GROUPS and individuals who give their time and energy to making their town a better place were honoured.
Fourteen Pride of Coleford awards were presented in a ceremony at The Main Place on Saturday (November 19).
But town mayor Cllr Nick Penny – who presented the awards on behalf of organisers Coleford Town Council – said there were many more people who were deserving of the awards.
He said: “This is the fourth year of the Pride of Coleford awards and we have once again been overwhelmed by the quality of the nominations.
“In 2018 we presented just five awards to a room of around 20 people.
“In 2019 we presented 10 awards and last year our Coronavirus pandemic recognised 21 individuals or groups.
“I still feel there is room to grow these awards and say even more thank yous to the people who, like yourselves, make Coleford such a special place.
“For each of you in this room, I would estimate there are at least another 25 volunteers who are doing great things in our community we simply don’t know about.”
Cllr Penny said “extremely generous peolple who give their time freely’’ had been honoured.
He also called on people to start thinking about nominations for next year’s awards.
He also took the opportunity to ask people to think about standing as a councillor for Coleford Town Council in the elections next May.
The volunteers being honoured were presented with a glass trophy and there was music by the Clover Quartet
The introductions for the young winners were made by Five Acres High School students Imogen Phelps and Connor Halford.
Cllr Penny said that during his time as mayor he had been working to build meaningful relationship with the school.
He said: “We’ve met with the student voice to discuss issues affecting Coleford and our surrounding area and invited the senior student team to participate in key civic events.
“This year I thought it would be nice to involve the students in identifying younger residents who deserved a special thank your for their support of our community.”
Stories behind the awards
Coleford platoon, the Army Cadets
A small group of adults who give freely of their time, volunteering their life skills in order to give the youth of Coleford an exemplary start to their adult life often leading to qualifications that support young people into employment.
Alison runs a popular Girl Guides unit and has expanded what is on offer by opening a Ranger group for 14-18-year-olds. She also encourages the Guides to take part in community events.
Kathy and Geoff Sandals
Kathy and Geoff take a real pride in the town, devoting hundreds of hours to picking up litter – none of which was in response to an organised event. After the awards ceremony they were back out with their bags and litter pickers.
Coleford Welcomes Walkers
The group was established in August 2021 but already has a number of achievements to its name including a full audit of every footpath in the area including basic repairs and signage improvements and the creation of walks linking campsites to the town centre.
Chloe volunteers as a leader with three Guide units and is active in litter picking and raising awareness of issues such as plastic pollution and period poverty.
Chase started a Lego society at Five Acres High School to give students somewhere to relax at the end of the school day.
He also takes part in litter picks.
Five Acres High School student Connor takes part in the Relay for Life to raise money for Cancer Research as well as being a volunteer at the mobile eye clinic at Coleford Library. He also helps out at Scouts events, is a volunteer with St John Ambulance and takes part in litter picks.
Zara works tirelessly to support the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. She sold poppies at the Lidl store in Coleford and her efforts contributed to raising more than £6,000 for the appeal from the town.
Viv is a volunteer with FRED – the Forest Read Easy Deal – which helps people with literacy issues. She is dedicated to the role and the people of the community.
The former Mayor of Coleford is a leading member of the Coleford Area Partnership which runs The Main Place community building and the organiser of the Forest’s programme of Heritage Open Days each September.
Coleford Memory Cafe
The monthly cafe held at Coleford Baptist Church is run entirely by volunteers and provides a safe space where people with dementia and their carers can relax and chat and enjoy refreshments.
Scott has worked tirelessly for the St John’s Academy Parent-Teacher Association organising events such as the Skool Fest music festival.
He has also helped find volunteer marshals for events such as the Christmas lights switch-on and St George’s Day parade.
The Terrell family
Nicola, Graeme and Jordan Terrell are key members of the voluntary team that makes the Coleford Music Festival possible. They take time off work or their businesses and will do anything that is asked of them. Graeme has also joined the team of the Coleford Festival of Transport.
Roger was presented with a special recognition award. He takes a real pride in the appearance of the town and although employed by Biffa ensuring the streets are clean, he goes above and beyond every working day such is his commitment to the town.