Thursday, 12 April 2018

Community Champions Award

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Earlier in April, I got a surprise certificate through the post saying that I had won a 'Community Champion Award' from my MP. With this, myself and a guest (dad was the lucky chosen one this time!) got to attend an afternoon of celebratory drinks at Warwick Hall.

I had never been to Warwick Hall before but it was an absolutely breathtaking venue and the drive along Hadrian's Wall to get there was lovely. It's recently been renovated and the standard really is very high, so I felt very lucky to be there! We were greeted by Guy Opperman (and complimentary champagne - win!) then left to mingle with guests. What many people can't quite believe with me is that I actually (despite my rather bubbly exterior) have bad social anxiety so mingling situations are often really difficult for me. Dad and I stood stood for a good ten minutes with the whole 'should we approach people/can we get the wheelchair through/what do we say' until I saw this wonderful guide dog puppy from across the room and pretty much got the whole room rearranged to get my chair through to meet her. Her name was Abbey and her fantastic owner put her on my lap where she stayed for the next 20 minutes and I fell in love. That relaxed me quite a lot so I started talking to a group of women (mainly about dogs!) until Guy did his speech.

In Guy's speech he thanked everyone individually for their hard work in the community and it was amazing to hear why they had won the award. I was touched that I had in fact been nominated because of the work I am currently doing with Prudhoe Community Partnership as a Trustee on a project trying to make the town more accessible, and, he also mentioned my work as the founder of Project Parent. A lifetime achievement award was given out to Elsie, a fantastic woman who volunteers 'meeting and greeting' at Hexham Hospital and honestly is the most lovely person I have ever met. It was genuinely so amazing being in a room of people who are working hard at trying to make positive changes to people's lives and I got lots of lovely hugs/comments off strangers which was a bonus.

Overall, it was a lovely afternoon and I feel very privileged to be recognised as I know there are so many people who still do good things in their community who go unrecognised. I already have my next community ideas plans so I'll keep you in the loop!

Kate x

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