Hearts and Stars

Knowle West’s annual award ceremony celebrating local volunteers’ achievements took place at Filwood Community Centre on Friday night.

Lewis Campbell went along to speak to some of the winners.

What makes for a strong community? There are, of course, many layers that holds a community together. A key element of this is its residents’ willing to help for the greater good of everybody.

Here in Knowle West, we are fortunate enough to have several groups and individuals who are committed to giving their time and knowledge to help their fellow residents.

So, it’s fitting the work these volunteers do is recognised by way of the annual Hearts and Stars awards. An evening that has become an important staple to celebrate the achievements of our residents and their voluntary work.

Once more Filwood Community Centre opened its doors to stage the popular ceremony. Hosted by Centre Manager June McNeill – with awards presented by long-standing  Community in Partnership Knowle West (CIPKW) board member Ann Smith – the evening was well attended by different ages and enjoyed by all.

With so many groups and individuals carrying out such commendable work, there were many worthy nominees – all of which came from public nominations – up for the awards on the night.

List of winners:

  • Life Time Achievement: Carol Casey
  • Outstanding Achievement: Don Jones
  • Best Group: Knowle Boxing Club
  • Best Newcomer: Cher Williams
  • Best Older Person: Vera Nicholas
  • Young Person: Lacie Bedford
  • People’s Choice: Ann Smith


Winners of Best Group: Left to right Bobby Jones and Neil McDonnell from Knowle West Boxing Club.

Bobby Jones, who runs Knowle Boxing Club, winners of the Best Group award said: “We’ve been established here in Knowle West for 27 years – it’s the first time we’ve won an award for our work.

“We are known and respected amongst amateur boxing clubs throughout the UK. To win an award like this, stands you up proud.”

Don Jones who started the Filwood Boulevard group to spruce up the Broadway and has transformed the garden at Filwood Community Centre won an Outstanding Achievement award.

He said: ” Well, it was a bit of a surprise. To me it is just an ordinary job.”

Winner of Outstanding Achievement Don Jones with his award.

The Lifetime Achievement award went to Carol Casey – who has worked tirelessly with residents and the police to tackle issues within the area for many years.

She said:  “I was really shocked. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I was just asked to attend tonight’s event. It’s a great honour to receive this award from within my own community.”

Winner of Lifetime Achievement Carol Casey with Jamie Horsman from the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club who was one of the people in the community she helped.
Best Newcomer Cher Williams with her daughter.
Nominees for Best Older Person Anne Forbes, Barbara Whittle and Joan Morton.