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Rotary News

Community Champions Awards 2021 Winners

Community Champions Awards 2021 Winners

Meet the outstanding winners who are being named Community Champions at the Rotary Champions Awards 2021.

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

Meet 2021’s Community Champions, who are members of the public, nominated by their local Rotary club, who pioneer, lead and support some amazing volunteering projects.

The winners will be celebrated at special virtual ceremony taking place on 30th June 2021. We are delighted to also be joined by the 2020 winners to celebrate their amazing achievements as well, as last year’s ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19. If you’d like to join us, register for your free Zoom ticket.


Kate is dedicated to creating positive change that will improve the quality of other people’s lives.

Kate’s project ‘Planting For Hope Uganda’ has improved many lives in the remote bush village of Ktiti in West Uganda through health facilities, safe water and sanitation, sustainable agriculture, solar electricity and improved living conditions for villagers. The village school has also grown from 286 pupils in 2014 to 620, with an impressive 100 per cent pass rate for all leavers over the last four years.

The school has successfully trained a number of nurses, mechanics and teachers and is consistently the top performing school of the 38 schools in the local region.

‘Planting For Hope Uganda’ has improved many lives in the remote bush village of Ktiti in West Uganda

Hugh is an inspirational and enthusiastic individual who has focused his efforts on helping disadvantaged families in Moldova.

Founded by Hugh, Christian Response to Eastern Europe has been instrumental in providing thousands of tonnes of humanitarian aid to disadvantaged families in Moldova, the poorest country in Eastern Europe.

The charity has also been able to expand its Christmas Shoe Box Appeal for Moldova, with more than 4,000 shoeboxes of aid and gifts now being collected and distributed every year. Additionally, continuous fundraising led by Hugh has funded a number of soup kitchens in the most deprived areas, which have provided regular and much needed nutrition for families.

Christian Response to Eastern Europe has been instrumental in providing thousands of tonnes of humanitarian aid to disadvantaged families in Moldova

In his own words, Gerry is just an ordinary, hardworking bloke. He is also the driving force behind the Big Yellow Bus Project.

The project aims to take rough sleepers off the streets and provide them with safe, warm shelter, food, clothing and an opportunity to get their lives back on track. To raise funds for the project, Gerry also opened the Big Yellow Bus Charity shop, which provides affordable clothing, household items, giftware and many other items. Homeless individuals who sign up to the project are also given vouchers to obtain free clothing from the shop.

Gerry’s tireless dedication to this project meant he was undeterred even when a global pandemic hit, managing to secure a rental premises that could be converted to provide the same facilities as the bus, which has temporarily had to close, whilst also adhering to the social distancing guidelines. The new facility opened its doors in 2020.

Big Yellow Bus Project aims to take rough sleepers off the streets

Stepping out of retirement, Dame Helen Hyde is a patron and Trustee of the One Vision project.

Recognised for her selfless work, Dame Helen, a recently retired headmistress was working for her African charities and her Holocaust Education when she stepped in to help a local interfaith group who had set up the project, One Vision. The project aimed to provide food for vulnerable adults and children in North Watford during the recent Covid-19 lockdown.

Her exceptional organisational skills and experience meant that Dame Helen was a natural leader for the project, bringing together all the different parties involved to ensure that daily food parcels and meals were delivered to individuals who were either self isolating or families who relied on free school meals.

One Vision aimed to provide food for vulnerable adults and children in North Watford during the recent lockdown

Christine is the Founder and Clinical Director of the Kernos Centre with overall responsibility for the therapy provided and the therapists that work there.

Christine was inspired to open the Kernos centre in 2002 by the need for free or low cost, unlimited hours’ professional counselling for people who do not have sufficient support from the NHS or statutory. Many people told Christine she would never be able to maintain an organisation, or even a charity, based on her generous philosophy of providing free of charge counselling and psychotherapy services to those who really need it. However, 19 years and over 4,200 clients later, Kernos is alive and kicking.

The Centre simply would not have been possible without Christine’s unstinting energy, enthusiasm, commitment and wisdom.

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Christine was inspired to open the Kernos centre by the need for free or low cost, unlimited hours’ professional counselling

For the past 18 years, Denise has responded whenever she has seen a need in the community. She actively encourages community partnership working that enables clubs and groups to work together to achieve their aims.

Denise’s project Complimentary Meals has helped families facing food poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic by arranging the collection of and delivery of meals and essential toiletries. Heading up the community support partnership, Denise works with many local organisations and businesses including schools, pre-schools, churches, Billingshurst and District Rotary Club, cafes and a Food Bank to make sure those families most in need continue to get the help they need.

The project has now been granted funding to continue until at least March 2022.

The Champions Awards is about giving those who pioneer, lead and support some amazing volunteering projects the recognition they deserve


Meet our Champions of Change

As well as members of the public, the Rotary Champions Awards also recognises amazing Rotary members in a second category; Champions of Change.

Read their amazing stories here.