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Awards for inspirational local heroes!

Local heroes have been picking up awards for the way they’re inspiring others to live more healthily.

Bridgend County Borough Council has held its first ever ‘Inspired for Life’ awards to celebrate the efforts of the outstanding individuals, groups and organisations who are helping to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

A shortlist of nominees was drawn up after the public were invited to put forward worthy contenders, before the winners in five award categories were chosen at the event held at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl. The winners were…

Power of One award - Simon Green
Simon has done many amazing things to improve the lives of disabled people in Bridgend County Borough. He campaigns tirelessly for better awareness, better inclusion, and more accessibility for disabled people. He is Chair of the Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People, a trustee with Disability Wales and also works with the Disability Hate Crime Network.

Made a Difference award – Community Furniture Aid
Manned by a small, dedicated group of volunteers, this Pontycymer based charity make sure that the most vulnerable members of the community have furniture as well as the extras which help to make a house a home. The group take referrals from over 40 agencies and charities, supplying donated furniture to furnish homes for homeless and poverty stricken residents.

Future is Bright award – Nora Hardy
Nora is a 17-year-old pupil at Bryntirion Comprehensive who has contributed greatly to the wider community to help and inspire others. At just 18 months old, Nora needed a liver transplant, and as she has grown up has done wonders to raise awareness for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. Due to family difficulties and health problems, Nora didn’t start school until the age of nine, but through hard work and determination she has now gained 11 GCSEs and is studying for five A Levels.

Above and Beyond award – Geoff Cheetham
An outstanding volunteer, Geoff is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of older people in our community. From delivering physical activity sessions in day care and residential settings, to leading tai chi classes in local parks, Geoff’s enthusiasm is infectious. All of this and he still manages to work tirelessly with Bridgend SHOUT.

Innovation award – Maesteg Alternative Curriculum Base, Maesteg School
A small department of four staff work with vulnerable pupils to provide physical, mental, social and educational support. The formation of close relationships with both pupils and their families is key to the success of this department, and the impact they have had has resulted in improved happiness, attendance, behaviour and increased feelings of ‘belonging’.

The achievements of ordinary people can have an extraordinary impact on others, especially vulnerable people. Everyone has the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Our call for residents to nominate the unsung heroes and heroines who do such wonderful work for the good of others drew a massive response, and demonstrated the high regard that people have for their efforts.

Councillor Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations

“All of our worthy winners are helping to improve the lives of other people various ways. The awards are an excellent way for the community to say ‘thank you’ to these kind-hearted individuals and I hope their actions will inspire others," Councillor Patel added.

“I would also like to express our gratitude to our partners Linc Cymru, New Directions, Sony UK Technology, BAVO and Sport Wales who supported us to bring the ‘Inspired for Life’ awards evening together.”

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