty-one-year-old Christopher Lewis who has been volunteering since his teens. Over the years he has helped out at re:work, Springfield Allotments and Redcatch Park as well as with football teams at The Park and The Bike Project

Announcing the award Mr Williams said it was a “very important part of the night” and it was good to recognise the achievements of young people with often negative press coverage of the youth.

It had been five years since the last ceremony – but the amount of nominations and packed venue showed the importance of highlighting the work carried out behind the scenes in Knowle West.

Brian Gorham (68) won Outstanding Contribution for helping at Springfield Alloments for the past two years.

He said: “I’m very pleased and happy. I love gardening and growing things and I’ve learnt a lot there.”

The final award was a special Lifetime Achievement given to Margaret Rawlins (66) who has served the community for 30 years.

She said:  ”I was surprised and proud, it’s a recognition. I can’t walk down the street in Knowle West – because I’ve helped in the community everyone stops me..”

Full list of winners below:

Best Newcomer: Don Jones

Young Person: Christopher Lewis

Senior Citizen: Roy Winterstone from the Friendship Group

Outside the area: Lisa Hartrey

People’s Choice: Ali Dale from Youth Moves

Churches: Sue Brooks

Good Neighbour: Jim Smith

Groups: Gloria Tucker’s Knowle West Art Promotion Group

Outstanding Contribution: Brian Gorham

Volunteer Co-ordinator: Denise Britt

Lifetime Achievement: Margaret Rawlins