24th December 2020

Shining Lights aplenty!

The past year stands out for many reasons, and though some we may not look back on fondly, the way members of our community have gone above and beyond has been phenomenal! And this has made the choice for the ‘Shining Light of Bradford on Avon 2020’ particularly challenging! 

Nominees for the award, in its third year, came from businesses, charities and volunteer groups, all of which played a part in responding to COVID-19 in their own ways; ways which so many in our community and surrounding villages appreciated throughout the year, and indeed still are!

And the winner is………

There had to be a winner though and we are pleased to announce this year’s Shining Light as:

Avril Clarke, Volunteer Coordinator of The Hub

…which has supported hundreds of families in the Bradford on Avon area and seen huge growth in demand over the last few months, as more in our community have faced financial challenges caused or exacerbated by the pandemic.

Avril (left in photo) was awarded her Shining Light trophy by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Alex Kay (right in photo) along with a huge hamper of goodies donated by the Bradford on Avon branch of Sainsbury’s.

“I’m really touched to receive the award but would like to do so on behalf of ALL of The Hub’s volunteers; this really is a team effort and we’ve all worked together to help as many as possible to get vital access to the services we provide, including the food bank.
I’d also like to thank the local community for supporting us with food, Christmas and financial donations; more and more people are reaching out to us for help and come the New Year, we envisage this will only increase.”

said Avril, pictured below with Cllr Alex Kay and two of the Hub‘s other volunteers along with the trophy and prize hamper. To find out more about the Hub and the many ways that they help the community, visit our previous article HERE

The selection of the Shining Light winner, from those nominated by the public, is made by an independent panel which is drawn from the community, as well as Town Council Officers and one Councillor. They felt that Avril’s outstanding community service in this year of all years, demanded recognition and huge appreciation.

However, given the challenges of the year, the panel felt that it was appropriate to also mark the contribution of the other nominees, and each received a glass Community Champion trophy as a further thank you from the community, along with a box of chocolates also donated by Sainsbury’s.

Community Champion Awards went to:

Paul Robertson, Coordinator of the Community Emergency Volunteers….

….has played a central role in organising volunteer teams, and helping the Town Council to build capacity and processes at the beginning of the public health emergency, in addition to the usual CEV activities of preparing for flood-risks and responding to weather events. The CEVs have provided numerous additional services to the community throughout the pandemic, including prescription deliveries, support to vulnerable people requiring assistance and will be stewarding vaccination clinics as we move into 2021. 

To find out more about the Community Emergency Volunteers, as well as how to join them CLICK HERE

Derrick Hunt organises Clean Up Bradford…

….volunteers who, where possible under the various restrictions, have continued to keep pathways and kerbs tidy and safer to walk. He’s also an active member of the Bowls Club, and has led on the project to install a borehole to reduce mains water use and the Club and Town Council’s environmental footprint.

We recently featured CLuB in an article which you can read HERE as well as find out how to get involved.

Christine Giles, who runs the Sustainable Supermarket….

…..on Silver Street, helped to keep the town fed through lockdown, as well as coordinating a charity food-box scheme for those in need, raising thousands of pounds to support this scheme.  She’s also actively fundraising for the Skatepark project, and is a strong supporter of the plastic-free town initiative, installing the town’s first refill station in the summer.  

To find out more about Christine’s plastic-free re-fill station, read our previous article HERE

Sarah Bremner runs the No 10 Tea Garden in Avoncliff…

….which had to close during lockdown – but rather than shut down, Sarah used her business contacts to supply food and essential supplies to the local community both in and around Bradford on Avon. Sarah explained how this worked:

“There are a number of key workers, older members of the community and people who were medically shielding.  I wanted to try and help the community and also keep supporting my local suppliers of the Tea Garden as I felt I was letting them down by being closed and not ordering from them.
During March through to the end of October I organised a weekly farm food drop via New MacDonalds Farm who are a local farm. I would obtain weekly orders from the community and order via Matt and Lou from New Macdonalds Farm, who would put together the bulk order and deliver it to my house. I would then divide the food up in to individual orders, display and label for each household to collect safely.”

Tom Bowles, owner of Hartley Farm in Winsley…

….was likewise able to provide online click-and-collect services early in the year, to maintain food supplies to customers within and around Bradford on Avon at a very challenging time.

“We love being part of such an amazing community and are very proud to do our bit!”

said Tom.

Deputy Mayor, Alex Kay, who presented the awards said afterwards:

“All of these individuals reflect what is best in the Bradford on Avon area – a sense of community spirit and service.  They are representative of the many hundreds of other people who have stepped forward this year to help community, friends and neighbours, and I hope that you will join us in offering a huge thanks to all of them. What a fantastic place we live in!”