A Place to Be Proud of Awards Basingstoke
Destination Basingstoke

2023 Winners

The winners of the Place to be Proud of Awards for 2023 were announced at The Haymarket in June 2023

The A Place to be Proud of Awards 2023, sponsored by a range of local businesses and organisations, and organised by Destination Basingstoke, was compered by twice previous award winner and 19-times world rowing record holder Dave Holby-Wolinski, and Bernard Ferris, former centre director of Festival Place.

Unsung Hero Award

Winner

Sarah Whatmore

Sarah Whatmore- 2023 Winner Sarah does so much for Basingstoke RFC – she runs the shop, is safeguarding officer and also deals with the first aid. Sarah spends about 2/3 days a week at the club but she’s 24/7 at home, ordering, collecting and distributing stock, and dealing with anything relating to safeguarding.

Young Role Model Award

Queen Marys College

Winner

Henry Saul

Oakley Junior School pupil Henry has shown true strength in the way he manages to live with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a devastating muscle-wasting disease and is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy. Henry was diagnosed with this condition when he was three. Last year, Henry, who was eight, took on the challenge of reaching the highest mountain peak in South Wales, Pen Y Fan. Everyone cheered when he reached the top of the mountain – a highly emotional moment for mum and dad, and all involved. Henry and his team (Henry’s Hills) raised an incredible £17,585. And this year, after Henry’s amazing climb last year, he took on another challenge – hiking with family and friends to the summit of Snowdon.

Community Project Award

destination basingstoke

Winner

Big Basingstoke Sleep Out

The Big Basingstoke Sleep Out took place in March, and it really brought together the whole community to raise awareness and vital funds for the work of Julian House, which helps and supports vulnerable and at-risk individuals. The Sleep Out is designed to let people see just how challenging it is to not have a roof over their heads and to experience for just one night what rough sleepers have to go through ever day. This year’s Sleep Out is expected to surpass its target and raise more than £11,000.

Above and Beyond Award

Winner

Stella Gibbons

Stella, who has worked at Queen Mary’s College since September 2010, ensures all members of QMC and the local community feel equal and valued, naturally going above and beyond her everyday duties. Stella has a strong drive to ensure members of QMC with English as a second language feel included, celebrated and appreciated. Over the course of a year, Stella pioneered the design and implementation of a language hub that allows all students and their parents to access key messages in 20 different languages. Stella’s passion and expertise has been the driving force behind QMC feeling equipped and confident in looking after local refugees and asylum seekers.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner

Basingstoke Street Pastors

In 2023, Basingstoke Street Pastors are celebrating their 15th anniversary of operating in the town. Over those 15 years, teams of volunteers have regularly patrolled the streets on Friday and Saturday evenings from 11pm to 4am. Each team comprises at least three people from local churches who have undertaken extensive training. They have helped thousands of people suffering after a night out in the pubs, clubs, and bars.

Individual Winner

Penny Dilley

Retired nurse Penny Dilley has thrown herself more into volunteering roles, and is one of the driving forces behind Community Food Link. If she is not collecting food, she is sorting it ready to go on the vans or is working the app coordinating whatsapp groups of drivers, sorters and hub leaders.

Business and Community Award

Winner

Sovereign Housing Association

Sovereign Housing Association is a leading housing association based in Basingstoke providing quality and affordable homes to over 14,000 people. The organisation is driven by its social purpose, with customers and communities at the heart of everything they do. Sovereign continually strive to deliver above and beyond their obligations, providing a range of activities and projects that make a difference to residents and communities

Health and Wellbeing Award

Lilly

Winner

Oakley Stitchers

Caroline Armitage set up the Oakley Stitchers at the very beginning of the pandemic when she realised there was a need for scrubs for frontline NHS workers. She very quickly managed to source fabric, offers to sew, cut, crochet and help in numerous other ways and the group was born. It gave a purpose to those who were shielding, feeling vulnerable or frustrated, and when restrictions eased, the group decided to carry on.

Michelle Martin

Individual Winner

Michelle works as the activities lead at Ashcombe House, nursing home. Michelle works extremely hard ensuring that the residents have an enriched and meaningful life, making sure there is plenty going on in the home and outings out. Michelle really is a ray of sunshine as soon as she walks into the home.

Arts and Entertainment Award

Winner

Basingstoke Gang Show

Basingstoke Gang Show – 2023 Winner As one of over 100 ‘Gang Shows’ in the UK, Basingstoke Gang Show is recognised as the longest running and bestselling amateur theatre show in the town. First established in 1980 we proudly produced our 28th show in February 2023. Over our 43-year history we have given over 2,000 young people in Basingstoke Scouting and Guiding the opportunity and experience of being part of a large theatre production with all our performances held at the Haymarket Theatre.

Individual Winner

Kate Aherne

With a totally enchanting voice, Kate turns up as a range of Disney princesses to charities, hospitals, hospices and organisations, helping children with life limiting or difficult illnesses, to make their day. Kate attends local events, fundraisers, attractions, groups and schools and is always is a huge hit with the younger and older crowds alike. She also works hard coaching children, patiently helping them discover their inner confidence, a voice and then encourages and teaches them to theatrically perform.

2022 Winners

Unsung Hero Award

Festival Place Basingstoke

Winner

Margaret Macklin

“Volunteer food bank co-ordinator Margaret Macklin stood out for the tireless work she has done supporting older people and vulnerable families throughout the pandemic, while also balancing family commitments and numerous other voluntary roles. Our community is all the richer for Margaret’s care and energy, and she is a very worthy winner.”

Runners Up

Janette Hewitt and Grace Powell

Young Role Model Award

Queen Marys College

Winner

Anna Palmer

“Anna has shown great determination and resilience since studying music at QMC. Her sheer passion for music and kind nature has been a true asset. Anna will be missed when she leaves QMC, but I have no doubt that she has a bright future ahead of her.”

Runners Up

Alfie Wells, Ava Mae Wilson, Elisha Hawton

Community Leader Award

Winner

Effie Blankson

“Effie is a true example of a community leader using her position of influence to help the community in so many different ways and espcially with her work with the Basingstoke Unites Against Rascism campaign"

Runners Up

Rachel Davis and Faye Wheeler

Above and Beyond Award

Winner

Luan Squire

“All of the nominations for the Above and Beyond Award were strong, but we were particularly impressed with Luan’s thoughtfulness and passion to support some of the most vulnerable members of the Basingstoke community. We think she is clearly a pivotal member of our community, and we are delighted to recognise her contribution with this award.”

Runners Up

Jacqui Lyster and Randall Jull

Health and Wellbeing Award

Lilly

Winner

Faye Wheeler & The Blue Spot Campaign

“The Blue Spot Campaign really stood out as a fantastic example of raising awareness to ensure other families that are affected can receive the support that they need. Well done Faye for your continued commitment.”

Runners Up

Simon Says Child Bereavement and Basingstoke 5k Your Way Move Against Cancer

Business and Community

Winner

Absolutely Offices

“Absolutely Offices has been a longstanding contributor to the community supporting charities such as Heart Burn Cancer UK. In recent times it’s stepped up at short notice, going above and beyond to help with the Ukraine war efforts by creating a collection point to bring goods into the offices where they then have volunteers sort label and pack goods ready to donate. This has turned into a full-scale logistical operation which is truly incredible, and it epitomises what the business and community award is all about.“

Runners Up

Phillips Solicitors, Alchemy Organic Salon and Gabardine Bar 

Arts and Entertainment Award

Winner

Basingstoke Academy of Dance

“What a fantastic opportunity for HHCR, Basingstoke’s Community Radio Station to have sponsored the Arts & Entertainment category of this year’s Destination Basingstoke’s A Place to be Proud of Awards. A deserved win for BAD amongst such innovative entries. Huge congratulations”

Runners Up

The Musication Station and THAT Gallery

Community Project

Face TV Basingstoke

Winner

The Camrose Centre

“The Camrose Centre for Homeless and Vulnerably Housed People receive over 2000 visits every year. Homelessness can affect anyone, at any time in their lives. In our affluent borough, the volunteers and support workers at The Camrose Centre provide a vital service , which is one-of-a-kind in Basingstoke. The Centre needs every support and is a deserving winner in this category”

Runners Up

Spotlight UK, Basingstoke Foodbank, Aldworth Charity Club

Good Neighbour Award

Winner

Charlotte Nightingale

“We chose Charlotte as our winner for many reasons, she has spent so much of her life devoting her time to caring for others and meets the definition of a truly good neighbour in every way. The last few years have been especially challenging for a lot of people and Charlotte has been there to lend her support wherever it was needed.”

Runners Up

Natasha Sorrell-Kaur and Julian Sunley

Volunteer of The Year

beaufort financial

Winner

Nsima Udoh

“Nsima showed exceptional leadership, which enabled his team of volunteers, in a very short timeframe, to successfully ensure that thousands of items were packed and transported to the regions where help was needed. Congratulations Nsima, you are a very deserving winner amongst many well deserving individuals.”

Runners Up

Beth Rice and the Westside Community Centre Volunteers

Judges' Special Award

destination basingstoke

Winner

The Basingstoke Foodbank

“The pandemic and the cost of living crisis have made the work of the Foodbank even more important, visible and appreciated, but they have been working quietly for many years helping families through difficult times and sadly more and more people are becoming reliant on their support. We hope this award will be some reward for the team that work so hard for the people of Basingstoke and Deane"

Destination Basingstoke

2021 Winners

The winners of the Place to be Proud of Awards for 2021 were announced at live broadcast ceremony in April.

The Awards, sponsored by a range of local businesses and organisations and organised by Destination Basingstoke, was compered by twice previous award winner and 19-times world rowing record holder, Dave Holby-Wolinski, assisted by Felicity Edwards from Destination Basingstoke.

Unsung Hero Award

john lewis and waitrose basingstoke

Winner

Catherine Waters Clark

“Catherine Waters-Clark stood out because she is an inspiration to those around her and has worked tirelessly for the community in the face of real challenges. Her work has involved producing creative solutions to problems and she is a selfless individual.”

Runners Up

Arun Mummalaneni and Margaret Macklin

Young Role Model Award

Queen Marys College

Winner

Ben Soones

“Ben is a worthy winner and a role model to all of us, gifting his time, skill, and knowledge to the benefit of many young people across a wide geographical area. His generosity and willingness to support those around him mark Ben out as an exceptional young man who has led by example.”

Runners Up

Cameron Coveney, Michael Ellis, Louisa Riley and Aaron Langford

Arts and Entertainment Award

helping hands radio

Winner

Jodie Marsh-Hoffman

“What a fantastic opportunity for HHCR, Basingstoke’s Community Radio Station to have sponsored the Arts & Entertainment category of this year’s Destination Basingstoke’s A Place to be Proud of Awards. A deserved win for Jodie amongst such innovative entries. Huge congratulations from HHCR”

Runners Up

Josh Dixon, from Pumpkin Pantos and Overton TV

Community Project

Face TV Basingstoke

Winner

M3 Job Club

“A secure and fulfilling job often ensures not just personal and family stability, but the stability of community overall. Free access to resources, training and support is invaluable, especially during times of uncertainty. The M3 Job Club’s work is of consistent benefit to our local area, and were clear winners for this years Community Project Award”

Runners Up

Viables Community Centre and The Camrose Centre

Good Neighbour Award

Right At Home

Winner

Marilyn and Rodney Scott - The Evergreen Group

“ I’d like to congratulate Rodney and Marilyn for their fantastic efforts with their local community over the past 20 years. I was particularly impressed by the scope of the support they have provided to so many people in the Oakley"

Runners Up

Overton Cares  & Frank Mudd of PopUp Play Village

Life Time Achievement Award

destination basingstoke

Winner

Ali Foss - QMC

“Ali Foss has been a fantastic ambassador for Basingstoke and especially the next generation, and we would like to thank her by presenting her a special lifetime achievement award to mark the end of over 30 years at QMC and as a as a real champion of young people and, as well as a thank you for many years supporting these awards,”

Health and Wellbeing Award

Lilly

Winner

The Basingstoke Covid-19 Vaccination Centres

“The centres are staffed by an incredible army of volunteers who have made a massive difference to the health of the community. Everyone involved is a truly deserving winner. And congratulations to the runners up and all those nominated in the category, for all that you do for our local community.”

Runners Up

Glenn Brailey and Elaine Tennison

Business and Community

Winner

The Limeleaf Restaurant

“The Limeleaf have shown generous community spirit in their support to local NHS workers, despite the challenges experienced in their own industry over the last year. To continue to focus on the wider Basingstoke community even as the business environment has been so difficult, is a credit to the Limeleaf team.”

Runners Up

Phillips Solicitors and Willows Coffee House

Parent in a Million

Basingstoke Gazette

Winner

Claire Weatherhead

“Claire is someone who despite great personal loss and challenges has always shown dedication to her family. Her caring nature is clearly infectious and the support she continues to give both to her children and her sister and her nine children is nothing short of heroic.”

Runners Up

Carol Soane and Katie Looseley

Fundraiser of The Year

beaufort financial

Winner

Richard Curtis of the Portsmouth Arms

“Richard has been an inspiration to so many over last 12 months and brought a real sense of community spirit and togetherness, even when we couldn’t be together in person. His support of local charities has made a real difference and raised awareness to those who need our support more than ever."

Runners Up

Debbie Loveridge & The ArkRiders

Destination Basingstoke

2020 Winners

The winners of the Place to be Proud of Awards for 2020 were announced at live broadcast ceremony on 15th July 2020, in a change to the usual live event at the Haymarket.

The Awards, sponsored by a range of local businesses and organisations and organised by Destination Basingstoke, was compered by twice previous award winner and 19-times world rowing record holder, Dave Holby-Wolinski, assisted by Felicity Edwards from Destination Basingstoke.

Unsung Hero Award

Festival Place Basingstoke

Winner

Claire Sutton from the Community Furniture Project

"Claire has had a huge impact , her enthusiasm and vision have inspire others and made a real difference"

Runners Up

Richard Curtis from the Portsmouth Arms and Laura Lodge

Young Role Model Award

Queen Marys College

Winner

Cameron Deakin

"Cameron is always positive, always puts others first and always is the best he can be inspite of the challenges he faces."

Runners Up

Joshua Dempsey and Lucy Colegate

Arts and Entertainment Award

Basingstoke Leisure Park

Winner

Helping Hands Community Radio

"In a short time they have made a big impact as a community resource."

Runners Up

BATS Next Gen and All in the Mind Festival

Community Project

Face TV Basingstoke

Winner

Red Box

"We believe they have achieved tangible change in something a little taboo,"

Runners Up

Basingstoke Foodbank and The Dragonfly Project

Health and Care Award

bmi hampshire clinic

Winner

Heartburn Cancer UK

Started locally but the impact has been nationally in improving awareness of this devastating disease."

Runners Up

Sarah Leaford and YPI Counselling

Business and Community

Basingstoke Together

Winner

Apollo Hotel

"They have supported so many local charities and recently become a Covid19 step-down hospital."

Runners Up

Basingstoke Sports Trust, Hair Lab and Phillips Solicitors

Green Champion Award

Basingstoke Gazette

Winner

Festival Place

"They have adapted as many measures as they can to be green for customers and tenants."

Runners Up

Festival Place Cleaning Team and Basingstoke and Deane Parks Team

Charity Of The Year

Winner

Basingstoke CAB

"A charity that works so hard for the community even more valued in the current difficult times."

Runners Up

From Leia With Love and The Aldworth School Charity Committee

Above and Beyond Award

destination basingstoke

Winner

Nicky Blunden

"Nicky is a classic example of what above and beyond means, she has a job but goes way beyond her job description!"

Runners Up

Islam Jalaita and Mark Jones

Destination Basingstoke
coloured bar

Destination Basingstoke's Sponsors

Absolutely Offices Basingstoke
NHS Hampshire Hospitals Trust