Civic Sunday

24th September 2021 / News archive

Chippenham Town Council award this year’s Civic Award Winners with Civic Sunday.

Community groups,  Councillors and Digitatires gathered on Sunday 26 September for a celebration of the Civic Award Winners of 2021. The day consisted of a service at St Andrew’s Church followed by an Awards Ceremony at the Neeld Community & Arts Centre.

2021 Civic Award Winners:

Dan Townson
Recognised for making a material difference to the wellbeing and welfare of local children prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan has volunteered at Chippenham Rugby Club for 7 years and is currently the Head Coach of the under 9s team. Recognising that children’s sport is about so much more than learning a game, Dan has ensured that all his training sessions aim to develop his young players’ fitness, physical ability, social skills, and maturity. Due to the pandemic, Dan moved the training sessions from the pitch to online Zoom meetings each week. Dan has also recently started to mentor a Duke of Edinburgh scheme student from a local secondary school, encouraging them to help coach and given responsibility alongside the other under 9 coaches.

Chippenham Rotary Club
With an active membership of over 45 people, Chippenham Rotary Club have been based in the town since 1948. During this time the club have provided their time and actively fundraised to support community-based activities and charities. Over the past year during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the rotary club ran a fundraising pop up shop in the High Street, answered a call from the Chippenham Salvation Army Foodbank for volunteers to assist in the delivery of their services, and established links with local supermarkets for essential food supplied. The club also collected surplus IT equipment forging links with Wiltshire Digital Drive to ensure the equipment was distributed to school children than needed to access online learning.

Steve & Linda Jenner
Recognised for their fundraising and pastoral care to the community, Steve and Linda Jenner own the Three Crowns Pub in Chippenham. Switching to virtual events over the past due to having to close the premises during lockdown. Steve and Linda ran cooking classes, quiz nights and music & arts events. These events were used to check in with each other, especially with those who lived alone. During their virtual events, money was raised for local and national charities such as Dorothy House and Alzheimer’s Support. When the premises could open the Jenner’s provided food to ensure potentially vulnerable people saw a familiar face and a hot meal. Steve also recently assisted a resident who had collapsed in the street, reassuring the resident until an ambulance arrived.

Charlie Romain
Charlie has been a volunteer with The RISE Trust for several years, initially supporting the continuation of a very popular Stay and Play session. Due to financial constraints, without Charlie volunteering to run this group, RISE would have had to cancel it. Charlie was very committed to providing a safe and relaxing play environment. During lockdown whilst we have been unable to provide this face-to-face support, Charlie has been key in instigating ways to utilise social media platforms to bridge the gap. She assisted RISE to provide support and guidance for parents during this challenging period. Charlie has spent considerable time planning and creating videos of herself and her children to be shared on RISE’s social media pages.

Wiltshire & Berkshire Canal Trust
Recognised for their continued restoration of the Pewsham locks, and for inspiring local residents to get involved in this important part of the town’s history. Prior to the pandemic the group members actively took part in local events to promote the work the trust has undertaken not just locally in Chippenham, but across the whole canal; to raise much-needed funds for the continued restorative works.

We will also be congratulating our three recipients of Certificates of Appreciation:

Wiltshire Digital Drive
Answering over 125 applications within the local Wiltshire area for IT equipment for local school children over the past year, this non-profit charity answered the call to help those who couldn’t engage with online home learning. The charity organised links not only with local schools but other local organisations to ensure they collected enough equipment to meet demand.

Chippenham Salvation Army Foodbank
Recognised in 2020 with a Civic Award, Chippenham Salvation Army Foodbank saw an increase during the first lockdown with weekly parcels increasing from approx. 25 to 50 a week, which had to be met in a COVID safe environment. Residents who were shielding, unwell, self-isolating or couldn’t get to the shops due to having caring responsibilities at home were provided with enough food for one week. The foodbank established links with local supermarkets and other organisations for produce or funds to ensure they had what they needed to provide to local residents.

Olivia Bennett
Olivia became a Care Home Volunteer in early 2019, and despite working full time, visited the Old Vicarage Care Home weekly, quickly building a rapport with one elderly resident who has no family locally. When the first lockdown came into place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and visits to care homes were suspended, Olivia switched to writing weekly letters to the resident. These would often include self-made word searches and puzzles for the resident to complete. It was noted by the staff of the home that Olivia’s letters helped the resident feel like they hadn’t been forgotten, valued and important during the difficult period of isolation.

Photos of the day: