On the evening of 6th June, The CountyClean Group were proud to be the headline sponsors of the 1066 Community Awards hosted by the Hastings Observer newspaper at Bannatyne Hotel and Spa in Hastings.
Over 250 people attended the awards evening which aimed to celebrate the unsung heroes of the community and give those individuals the recognition they truly deserve.
Keith Ridley from The Observer kicked-off the awards by warmly welcoming everyone and giving thanks to all the sponsors. Our very own Debbie Walker, Director and joint-owner of the CountyClean Group with husband Mike Walker, was then invited on stage to say a few words and give her own welcome to all the guests.
With 16 awards to give out, it was time to announce the worthy winners which were as follows:
- Young Achiever of the Year (sponsored by East Sussex College Group) – Charlie Willis.
- Public Service Award (sponsored by Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism) – Roger Crouch.
- Sporting Star (sponsored by Just Property) – West Hill Boxing Club’s Joe Lee and John Gray.
- Carer of the Year (sponsored by Heringtons Solicitors) – Frances Phillips.
- Care for Animals (sponsored by Windmill Hill Post Office and Café) – Barby Keel.
- Friend of the Environment (sponsored by Hastings Borough Council) – Abigail Wheeler.
Keith informed the room of the fundraising that Abigail has done for environmental charities. The stand out fundraising event was in aid of The Rainforest Foundation UK, Abigail set herself the goal to walk 1,000 miles throughout 2017. She completed the challenge and raised £600 for the charity, this amount was then doubled on the night by The CountyClean Group who also have a keen interest in the environment and thought that Abigail’s cause was so important and inspiring.
- Fundraiser of the Year (sponsored by the White Rock Theatre) – Summer and Shaun Finlay (winners), John Pulfer (highly commended).
Summer and her Dad, Shaun, caught the attention of the CountyClean Group, Debbie and Mike Walker in particular when they were selling raffle tickets at the beginning of the evening to raise funds for Charity for Kids. Summer is supported by Charity for Kids and in return for her care, the father and daughter team put in a lot of effort to fundraise for the charity and give something back which is just extraordinary.
In 2019, Summer became the first person to complete the Eastbourne Half Marathon in a wheelchair and to date they have raised over £15,000 through their various fundraising efforts. This giggly girl really made an impression on CountyClean who were so happy to see her win an award!
- Charity of the Year (sponsored by PCM Estate Agents) – Pit-Stop Youth Trust (winners), Little Gate Farm (highly commended), Safehaven Women (highly commended).
- Business in the Community (sponsored by Bannatyne Hotel and Spa) – Netherfield Stores.
- Health Worker Award (sponsored by Spectrum) – Roger Nuttall.
- Best Community Organisation (sponsored by Barracloughs The Opticians) – Hastings Tornado Twirl-Stars.
- Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Hastings Direct) – Steve Johnson.
- Local Hero Award (sponsored by M&W Property) – Gerald Carpenter.
- Special Recognition (sponsored by R&R Kitchens and Bedrooms) – (joint winners) Harry Wiseman and Pete Prescott.
- Observer Achievement Award (sponsored by the Hastings Observer series) – Hannah Richards.
- Overall Achiever (sponsored by the CountyClean Group) – Harry Wiseman.
Debbie and Mike Walker were invited on stage to present this award to Harry Wiseman. Harry sadly lost his brother who died in 2011 at the age of 21 due to an accidental overdose. Following this sad time in Harry and his family’s life, Harry struggled with substance abuse to mask his emotions. After six years Harry decided enough was enough and he has been clean for three years now.
To raise awareness and money for the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which provides support to men battling mental health problems, Harry embarked on the challenge of cycling 20,000 miles across 20 countries in memory of his brother. Harry set off from Hastings in March 2018 and returned almost a year later!
Debbie Walker remained on stage to give an impromptu speech on how “truly humbled” she felt by what she saw and heard on the night and how glad The CountyClean Group were to be the main sponsors of the awards.
Overall it was a really incredible evening and to help make it possible for all the inspiring winners and nominees was an amazing feeling.
To read more about all the winners, you can read the article written by the Hastings Observer here.