The awards – which are organised on an annual basis by social landlord Fortis Living, part of Platform Housing Group – recognise the support and involvement of Fortis Living customers and local groups whose actions have had a positive impact on their community.
The ceremony took place earlier this month at The University of Worcester Arena with the awards presented by BBC Hereford and Worcester’s Andrew Easton.
The following category winners were unveiled :
Young Person of the Year – this award, for a young dedicated volunteer aged 13 to 18 years who has made a positive impact within their community, was awarded to Melissa Tout who dedicates her spare time to supporting projects, groups, youth clubs and so much more. She engages with other young people across her community and inspires others through her dedication and positivity;
Volunteer of the Year – Andy Emblow was honoured with the title for his dedication in supporting Fortis communities through his role as a Digital Champion; he has helped hundreds of people get online safely and confidently over the last three years, volunteering hundreds of hours of his own time. As well as having unrivalled technical knowledge, Andy really listens to people and helps them grow in confidence;
Community Involvement Award – this award was won by Sheila Hopkins; Sheila has supported a wide range of activities as a Fortis volunteer, including pantomimes and community events. She’s a walk leader and she’s recently also become a Digital Champion;
Inspiration Award – this award recognises ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Jordan Humphries has volunteered more than 140 hours as a Police Cadet, delivering internet safety sessions at schools, helping with hate crime initiatives and supporting more than 30 events. She’s now a Volunteer Cadet Leader, showing great commitment to representing Cadets across the county but also within her own community in Tolladine, Worcester;
Positive Changes Award – awarded to Dawn Jones, Dawn has made incredible lifestyle changes over recent months. Having hit rock bottom with her mental and physical health, Dawn took a massive step to sign up to Fortis Living’s Restart programme in Malvern. She has lost 4 stone in weight, has come off all medication and recently started working for the first time in 17 years;
Group Community Project – this award was presented to Droitwich Community Garden, otherwise known as Mr Beestan’s Garden. The group of local volunteers have maintained the garden to a standard recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society as Outstanding (Level 5) for 5 years in a row. They have also involved schools and other local groups, as well as donating produce to Droitwich Food Bank;
Chris Reed, Community Engagement Team Leader said : “As ever, the standard of entries for this year’s Fortis Awards was extremely high which always makes the decision process a difficult one. Each and every one of them has made such a positive difference within their communities. We are thrilled to announce the winners, the event truly celebrated their fantastic achievements as well as providing concrete evidence that community spirit is well and truly alive! We would like to congratulate them all!”
The event also raised a fantastic £517.49 for St Richard’s Hospice, bringing the total raised by Fortis for the charity to £6202.00, including Gift Aid, this year.
The event was kindly sponsored by Platform Property Care, with individual awards sponsored by Travis Perkins Managed Services, Estilo Interiors Limited, DJD Architects, Anthony Collins Solicitors, CEF, Speller Metcalfe and Saxonby.
Fortis Living is part of Platform Housing Group which provides more than 45,000 homes from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
For further information please contact Chris Reed, Community Engagement Team Leader at Fortis Living on 01684 579363 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.