The Community Awards celebrate the local charities, organisations, groups, individuals and businesses who work tirelessly to raise money and embark on community projects for the benefit of others, across the Bailiwick and further afield.
Charity of the Year
Sponsored by State Street
Paws for Support
Paws for Support provides social interaction in a variety of settings, including care homes and schools, via the use of trained dogs as educational and therapeutic aid animals. One of the aims of using dogs in this way is to alleviate feelings of social isolation and mental health issues among islanders, especially young people and elderly people, though every age group can benefit.
The charity provides training and ongoing education of its members and their dogs, to help deliver the best service possible to all who use the charity. One such service is the ‘Reading to Dogs Scheme”, through which children who may struggle to read aloud to others can to build their confidence by reading to dogs. The charity supports trained handlers to carry out regular and one-off visits to care homes for group and individual sessions with the dogs and engage the residents socially, ensuring that residents receive a relaxing social experience which is fun and safe.
Paws for Support lead educational school assemblies where pupils can learn how to properly look after a dog, how to stay safe around dogs and the charity has worked with The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture, to collaboratively produce a “Dogs as Therapy in Schools” policy to regulate the practice and raise standards.
Judges were impressed by how much this highly professional charity has achieved in the last twelve months. They have firmly established the case for, and raised standards around, the use of therapeutic aid animals in Guernsey whilst creatively tailoring their offering to meet specific needs.
Bowel Cancer Guernsey
Judges were impressed by how the charity had worked closely with the States to promote a better understanding of bowel cancer and its treatment options; also of note was the charity’s wide variety of fundraising initiatives, which not only raise money but potentially life-saving awareness of this illness.
Guernsey Society for Cancer Relief
Judges were impressed by the substantial difference the charity was making to cancer sufferers and their families, alleviating financial costs which would otherwise add an additional burden. The charity largely operates below the radar but is highly efficient in its work and always there when its service users need it.
Outstanding Individual Achievement Award
Sponsored by PwC
Sandra first contacted Autism Guernsey in early 2013 after learning it was very likely she had Asperger’s Syndrome. Despite significant personal challenges, Sandra has become an invaluable asset to the Autism Guernsey volunteer team, and the wider autism community in Guernsey. Sandra was formally diagnosed in 2015, and, despite the daily challenges from her condition and mixed feelings which she had around her diagnosis, since then has gone from strength to strength through her achievements with Autism Guernsey.
Sandra is a voluntary member of the Autism Guernsey team, and provides vital insight to practitioners about how their work can best reach and impact the local autism community. She is a highly valued team player and provides a highly creative and respected voice which helps to guide the decisions of the organisation. She is always available to meet one-to-one with individuals, families and employers to talk about her experiences to help people better understand autism. However Sandra always highlights that no two people with autism experience it in exactly the same way.
Having challenged herself to take part in the Healthspan/GBG Nightride event Sandra came up with an idea for an autism-themed 52-mile cycle ride. Previously she had not felt able to share her ideas due to lack of confidence, but she did feel able to describe her cycle ride idea to Autism Guernsey who were able to organise the event. Her bike ride went on to raise £3,350 for Autism Guernsey, despite Sandra suffering a bereavement just prior to the event.
Due to limited availability of resources on autism for the public, Sandra had the idea of producing informative leaflets about services available locally as well as general information about autism. These leaflets have informed many members of the public and saved significant costs for the charity.
Sandra has helped with the redevelopment of the Autism Guernsey website. She appeared in the We All Matter Eh! Hidden Disabilities campaign, and has been interviewed on TV and live radio. Sandra plays a significant role in designing and delivering autism awareness training to businesses, States departments, employers, charities and schools alongside Autism Guernsey professionals. Having lived with the condition unknowingly for much of her life, Sandra can speak of her unique lived experience, and always interacts with people with autism with great empathy and sensitivity. Sandra has featured as a model in an Autism Guernsey fashion show, something which took her well out of her comfort zone but she was keen to take part nonetheless.
Sandra has been described as ‘utterly selfless’ by a senior member of the Autism Guernsey team, who wrote of the difficulty to get across on paper the extent of Sandra’s work ethic, kindness and passion.
Judges were impressed by Sandra’s deep commitment to making the Island a better place for people with autism, noting that she has done by acting selflessly and putting herself at the heart of several important fundraising projects. She has shown courage, resilience and resourcefulness in the way she has supported Autism Guernsey.
Judges were impressed with Sara’s commitment to her vision for Paws for Support and her originality in creating its offering to islanders. Her expertise with dogs, compassion for people and formidable organisational and leadership skills have ensured a highly successful first few years for Paws for Support.
Judges were impressed at how Andrew, in a short space of time, had gone from identifying a simple challenge – the need to reduce cigarette litter – to building a robust framework containing multiple ongoing local, community-engaging initiatives and a potentially global reach striking civic-mindedness.
Fundraising Team of the Year Award
Sponsored by Cazenove Capital
Les Bourgs Hospice Shop
The Hospice shop contributes nearly a quarter of the fund required by the Hospice annually. This is achieved solely through the sale of second-hand goods and reflects the profit made after overheads such as rental costs, etc have been deducted. Since moving to new larger premises in St Martins in 2015, volunteers have made regular efforts to provide themed collections for shoppers, such as Liberation Day, and to ensure that the shop runs professionally.
The new premises allowed the creation of a dedicated children’s shop which improved the shopping experience through new offerings such as nursery items and fancy-dress items. The shop is a truly a community endeavour, with a huge number of volunteers volunteering in both charity shops ranging in age from teenagers to octogenarians, with some volunteers having provided over 20 years of service to the hospice.
Judges were impressed with the huge sums raised each year and noted how the team of dedicated volunteers were committed to making the shop the best that it can be for shoppers. Without their efforts, the Hospice simply would not be able to provide the outstanding service that it does.
Corinne Connolly and Sidney’s Sponsored Events
Judges were impressed with the quiet yet consistent fundraising efforts of the team and the way in which money raised was often directed not only towards well known charities, but those with a low profile. Corinne’s team of volunteers are true grass roots fundraisers, all of them showing true diligence and commitment.
The Children’s Library Project
Judges were impressed with the scale and quality of the project, which brought together an array of funders. The library is a testament to the skill of the fundraisers in communicating their vision and is a unique community asset.
Organising Committee of the Year Award
Sponsored by RG Falla
Equality Guernsey began as the Equality Working Group, a collection of committed individuals from the public, private and voluntary sector dedicated to furthering the equality agenda locally and supporting the introduction of equality legislation and the Equality and Rights Organisation (ERO).
The impetus for the re-branding and step change for the group came as the Committee for Employment and Social Security (ESS) prepared for its launch of proposals for anti-discrimination legislation, which were subject to a public consultation over the summer. Aiming to give the proposals as fertile a ground as possible in the community upon their release, the Equality Working Group formed Equality Guernsey which conceived of and produced the Equality Series and Conference. This effort pulled together many stakeholders to collate research and campaign material and produce a series of themed workshops, trainings and a large conference event to promote social equality and celebrate diversity.
Workshops, led by local charities, politicians and businesses featured topics as diverse as age equality, -discrimination in the workplace, rights and disability, combatting modern slavery and promoting LGBTQ+ rights locally. The events provided a platform for sometimes marginalised groups in the community and a safe space to explore how to promote not only tolerance but acceptance in workplaces, in public and at home.
Within six months, the organising Committee had developed a new brand, website, suite of resources and recruited a team of 14 ambassadors to help raise the profile of the event and advocate for equality. Six events, which attracted over 500 people, were held in the run up to the 215 guest conference with key note speaker June Sarpong MBE.
Judges were impressed at how Equality Guernsey, in a short space of time and through a range of events, engaged with the community on crucial issues. The strength of their advocacy for a more equal island translated directly into a well-organised series of impactful events.
GSPCA (Seafront Sunday)
Judges were impressed with the huge amount of effort and skill which the GSPCA puts into organising Seafront Sunday each year, overcoming logistics which would challenge a professional event company. Also commendable is the fact that such an event gives other charities an opportunity to fundraise and to raise their profile.
Pick It Up Guernsey
Judges were impressed by the Pick It Up Guernsey team’s high standards of organisation across a multitude of events and by the creativity shown in launching such a diverse array of initiatives -- some of which will continue to grow, providing increasing environmental benefits to the island.
Sponsored by Specsavers
Pick It Up Guernsey
Pick It Up Guernsey is an initiative, spearheaded by Andrew Munro, which organises citizen-led volunteer pick-ups of litter including cigarette butts around the island, and raises awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette waste.
Pick It Up Guernsey have engaged the public with a wide range of projects around improving our local environment. They have organised cigarette butt pick-ups, in collaboration with Alderney Wildlife Trust, on World No Tobacco Day for the last two years. On a budget of zero funding a large group of people came together and picked up 75,000 cigarette butts on one day. Other Pick It Up Guernsey events have included teaming up with Digimap and other local green groups for World Clean Up Day; wherein participants were allocated a square of the Perry’s Guide to clean up for a day. Pick It Up Guernsey have initiated a Litter Picker Lending Scheme, whereby 5 litter pickers were given to the library for loaning out to library users. The scheme was so popular that the library requested more pickers and now have 25 in use, and beach kiosks are also loaning out litter pickers to their customers.
Pick It Up Guernsey has been a champion of wombling (gentle walking and litter picking) locally and is in the process of launching an initiative called Womble52, where organisations and community groups will be encouraged to have their members participate in a week of wombling each. The idea is that an organisation will be actively wombling and cleaning up part of the island all year round. Pick It Up Guernsey have received funding from the Condor Community fund to set up a Repair Café, aiming to reduce waste and improve community well-being as people come together to learn how to repair items they may have otherwise thrown away.
There are plans underway to encourage global Pick It Up Guernsey initiatives with the ultimate aim of picking up 4.5 trillion cigarette butts.
Judges were impressed by the diversity, interactivity and potential reach of Pick It Up Guernsey’s myriad initiatives and their tangible impact on our environment. With their fresh and well-publicised events, Andrew and his team have successfully brought together many of those in the community and delivered something transformative.
Paws for Support
Judges were impressed by the variety of innovative outreach work undertaken by the Paws for Support team, by the partnerships formed, and by the breadth of their achievements – all in a relatively short time. Their Reading to Dogs scheme was praised for being particularly positive and original.
The Accessible Town Project
Judges were impressed at how events associated with Access for All skilfully raised awareness for the rights of local disabled people whilst uniting charities and businesses in a mutually beneficial partnership. The level of co-operation generated an energy and a reach that organisations working alone could not have achieved.
Sponsored by Guernsey Electricity
Charlotte is Chair of the Youth Forum for Guernsey and Alderney, and is in charge of coordinating the Forum’s efforts to ensure that the voices of young people are heard on the issues of the day. She began significant voluntary work whilst in Year Eight. Alarmed by global inequality and the difficult material conditions faced by children in Tanzania, she worked with local charity The Tumaini Fund on a fundraising project which twinned a Guernsey school with a school in Tanzania. The project raised funds for sanitary equipment for schools.
Charlotte has achieved a great deal despite significant personal hardship. When she was in Year Nine, her father passed away, and while she regularly attended school she found it difficult to find the motivation to attend all her lessons. Her involvement with the Youth Forum and the Youth Commission has reignited her passion for learning and fostered a desire to give something back.
In Year Ten, Charlotte was elected School Council Chair and served a tenure as house captain. When she attended the first Sunflower Project Residential Weekend for bereaved young people, course convenors were impressed at how she helped younger children talk about their loss, and commended her bravery and sensitivity for doing so. She was invited to the second residential weekend to facilitate a session with children and their experiences of returning to school after suffering a loss. In Year 11 she became an assistant head girl at school. Earlier this year she was chosen to participate In the national Rotary Young Leaders Award in recognition of her work with Youth Voice, and she was recently elected to the Student Voice in year 12.
Judges were impressed by how Charlotte has thrown herself into a multitude of community work over many years. They found inspirational her willingness to represent the youth of the Bailiwick, despite suffering acute personal setbacks. In particular, they took note of how she had spearheaded fundraising initiatives, assumed positions of responsibility in school, and showed great maturity and sensitivity in her support of bereaved young people.
Judges were impressed by the effort George had made to avail himself of the support on offer, and by how much he had done to help other young people with autism – even when he found giving such support a challenge. They took special note of how he has raised awareness of neurodiversity and were pleased to see that he is as determined to set and achieve his own goals as he is to help other people.
Judges were impressed with Tiffany’s perseverance and dedication to supporting herself and her friends. She has overcome severe personal adversity to become a positive role model. Through her empathy with younger members of the Special Educational Needs Community and her organisation of social events, she has made a positive impact on the lives of her peers.