It was a night of tears, laughter and joy yesterday (Monday November 16) as inspiring groups and individuals were celebrated at the County Times Community Awards 2015.
All nominated by the newspaper’s readers, unsuspecting individuals were overwhelmed as they each went to the stage of the Capitol Theatre to receive their awards.
Now in its seventh year, it is a chance for people to be recognised for what many of them see as just being themselves.
Some of the youngest awarded were the Ariel Othellos buddies, who took the Best Volunteer Group accolade.
They all help young people with learning disabilities enjoy music, dance and drama with Ariel Company Theatre.
The Othellos themselves received a standing ovation on performing during the interval.
It was also a big night for St Catherine’s Hospice, in what is an already exciting year for the Crawley-based charity.
They were named Charity of the Year and one of their drivers, Joe Brocking, who has clocked up 7,000 miles driving patients to and from the hospice became Volunteer of the Year for 2015.
An exceptional example of bravery was shown in Best Fundraiser Cpt David Owen of Steyning.
The 85-year-old has raised over £150k for Help For Heroes and he was publicly thanked on stage by James Burns from the charity.
Thursday’s West Sussex County Times will contain photos from the night and full details about the night’s winners in a special eight-page pull-out.
Full list of winners:
Winner: Paul Sweeney
Sponsor: Presented Wakefield Jewellers
Friend of the Environment
Winner: David Spreadbury-Troy, Ingfield Manor School
Sponsor: Etc magazine
Best Community Organisation
Winner: Phoenix Stroke Club
Health Worker Award
Winner: Leigh Robins, Horsham Hospital midwife
Sponsor: Contemporary Garden Rooms
Winner: Cpt David Owen from Steyning
Sponsor: Amberley Museum
Charity of the Year
Winner: St Catherine’s Hospice
Sponsor: The Capitol, Horsham
Good Sport Award
Winner: Paul Showell, teacher at Southwater Junior Academy
Sponsor: Places for People
Care for Animals Awards
Winner: Holbrook Animal Rescue
Sponsor: More Than
Winner: David and Hazel Kirkwood from Coldwaltham
Sponsor: Saxon Weald
Volunteer of the Year:
Winner: Joe Brocking, St Catherine’s Hospice driver
Sponsor: UK Power Networks
Best Volunteer Group
Winner: The Ariel Commany Theatre Othellos Buddies
Sponsor: Rotary Club of Horsham
Public Service Award
Winner: Jan English, work experience officer
Sponsor: Horsham District Council
Winner: Helen Ralston, magistrate, parish councillor and charity volunteer
Sponsor: The Holbrook Club
Special Recognition Award
Winner: Alyson Heath, retiring headteacher of St Mary’s CofE School, Pulborough
Sponsor: Guy Leonard
WSCT Achievement Award
Winner: Joyce Brown, volunteer at St Mary’s Church, Horsham
Sponsor: West Sussex County Times
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