Rotary News

Community Champions Awards 2020 Winners

Community Champions Awards 2020 Winners

Meet the winners of the Community Champion Awards 2020

Every year Rotary hosts the Community Champions Awards, celebrating the outstanding humanitarian and community service conducted by volunteers from across Great Britain and Ireland.

champions awards

Peter has devoted the past 15 years to transforming the education situation in Meserani, Tanzania, after an expedition there in 2004 inspired him to help make a difference.

Primary school pupils were not able to access a full education, with no local secondary school and no opportunities for young people to progress to further and higher education.

Today the project has completely transformed Meserani. There are now four primary schools, and building work on a secondary school has begun so students are able to progress to further and higher education via a sponsorship programme that Peter manages. The schools have access to clean water, and solar power. There is also a medical centre that provides free health, helping improve the health and education of children in the area.

Peter was nominated by Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary

Ash has been working tirelessly on CATCH for over 10 years, to improve the lives of young people in the heart of a challenging and diverse area of Leeds. The principle of CATCH is to create a safe space for children to meet, play, socialise, learn, grow and divert from anti-social behaviour and crime.

Over the last three years the project has rapidly expanded and has now funded a centre for young people in the area to come and play within a safe environment. It allows children and young adults to grow and encourage opportunities which they may not have had before.

CATCH has helped tackle problems, build confidence, and work collaboratively to improve outcomes for young people. The project has been recognised within its region for all it is contributing to the community by winning awards such as ‘Best place in Leeds for Children and Young People 2018’.

Ash was nominated by Roundhay Rotary

Ruth founded and spearheads a project called The Learning Rooms, giving adults with disabilities the chance to integrate into society, along with offering work experience.

Only 6% of people with learning difficulties are in paid employment, and this figure is declining. Most people with learning disabilities want some form of paid employment, but face barriers such as a lack of in-work support, and belief in their abilities.

Ruth works tirelessly, alongside the project's 11 volunteers, helping to change the lives of so many people along with their families, building their self-esteem to show employees and the community what they can contribute.

The Learning Rooms project helps up to 75 people every week to learn the skills to better integrate them into society and make them better prepared to face the world with more confidence and belief in themselves.

Ruth was nominated by Maghull and Aughton Rotary

Rachel has overcome significant personal issues and now uses that experience to support others.

In June 2019, she opened WOW (Women Out West). The project, is a ground-breaking, community-based venture for women who have low self-esteem caused by domestic violence, mental health issues, imprisonment and a culture of low expectation. The centre is attend by many women from all over West Cumbria looking for a 'hand up' not a 'hand out' to change their complex lives around, not only for themselves but also their families.

Since opening, WOW has provided a safe space for many women of various ages who have very multifaceted needs. The centre, based in the heart of the community, provides an opportunity to seek advice, socialise in a safe environment, participate in a beauty salon or use the ICT suite.

Rachel was nominated by Whitehaven Castle Rotary

Eileen founded DonMentia in 2012, which supports anyone living with dementia, as well as their carers and families, by holding events and social events to help support each other.

She started the charity after experiencing first-hand the challenges of loneliness and isolation that carers face in looking after their loved ones. Eileen cared for her husband, Don, through dementia for many years.

The charity offers financial and practical support to anyone who wishes to set up their own dementia support group within the Doncaster area, along with offering financial help to any carer in real need of respite care. DonMentia is quietly making a real difference in Doncaster for many people whose lives are impacted by dementia.

Eileen was nominated by Doncaster Rotary

Graydon has been a Good Neighbours Volunteer since 2014. Shrewsbury Good Neighbours supports and empowers individuals to live the life they want and stay connected to their communities.

Whether it is driving individuals to a destination, company to go shopping, guidance on nutrition or being there to improve confidence and reduce isolation their volunteers make a real difference to the people that they support.


Graydon is a very enthusiastic and committed volunteer and full of compassion for all that he helps in the Shrewsbury area. Through his enthusiasm, and drive to help vulnerable older people in Shrewsbury who are at risk of isolation he is an inspiration to all other volunteers and staff.

Graydon was nominated by Royal Voluntary Service

Meet Our Champions of Change

As well as the Community Champions, members of Rotary are being recognised for their outstanding volunteering. Read their stories here.