[L]ocal community champions have been recognised for their achievements at a Carlisle City Council Community Awards presentation, held at the Shepherd’s Inn last night (Wednesday, 22 March).
The awards have been the highlight of the Civic Dinner since 2002 and this year’s winners are:
Mary Kew and Norah Guy
Mary Kew was born in Watermillock on the shores of Ullswater. In 1984 she joined the St John’s Ambulance in Carlisle before transferring to help Penrith division as First Aider / Ambulance Driver, Crew from 1989-1999. She was also a full time trainee assessor and worked within the Red Cross for three years, and as a medical trainer for a large training company. She travelled all over the country and working with a friend ran a first aid service at events. She set up her own training company, teaching first aid to nursing homes and companies.
Mary and other neighbours organised petitions together to get alley gates at the rear of their homes. After a long campaign the gates went up. Mary and the neighbours decided to improve the lane by turning it into a garden. Mary got blue barrels, cut them in half then went round the houses asking residents to donate money for soil and plants to fill the tubs. There are now over 60 barrels cut and filled with plants, bulbs and shrubs so there is colour all year round. Mary planted all the tubs herself and can be seen most days in the lane sweeping or gardening. Because of these efforts more and more people are putting out benches and pots in the lane. Elderly residents are now sitting out in the sun talking to others instead of sitting in their yards alone, and they are even willing to take on the watering.
Norah Guy has lived most of her life in Denton Holme, arriving in Westmorland Street at five weeks old. Her dad worked on the railway and was based in Denton Holme Goods Yard where Lidl is now. She has a daughter called Mary.
Norah was a carer for her elderly parents. Following their deaths she became a dinner lady at Eden School. When the school closed she joined St John’s Ambulance Brigade as a volunteer in the uniform section. She enjoyed meeting and helping people by giving members of the public first aid. She then trained to become a St John’s Ambulance First Aid Trainer and an administrator in the County Office. Following ill health she retired.
Norah and Mary spearheaded a focus group to get funding for alley gates. There is now a lovely garden of flowers and plants which Norah named Westmorland Gardens. This has brought the neighbours together, creating a lovely community feel in the lane. Norah enjoys being able to sit out and meet and talk to people as they go past. They admire the beauty of what can be achieved in a back lane.
Carole Hoggan is the Assistant Manager and Grants Adviser at Carlisle’s Flood Recovery and Advice Centre. Carole has worked for over a year at the Centre in a totally unpaid and voluntary role, having become unemployed late in 2015 when her employer closed his business. She has been the de facto manager of the volunteers at the Centre, the PA to manager Paul Hendy and has run her own busy workload.
Flooded at home herself, she has combined hard work and a pragmatic and efficient approach with limitless sympathy and understanding for flood victims, giving them indispensable moral support as well as sound and experienced advice on how to deal with a wide range of problems.
Large numbers of flood victims owe a huge debt to Carole, who has been the mainstay of the Flood Advice Centre throughout its busy year. She has carried on her shoulders the organisation and smooth running of the Centre, the co-ordination of manager Paul Hendy’s diary and emotional and practical support for bereft flood victims. There cannot be many who have done as much to get Carlisle on its feet again after the devastation of December 2015.
Robert and Pauline Finlayson
Since retiring from the RAF, Robert and Pauline Finlayson have been involved for over 20 years in helping the community in various activities in Carlisle.
They are both active in Royal British Legion, Robert being the organiser for north of the river in the Poppy Appeal and organising teams of people to man collection points in supermarkets for the poppy appeal. Both are involved with RAFA which is an organisation which helps retired RAF service men and women – Robert is the Carlisle Secretary of RAFA and Pauline runs the various Raffle’s to raise funds for the organisation and is known as MRS Raffle.
Pauline has been a member of the Neighbourhood Watch for the last 27 years and spends time each week at the Police station inputting Cumbria Crime Messaging (CCM) and is used a “Criminal” for training Officers in Detective work.
Both of have been involved in St. Augustine’s Church, Scotland Road for 27 years running the voluntary groups and have keys to the church to open and shut it up before and after services.
Pauline is the Treasure of the Catholic Women’s League which does voluntary work in the Parish.
Pauline also makes beautiful birthday, and all other cards by hand and the money raised goes to WINGS and RAF Charity.
The couple are involved in a number of other voluntary organisations and have given a great deal to the community in the Carlisle area.
Keith is a Director of the Border Rambler CIC, set up in 2015 to provide bus services in Carlisle District.
The Border Rambler bus, driven by volunteers, provides a much-needed service for rural villages between Brampton and Carlisle. From the conception of the idea, Keith has led from the front, negotiating with Cumbria County Council, recruiting and training volunteer drivers and advertising and promoting the service.
With its first journeys in September 2015, the Border Rambler now offers an established timetable three days a week. It provides vital transport for 30-40 people. Keith is always on the look-out for new opportunities, working with multiple agencies to identify those in need of the service, supporting the volunteers and liaising with the county council. This is a volunteer service which has quickly become a lifeline for isolated communities.
For over 30 years Tony has played a pivotal role in the community.
For many years he was an active governor of Petteril Bank School. This involved the transition of the old school to the new community site which encompasses the community centre, sure start, and community café.
For the past 11 years he has managed the community centre. This has been a challenging role with no staff and limited volunteers. Tony has given unstinting time and effort to make the centre a thriving part of the community. Tony has also been instrumental in expanding the services offered by the centre.
Tony’s other involvements include the running of a number of football teams he has been involved with these for many years. Tony also played a big part in setting up the very successful youth clubs, which have played a big part in reducing anti-social behaviour on the estate. Another string to his bow is the active part he plays in Harraby sport academy serving on the board representing Petteril Bank.
One of Tony’s happiest parts of the year is the organising our annual fun day bringing the community together for a wonderful day.
Liz Temple and Margaret Walker
Yewdale Community Centre opened its doors on the 14 February 1992. Liz Temple and Margaret Walker started employment at the centre on that day. On 14 February 2017, they each celebrated 25 years of continuous employment. Liz is the Assistant Centre Manager and Margaret is the Deputy Childcare Manager.
Over the 50 collective years they have put in thousands of volunteer hours over and above their contracted hours. Liz and Margaret are known and loved by everyone in Yewdale and thanks to their dedication and hard work from the day the centre opened it is now bursting at the seams and is truly the heart of the community.
The nursery is the only community centre nursery in the city rated by Ofsted as outstanding. The user groups include a trampoline club from beginners to national level competitors, slimming world, karate, mother and toddler, soup and sandwich club, film club, moky fit, short mat bowls, piloxing, yewkids nursery, Sandsfield Community Church, five à side parties, youth club, birthday parties, the list goes on and on. They are truly two unsung heroes whose contribution to the community in Yewdale should be recognised. Here’s looking forward to the next 50 years.
Andy Fearon and his wife, Rhoda, set up Carlisle Vineyard in Carlisle in 2012. The church began in the Fearon home, with four friends meeting.
Andy and Rhoda designed the church to be “A church for the type of people who don’t like going to church.” And also formulated the strap line: “We don’t want to be the best church IN Carlisle, but the best church FOR Carlisle.” Vineyard is not about a building, and Andy’s Church works best when out on the streets.
The Church started the “Recreate” project. Church members and attendees would put forward their ideas for making Carlisle a better place, and a team of church volunteers would go ahead and carry out the plan! This could be something as simple as helping to renovate somebody’s house, or litter pick within an area, or helping to create a garden in a homeless hostel.
Andy is a member of Carlisle Ambassadors and initiated “Give a Day to the City”, claiming that for ONE DAY … anyone could “Take whatever you have in your hand, whatever you have in your heart and give it away!!!”
During the floods, Vineyard was back on the streets with The Encouragement Shed – a “Shed” on wheels, giving out coffee, food, and plenty of encouragement and help to anyone who needed it. Vineyard has also donated over £15,000 to flood relief in Carlisle.
Andy and Rhoda have helped to create a real sense of community. Not just for the people who attend their church, and, indeed, not just for other Christians, but for the whole of Carlisle!
Jim Crowe worked as a Sports Officer for both Carlisle City Council and Allerdale Borough Council. However it is for his voluntary work in promoting a whole variety of sports in Carlisle that he is most admired.
In the early 1970s Jim moved from Liverpool to Carlisle and took a job in the Carlisle Sports Centre in Strand Road. A place where every aspiring sports person in Carlisle cut their teeth.
That was to be the beginning of a long and fruitful association with the Carlisle sporting community.
He has been a coach and mentor in a number of sports and in the early 1980s set up the Carlisle Trampoline Club, one of the city’s and indeed the county’s most successful sporting clubs.
He has been an active member of the Carlisle Sports Council for over 40 years, many of them as Chair.
He was also Chair of Carlisle SPAAF and served on several other committees such as the Cumbria Playing Fields Association, Carlisle Sports Board and Cumbria Sports Partnerships. He helped ensure successful roll out of the Cumbria Active Sports Programme and Cumbria Youth Games.
He was instrumental in introducing the Carlisle Sports Awards, so it is fitting he should now be awarded some recognition for his own efforts.