Civil rights campaigners, volunteers, charity workers, educators and many others were honoured today (Thursday 11 April) by the Lord Mayor and guests at the city’s annual Lord Mayor’s Medals ceremony.
Medals were awarded to 17 people for dedicating their time to such causes as fighting for equality, supporting the elderly and young people and developing sustainable communities.
Speaking ahead of the awards, Lord Mayor, Cllr Cleo Lake, said: “Bristol is full of inspiring, caring, committed and talented people and I am delighted to honour some of our finest here tonight. This diverse group represent the best of our city and stand as living testament to what can be achieved when we work together for the benefit of others.
“I hope that their stories will inspire others to volunteer, mentor, coach and support to continue the legacy already established by Lord Mayor’s Medal recipients.”
The Lord Mayor’s Medals recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to their communities and improving the lives of the people of Bristol.
Amy Kington, Chief Executive Officer of Community of Purpose and a 2019 medal recipient, said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d receive this kind of recognition for doing something I love so much. I’m incredibly grateful to those who nominated me and for all of the support I’ve been given by family, friends and the city over the years. It’s an honour to stand next to some of Bristol’s living legends like Roy and Dennis to accept this award.
“I hope that the stories of this year’s medal recipients will encourage others to look into doing a bit of volunteering or taking an extra hour out of their week to help someone else fulfil their potential or live a more rewarding life.”
This year’s medal recipients were:
- Karina Castro
Originally from Mexico, Karina became a UK Citizen in 2016. She is hugely passionate about Bristol, its diverse communities and for building ways in which people from all backgrounds can come together, connect and build cohesion. 2019 is Karina’s 10 year anniversary working for Trinity Community Arts, after starting out as a volunteer in 2009 and serving as a trustee since 2014.
- Rebecca Scott
Concerned by a lack of positive engagement within BAME communities, Rebecca has – and continues to - relentlessly drive and champion positive change and opportunities for BAME and SEND communities through looking at ways to break down barriers in employment and education. Rebecca chairs the newly formed BAME Staff Advisory network at the University of Bristol, is a Trustee for Autism Independence and school governor at Bannerman Road Academy.
- Rob Webber
Rob has been Leader in Charge of Manor Farm Boys Club for the last 20 years. The club provides opportunities for members (aged 8-16) to participate in sporting and other activities. It has flourished under his leadership. After becoming a member at 11, Rob never really left, becoming a volunteer helper as a teenager and taking on the role of Leader at short notice whilst working nights and supporting a young family.
- Dionne Draper
Dionne is a multi-talented choir director, composer, stage and television actress, whose work has a joyful impact on many people. One of Dionne’s most well-known initiatives is the Sing with Soul (SWS) Community Choir. Through SWS, she delivers masterclasses, music direction and arrangements for the community and works in partnership with the public and private sector to promote diversity through music and performance.
- Christine Dyer
Christine has been a unit leader for Girlguiding Bristol and South Gloucestershire for over 50 years. Her nomination for a Lord Mayors medal is in recognition of her dedication and commitment to supporting young people in Bristol, striving to provide the very best opportunities for young people. As part of her work, Christine has run successful Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Ranger units and has she approaches her 70th birthday continues to be actively involved.
- Jane Oakland
Jane’s award is in recognition of her contribution to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and work within The Guild of Guardians, most notably as Master in 2017-2018. Jane was chair of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta for a number of years (most recently 2014 and 2015), a significant and an all-consuming role which enables the delivery of one of Bristol’s best known events.
- Amy Kington
Amy is passionate, committed and dedicated to improving the lives of young people who are at risk and building communities. She has the ability to unlock gifts and talents, linking them to a project she is delivering and turning young people into the best version of them. Amy worked at the FA and Bristol City Community Trust and was focussed on making these organisations the very best that they could be. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Community of Purpose, a community interest company dedicated to linking communities with public, private and voluntary organisations, developing activities and services to generate aspiration, confidence and address inequalities.
- Anndeloris Chacon
Anndeloris’ award is given in recognition of her work supporting carers in the community. She is a visionary leader, whose passion and purpose lies in helping others. Anndeloris spent 36 years as a nurse. During that time, she was an active member of the Black and Minority Ethnic core group, a mentor/preceptor for staff, the Bullying and Harassment Advisor and a union representative for Royal College of Nurses.
- Poku Osei
Poku came to Bristol from Ghana in 2013 to study a Master’s Degree. His interest in social mobility then saw him establish Babbasa, an initiative to support and empower disadvantaged young people to step into the world of work and pursue their ambitions. Through a unique 4 module development programme, Babbasa has supported 1339 young people. 341 have gained workplace knowledge and built self-confidence through training and 29 young people have entered into paid employment as a direct outcome of Babasa’s support. 68 young people have entered volunteering and unpaid employment and 9 have successfully embarked upon self-employment.
- Harold ‘Buster’ Footman
Buster has worked tirelessly on a voluntary basis for over 25 years, championing the needs of older people and particularly the welfare of those who served in the armed forces. He works in Long Ashton, dealing with service and welfare cases, visiting lonely war veterans and those in bereavement. He visits nursing/care homes and delivers cards/gifts to those who served in the armed forces. Buster is a dedicated fundraiser, raising over £100k for charities including Service and Ex-Service of Royal British Legion Charities, The Ghurkha Welfare Fund, Somerset Legion House and children’s charities.
- Roger Mortimer
Roger has been the engine behind much of what the Redland and Cotham Amenity Society (RCAS) has achieved over the years and managed the planning group that assessed all applications in this large area, informed members and made responses. Roger has also been proactive in a number of initiatives within the area and in greater Bristol for many years. His wisdom and experience and his personal involvement this has been invaluable and, until he retired from this voluntary role last year.
- Alastair Brook
Alastair has made a major contribution to the conservation of historic Bristol and the promotion of high quality urban design over the last 20 years. Amongst his achievements are contributing to the preservation, restoration and continued use of Lower Lodge at Ashton Court, playing a central role in the promotion and re-launching of Bristol Doors Open Day and has been a consistent promoter and supporter of the Bristol Urban Design Forum. Alastair has shown extraordinary commitment to Bristol playing a major role in the development of the city docks and was a trustee of the Architecture Centre in Bristol for nearly 20 years.
- Dennis Stinchcombe
Dennis Stinchcombe is by far one of the most well-known youth workers in the city and is probably the longest serving. He has been looking after young people for over 42 years and remains at the very active in supporting and developing young people from all backgrounds. Dennis and his wife Edna have fostered 137 young men over the last 35 years and as Centre Director at Broad Plain club has provided a safe space and helped countless more over many years. Reaching out to young people in crisis, those in need of a new start, where mainstream education doesn’t work and there are other complex needs, Dennis’ motto of "Service Not Self!" can be seen in everything he does.
- Victoria Tiley
Victoria has used her experience to transform the lives of vulnerable young people and their communities. She works with BCFM as a presenter, in sales and as Partnership Manager. She is also a long term community volunteer. Her mission is to grow confidence in young people and empower them whilst bringing communities together. Over the past 20 years Victoria has been a board member, mentor and director, working with organisations including the Lockleaze neighbourhood trust and venture playground. Projects have been diverse and have attracted all members of the community through events in Lockleaze, Easton, Eastville and St. Pauls. All roles have been on a voluntary basis.
- Henry Poultney
Henry is a passionate, dedicated and committed youth worker who goes above and beyond in his support of the LGBTQ community in Bristol and the South West. His work with Off The Record promotes resilient mental health in young people and training organisations to identify and conquer prejudice. It is an inspiration for much of the teaching that now takes place within the 3D curriculum at UoB. Within Freedom Youth, Henry has created a safe, welcoming and supportive space for young people and through encouraging peer mentoring and youth participation, he has facilitated an environment that has been created both for and by young people.
- Roy Hackett
Social justice campaigner, community leader and one of the Seven Saints of St Paul’s, Roy Hackett has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of Bristol and beyond. In 1962, he formed the ‘Commonwealth Co-ordinated Committee’ (CCC), with the aim of stopping people from dumping rubbish in the neighbourhood. The CCC became the organisational anchor for the Bristol Bus Boycott in 1963 with Roy’s work being instrumental in the 1967 Race Relations Act. His contribution was recognised with an invitation to Parliament to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passing of the law. The CCC later became the Bristol West Indian Parents and Friends and helped form other key organisations including Bristol Race Equality, Bristol Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre and St Paul’s Festival, with all groups striving to improve the lives of people in the city by promoting racial equality, the value of diversity and eliminating discrimination. Roy continues to work, albeit on a scaled down level for the community, on a number of projects including BREC, Bristol Older Peoples Forum and the Church Above the Shops but in reality, there are really just too many accomplishments to list.
- Steve Rosser – International Medal
Steve Rosser is a founder member of the Bristol Link with Nicaragua. As a volunteer working on social justice and human rights in Central America, he first visited the country in 1985 to take solidarity materials during the Contra war. Steve has been involved in projects such as bringing Fairtrade coffee producers to work in Bristol schools, organising the Copa Sandino football for Nicaragua tournament each year, supporting a girls football and life skills programme in Nicaragua, building and equipping nine preschools for under-fives in Puerto Morazan and funding teacher training using Montessori teaching methods which he helped introduce to Nicaragua.