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Community Champion Awards - 2023 Winners

The Community Champion Awards are an opportunity to say thank you to people who have done something special for their local community and honour those individuals and community groups who have gone above and beyond to support residents throughout West Berkshire this year. 

We're delighted to announce that our 2023 Community Champions are:

  • Junior Citizen of the Year: Thrishathi Srinivasan
  • Volunteer of the Year: Gillian Hornzee
  • Community Group of the Year: Speen Community Cafe
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Susan Cocker

The judges were impressed with the quality of nominations. As a result, there were several Highly Commended nominees in the Volunteer of the Year, Community Group of the Year and Lifetime Achievement categories.

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The winners will receive their awards at our awards ceremony. Their details will also be recorded in the "Roll of Civic Awards", which will be available for future generations to review. The book will be available to view at the Market Street Council Offices.


Junior Citizen of the Year

Thrishathi Srinivasan - Winner

Thrishathi provides much-needed lessons for children who had their education impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money earnt from tutoring is donated to charity.

Milla Brereton - Highly Commended 

Milla is a young leader at Waterside Centre and supports a variety of activities within the centre. In her role as a young leader, she ensures that younger participants overcome their fears and helps encourage new participants.


Volunteer of the Year

Gillian Hornzee - Winner

Gillian has played a vital part in the effort to find hosts, furniture, toys, clothes, bedding, links to schools, transport and education for Ukrainian families who have settled in the area.

Maureen Velvick - Highly Commended

With the support of East Garston Amenities, Maureen set up a monthly raffle, secured a grant from the Oxford Diocese Guild of Bell ringers and several donations from other sources and fund-raising events. Overall, a staggering £50,000 was raised.

Irwin Fairclough - Highly Commended

Irwin devotes his time to being a coach, mentor and supports the informal weekly Wednesday running group. Irwin aims to benefit the mental and physical wellbeing of those taking part, whilst developing running skills and fitness.


Community Group of the Year

Speen Community Cafe - Winner

For the last 17 months the Speen Community Café has built a much-needed sense of community and has been providing refreshments, craft activities, speakers, board games, chat, friendship and a place where people feel safe.  

Time 2 Talk - Highly Commended

Time to Talk provides mental health support to young people aged 11-25 and parents in West Berkshire. From free in-person counselling to a comprehensive online mental health support program they ensure accessibility and flexibility for those in need.


Lifetime Achievement

Susan Cocker - Winner

Susan Cocker has dedicated her life to Lambourn Parish Council serving for over 30 years! Sue was a key member of the team that organised the annual exhibition in the Memorial Hall, helped reshape the libraries, took the lead in developing the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and was part of the village firework display team.

Stephanie Awbery - Highly Commended

Every year Stephanie worked tirelessly to organise the Berkshire Motor Show and has been doing this for almost 20 years. This wonderful event is solely organised by Stephanie from advertising to organising volunteers.  Last year The Berkshire Motor Show was able to raise an astonishing £3,000!

Bill Graham - Highly Commended

Bill dedicated 15 years of his life as a Parish Councillor. Bill had also managed to gain a reputation as a man who could fix it helping maintain the cricket pavilion, fixing streetlights and fixing the parish council's property. Bill would also make sure the area was clean, carrying out litter picks to help maintain the beauty of the Donnington area.

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