Although the Guernsey Welfare Service provides a range of services, it is perhaps best known for its foodbank, which every year supplies local households with around £75,000 worth of groceries and produce – all of it donated by individuals and supermarkets.
During lockdown, the foodbank continued to operate thanks to the help of volunteers. When restrictions were lifted, the Guernsey Welfare Service ran a back-to-school Packed Lunch Project which saw two thousand lunches delivered to hundreds of households.
The Guernsey Welfare Service also organises life skills courses and support groups to help address the effects of loneliness, insecure housing, relative poverty, a lack of essential skills and challenging family dynamics.
“We hope that we can play a small part, alongside other agencies, in working towards the common good and community cohesion,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “We provide a constant in what can be a chaotic world for the families we work with.”
The Judges were impressed by the number of people helped by the Guernsey Welfare Service, who carry out much of their work away from the spotlight. The Service had come into its own during lockdown, when it was able – despite logistical and financial challenges – to keep its all-important foodbank running throughout.
Rob is devoted to ensuring that Islanders with disabilities can enjoy fundamental freedoms, and that their human rights are fully protected.
In 2008, as Chair of the Guernsey MS Society, Rob helped found the Guernsey Disability Alliance. The GDA is now a high-profile umbrella organisation that brings together disability organisations of all stripes, as well as individuals with disabilities and carers. Thanks to Rob, Guernsey has an influential campaigning group that works closely with the States to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Rob remains resolutely focused on changing attitudes towards disability and to removing any and all barriers to equality of opportunity. He contributed significantly to the development of Guernsey’s first Disability & Inclusion Strategy, and to the development of legislation designed to ensure that all islanders affected by disability are more included in society and better able to achieve their potential.
Rob’s nominator says: “Rob brings commitment to any role he takes on. His tenacity throughout the ups and downs of government prioritisation has been unwavering. The fact that legislation is coming is to a great extent down to him.”
The judges were quick to recognise the enormous contribution that Rob has made to the equality landscape over the years, thanks to his tenacity, his eloquence and his expertise. An outspoken and tireless campaigner, he has been at the heart of every positive development in the often exhausting world of disability rights for over a decade, and the Island is a better place for it.
The Channel Islands Co-operative Society describes itself as “a community retailer with a difference.”
As well as promoting Fairtrade goods and plastic-free packaging, it forges links with vital community initiatives such as the Ron Short grocery bus service, which delivers food to isolated households over the winter. It also encourages cooperative working between businesses and the third sector by working with the likes of Olio, the Guernsey Welfare Service and ESI Monitor.
In recent years the Co-op has focused on supporting shoppers with different disabilities by providing mobile scooters, on-shelf magnifiers, hearing loops, and a special trolley for children with additional needs. It was the first local business to launch ‘autism hour’, giving people with autism exclusive access to a quiet, low-stimulus shopping environment.
As the Co-op says: “Our vision is to make a real difference to the community we serve.”
The judges were struck by how seriously the Co-Op took its corporate social responsibility, weaving it into the fabric of the company itself. But this not about a few lines in a vision document: the Co-Op’s CSR policy took the form of a dozen distinct, practical schemes and initiatives that had a direct impact on Islanders young and old.
Organisers Nadia Newton and Claire Wakefield began their fundraising journey with 2016’s Night Circus ball, which raised £15,000 for lymphoma research. 2017’s Prohibition Ball raised £16,000 for cancer charities, while the following year’s Dia de los Muertos event sold out in 90 seconds and raised £25,000 for Autism Guernsey.
To cope with demand, this year’s Snowfall event – with its themes of Swan Lake and Narnia – was held over two nights just before lockdown. The £40,000 raised – a new record – was split between Bright Tights, the Ivy Trust, Stop Male Suicide and Autism Guernsey.
With these events, Nadia and Claire’s aim to present an evening of fun and entertainment whilst raising as much money as possible for local charities.
Says their nominator: “It's difficult to explain the ‘wow’ factor of these events. The effort that Nadia and Claire put into these evenings truly brings out the guests' generosity in giving to the charities they support.”
The judges were impressed not only by the creativity and complexity of these highly-regarded events, but by the way in which they had grown in scale and ambition with each passing year. The speed at which the tickets sell out, along with the increasing amounts of money raised for charity, suggest that Stellar Events’ annual extravaganza is a local phenomenon in the making.
Organised by Liberate, Guernsey Pride raises awareness of LGBTQ rights and celebrates the local LGBTQ community. This year, Guernsey was the only place in Europe to hold Pride. An estimated 7,000 people took part in the celebrations.
Liberate’s Ellie Jones chaired a 12-strong organising committee that worked closely with States departments, businesses and local agencies such as Visit Guernsey. Despite limitations imposed by covid, the committee managed to bring UK performers to the Island, all of whom were happy to self-isolate in order to take part.
The committee organised a range of ‘pre-Pride’ events. They liaised with St Peter Port Town Church to illuminate the Church tower in rainbows colours; flew LGBTQ flags from the roundabout mast; painted the market square steps in rainbow paint; and arranged a rainbow flower-bed with the help of States Works.
As their nominator put it: “Pride celebrates our community at its best, affirming our common humanity whilst honouring our differences.”
The judges were struck by how many Islanders took part in the Pride celebrations, and by the vast number of affiliated events that took place in the lead up to the main event, each one also overseen by the organising committee. The Pride parade itself was logistically impressive, especially given that it involved entertainment from overseas, and was recognised as a huge success.
In 2019, the Bailiwick Law Enforcement and Autism Guernsey agreed to co-produce a Police Autism Passport Scheme in response to a pressing but underreported problem – namely, that for individuals with autism, giving a statement or reporting a crime can be hugely stressful.
Under the Passport Scheme, people with autism can volunteer to provide Police with a “passport” containing information on their communication preferences. If they subsequently come into contact with the Police, officers can support them more effectively and sensitively.
“Collaboration between BLE and Autism Guernsey offers a way of improving the quality and efficiency of service provision,” according to Autism Guernsey’s nominator. “Working together, both organisations found innovative solutions to enable them to continue to provide vital services that meet the needs of the whole community, and especially those impacted by autism.”
The judges considered the Police Autism Passport Scheme to be a fine example of partnership working, with two unconnected agencies pooling ideas and resources to tackle, very effectively, a problem that disproportionately affects a certain group of people. The solution to the problem was itself clever, simple and smoothly executed.
Jack has been nominated for helping to establish the Youth Voice Project, which supports children living in, and eventually leaving, States care.
Jack’s involvement is considered essential to the success of the Project; without him, the Youth Commission would not have been able to engage as quickly and as easily with Looked After Children.
During his time with the Youth Commission, Jack has participated in special training and spoken at high profile events aimed at improving the lives of young people. He has worked with politicians, engaged with Looked After Children in care settings, and won the trust of children who may be reluctant to engage with the States or the Youth Commission.
The judges praised Jack’s ability to connect with some of the island’s hardest-to-reach young people. His skill for engaging empathetically with Looked After Children was highly commended, as was his fervent desire to use his life experiences to help others. His passion, commitment and compassion shone through.