2019 Awards Winners

2019 Love Where We Live Awards Ceremony

TWBC - Love where we live awards finalists

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s annual community awards – Love Where We Live Awards – were presented at a ceremony at the Assembly Hall Theatre on Wednesday 9 October. Ben West was announced as the overall 2019 Love Where We Live Award winner. Ben also won this year’s Young Volunteer of the Year award.

Ben, along with his family, set up the Sam West Foundation after his younger brother tragically took his own life in 2018. Ben has gone on to become a campaigner for mental health issues in young people, establishing initiatives such as Project Walk to Talk  and launching a petition, Save our Students, which aims to press the government to make mental health awareness training a compulsory part of teacher training. Ben’s response to his loss has been to do all he can to ensure other young lives might be saved, that other families should not have to go through what he and his family suffered. In his words, “No brother should have to stand up at a funeral and talk about his 15 year old brother, that shouldn't happen.”

Eight awards in total were given out at this year’s ceremony, ranging from Best Group and Ethical Business to Young Sports Achiever and Individual Hero.

Other winners were:

Ethical Business

Goupie

Janet Simpson has endeavoured to make Goupie, the Goudhurst based chocolate company,  a company that does not cost the earth physically, or metaphorically. With flexible working hours, 100% recyclable packaging, compostable bags and locally sourced ingredients, Janet has made Goupie into as ethical a business as possible across all aspects of the company.

Best Group

Special Educational Needs Support Tunbridge Wells

Becky, Sarah and Gemma have made a difference to so many local families during the past 10 months. They have formed a group offering support and advice to parents of children with Special Educational Needs, investing their own time, money and emotions in to supporting strangers who are in a difficult position. The parents helped so far feel less overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, anger and guilt; they feel empowered and supported and for many this means they can face each day with more optimism that things can improve.

Sports Achiever

Rita Weeks

Rita has tirelessly headed the Tunbridge Wells netball league for over 32 years and is now retiring. She and her husband organise all the teams and dedicate four nights a week, come rain or shine, to allow the teams to play in a fun, friendly league. One nominee said:

“I started playing in the league at 17 and I am now 57 and watch my children play. The league has flourished over the years and Rita has dedicated her whole life to it.”

Young Sports Achiever

Harley Curtis-Lawrence

Harley is an acrobatic gymnast who at 11 years of age, has moved from the development programme in his sport to the Federation of International Gymnastics - a much higher level, which has gymnasts up to the age of 18. Harley has faced this new challenge with determination and trains for a minimum of 15 hours a week to achieve the level required. Despite facing injury this year, Harley has been selected to trial to represent the GB squad at the European Championships in Israel later this year.

Individual Hero

Eugene Gardner

Eugene is the driving force behind Rusthall Community Cinema. Eugene's vision and ability to enthuse others has created a thriving club with over 75 people attending each film show. Rusthall Community Cinema is growing year-on-year and local interest with it. Without Eugene the cinema would not have started, and would not still be running successfully as a benefit to the community of Rusthall. He is a hero to be celebrated.

Charity of the Year

Crossways Community

Crossways Community is a mental health charity based solely in Tunbridge Wells that wanted to share their knowledge and support with the Tunbridge Wells community. So, in January 2019 they opened a new community café in the centre of Tunbridge Wells – The Kitchen Table. The Kitchen Table is a café open to everyone but with a special focus on those suffering poor mental health and those who support them. Crossways Community is committed to helping fight the scourge of mental health and to support those who live with it. The Kitchen Table is a vital part of that fight.

The awards this year were sponsored by Town and Country Foundation, Fusion Lifestyle, Trinity Theatre, Kent and Sussex Courier, LMW Support Services and King Charles’ School Old Boys’ Association.

The other finalists in each of the categories were:

Best Group Award

Tunbridge Wells Mums in Business Network

Sarah's Runners

Sports Achiever of the Year Award

Alexander Faulkner

Suzi Rich

Young Sports Achiever of the Year

Rusthall Victors FC Under 10s

Michael Talebi

Ethical Business Award

Tunbridge Wells Forum

Colley Raine & Associates

Charity of the Year Award

Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice

DAVSS

Young Volunteer of the Year Award

Melissa Hatch

Connor Terry

Individual Hero Award

Dawn Stanford

Peter Querstret

Sports Training and Equipment awards also were presented to the four runners-up in the sports categories.

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2018 Love Where We Live Awards

Fegans, the children’s charity that supports children and their families through counselling and parent support, was crowned the overall 2018 Love Where We Live winner. Fegans also won this year’s Charity of the Year award.

Love Where We Live Awards 2018 - Winners

Fegans’ priority is to support children with one to one counselling sessions and to provide parenting support, with the goal of working towards a world where children are free to become all they were created to be. Their work serving the children and families of the local community is already making an impact in Tunbridge Wells.

Eight awards in total were given out at this year’s ceremony, ranging from Best Group and Ethical Business to Young Sports Achiever and Individual Hero.

Best Group Award

Winner - Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau Volunteers

Finalist - Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services

Finalist - Rusthall Community Cinema

Charity of the Year Award

Winner - Fegans

Finalist - Life & Soul

Finalist - Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource

Ethical Business Award

Winner - Childrensalon

Finalist - CountryBike

Finalist - The Forum, Tunbridge Wells

Individual Hero Award

Winner - Gill Daniels

Finalist - Davie Hardie

Finalist - Philippa Bernstein

Sports Achiever of the Year Award

Winner - Tunbridge Wells Hockey Club

Finalist - Joe Watts

Finalist - Dave Allen

Young Sports Achiever of the Year Award

Winner - Fern Sneddon

Finalist - Tunbridge Wells Rugby Football Club U15 Ladies Team

Finalist - Rebekah O'Brien

Young Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner - Milly Evans

Finalist - Connor Terry

Finalist - Tommy Barlow

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2017 Love Where We Live Awards

Alexander Runting was crowned the overall 2017 Love Where We Live winner in a ceremony that took place in the Assembly Hall Theatre, Royal Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday 4 October. Alex also won this year’s Young Volunteer of the Year award.

Love Where We Live Award Winners 2017 

Alex was nominated for his volunteer work at The Cyber Café and with the IT team at St Gregory’s Catholic School, giving his time and expertise to help others. He was praised by the judges for showing maturity and patience beyond his years guiding those who need assistance through the ever changing world of social media and computer advancement.

Eight awards in total were given out at this year’s ceremony, ranging from Best Group and Charity of the Year to Young Sports Achiever and Individual Hero. Sports Training and Equipment awards also were presented to the four runners-up in the sports categories.

The winners and finalists for all the awards are:

Best Group Award

Winner - 19th Royal Tunbridge Wells St Matthew’s Scout Group

Finalist - Calverley Adventure Grounds 

Finalist - Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun

Sports Achiever of the Year Award

Winner - Billy Hall

Finalist - Morwenna Everitt

Finalist - Annabel Guye-Johnson

Young Sports Achiever of the Year

Winner - Harley Curtis-Lawrence

Finalist - Rosie Dobson 

Finalist - Izzie Mercer 

Ethical Business Award

Winner – Trinity Theatre

Finalist - Cook

Finalist - Bidborough Stores

Charity of the Year Award

Winner – St George’s Childcare

Finalist - Crossways Community 

Finalist - Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services

Young Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner – Alexander Runting

Finalist - Cadet Sgt Shayn John

Finalist - Beau Lane-Winch
 

Individual Hero Award

Winner – Sybil Oddy

Finalist - Richard de Coverly

Finalist - Lester Gosbee

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2016 Love Where We Live Awards

Nourish Community Foodbank was crowned the overall 2016 Love Where We Live winner in a ceremony that took place in the Assembly Hall Theatre on Tuesday 11 October. They also won this year’s Charity of the Year award.2016 Love Where we Live Award winners photo

Nourish were commended by the judges for their huge contribution to the local community. Since being established in 2012 they have helped over 4,500 people in crisis and work with over 90 partner teams who refer clients for emergency help when needed.

This year’s awards were attended by a special guest - gold medal winning Paralympian Will Bayley, who presented Sports Training and Equipment awards to the four runners-ups in the sports categories.

Congratulations to all the 2016 Love Where We Live winners and finalists.

Sports Achiever of the Year

Winner - Zane Cheeseman

Finalist - Ben Baker

Finalist - Ellie Miles

Young Sports Achiever of the Year

Winner - Olivia Wittenberg

Finalist - Harley Curtis-Lawrence

Finalist - Annabel Guye-Johnson

Charity of the Year

Winner - Nourish Community Foodbank

Finalist - Headway in West Kent

Finalist - Compaid

Individual Hero

Winner - Heather Cullingworth

Finalist - Pam Bridges

Finalist - Susan Ashford

Ethical Business

Winner - Heath Stores Horsmonden Limited

Finalist - LitterGram Ltd

Finalist - Grovehurst lake (Steve Eastwood)

Best Group

Winner - Royal Tunbridge Wells Park Run

Finalist - Compaid volunteers

Finalist - KHWP Volunteers

Young Volunteer

Winner - George Milham

Finalist - Lydia Rawley

Finalist - Keaton Smith

LWWL Award

Nourish Community Foodbank

Terms and conditions at a glance

  • Previous nominees, finalists and winners can be nominated again.
  • Nominees can be entered for more than one category.
  • Nominations must be for a living person.
  • Nominations per person or organisation are unlimited, but each must be submitted on an official entry form.
  • Nominations must be for a person or organisation based in the borough of Tunbridge Wells.
  • Nominations can be made by any member of the community, whether or not they themselves are based in Tunbridge Wells.
  • An individual, group or company can nominate themselves.
  • All eligible nominations will be shortlisted, before going to an independent judging panel, whose decision is final.
  • Finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony in October.
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