In line with the pandemic conditions, the Newbury Town Civic Awards have been announced via YouTube:
This year’s Newbury Town Civic Awards presentation took place online with a pre-recoded video being showcased on their Facebook page and website on Wednesday 17th March announcing the winners of the awards.
The awards presented included the Newbury Town Civic Award, the Newbury Town Young Person’s Civic Award, the Newbury Town Business Civic Award, the Newbury Town Environmental Contribution Award, and the Community Champions Awards specifically introduced for 2021 honouring the work of those who have given back to the community throughout the pandemic.
The Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Elizabeth O’Keeffe, said “The commitment from all nominees that has been given to supporting local people this year has been fantastic. Filming the presentation of the Civic Awards is something that the Council has never done before. Almost a year after we went into our first National Lockdown, it is too important to not miss giving recognition to those who have gone the extra mile for the community.”
Jo Day, the Chairperson of Newbury Town Council’s Civic Pride, Arts and Leisure Committee echoed, “It has been a privilege to be involved in the judging of this year’s Civic Awards. Newbury is very fortunate to have so many people willing to give their time and energy working for the community. We select one nomination in each category to be a winner, but each one is worthy of our appreciation and praise.” Eve Hughes was named as the winner of The Newbury Town Civic Award 2021. Eve carried out two voluntary roles in the local community, one as a Street Pastor and one as an Advocate for Action for Children. Eve has been a Street Pastor since the scheme was introduced in Newbury in 2012 and has dedicated a Saturday night almost every month since then to patrol the streets of Newbury, helping people stay safe and making the town a more welcoming place to be during a night out. In her role, Eve has embraced 4am finishes and rarely missed a New Year’s Eve duty. She has more recently become a trustee for the Street Pastor charity and can’t wait to get back out on the streets once the economy reopens. She is also a volunteer as an Advocate for Action for Children’s local Here4Me service for more than 8 years. The service supports dozens of children and young people across Newbury and West Berkshire giving them a voice during extremely challenging periods of their life. Throughout the pandemic, Eve has continued to support these children adapting to hold virtual one-to-ones with them before attending virtual conferences and meetings with different authorities to speak on their behalf. Her service and ongoing contribution to the town has made such a positive difference to so many children, young people and local residents in Newbury and the surrounding areas.
The winner of the Newbury Town Business Civic Award was Colline Watts of Colline’s Kitchen. As well as a businesswoman with a catering business and café, she is also a mum and still manages to do so much for the community. Colline has collaborated with various businesses around the town. During the pandemic she worked closely with West Berkshire Baby Bank to create the Parent 2 Parent Pandemic Fund to do what she can to ensure families aren’t going without food. She also works with a charity in Zimbabwe to help provide pre and post-natal care for babies and mothers, as well as being involved with the Black Lives Matter peaceful protests in Newbury. Her nominator said that she feels this is only a fraction of what she has achieved and should be celebrated for bringing people together through food, making Newbury and the world a better place.
The Newbury Town Young Persons Civic Award, recipient was Ellie Chadwick, aged 17. Ellie is a young vocalist with youth vocal group VoxFresh. This year Ellie has started to expand her musical experience by writing song arrangements for the vocalists. Ellie wrote the arrangement for the group’s performance of Over The Rainbow to pay tribute to the NHS, and the virtual choir video raised over £1,000 for NHS Charities Together. Her nominator said that Ellie’s contribution to VoxFresh has been fantastic as well as being an inspiring role model to younger members of the group. Her contribution is important to the arts and she has taken the initiative to support the group to maintain young people’s wellbeing and mental health when VoxFresh had to change the way they ran due to the pandemic. The winner of the Newbury Town Environmental Contribution Award was Dr Susan Millington. Susan has been the driving force behind the Newbury Friends of the Earth’s Lockdown Woods project. This has seen three new areas of woodland planted throughout West Berkshire with two of those being in Newbury. She has worked in liaison with local authorities and around covid restrictions to ensure that over 1,000 new trees have been planted this past Winter. While many volunteers have put a lot of energy into this project, her nominator said that Susan’s role has been central to the project and deserves the recognition for the work she has put into the project, which has brought many members of the community together to make a positive and lasting difference.
2021’s Civic Awards took the opportunity to recognise individuals and organisations who contributed to the community in direct response to the Covid pandemic. While there was no overall winner for this category, all nominees were recognised and will receive a community pin badge in recognition of their services. The Community Champion recipients included ABC to Read, Julie Cobbett and Mai-Britt Gram Jensen for their voluntary work with Newbury Soup Kitchen, and Bev Lewis for her voluntary services with Newbury Community Resource Centre.
The Mayor of Newbury, Councillor Elizabeth O’Keeffe congratulated all of the nominees for their outstanding achievements by letter. The award winners have been invited to collect their physical award from the Town Hall at an appropriate time.