Community heroes in Bath and North East Somerset who have made an exceptional contribution to helping others during the Covid-19 pandemic are set to be recognised in a raft of special new awards.
The Shining Light Awards aim to highlight people who have gone above and beyond to volunteer or to support members of their community over the past year.
Nominations are now open for the ten awards for volunteers, carers, charities, businesses, nurses, teachers, public sector workers, and anyone who has exceeded what is expected of them in order to help their local community or an individual over the past 12 months.
The Shining Light Awards are organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council in partnership with BSW CCG, BANES Virgin Care, Curo, Student Community Partnership (University of Bath, Bath Spa University & Bath College), and the 3SG.
The annual Community Awards are on hold until 2021/22 so that people who have supported others through the pandemic can be given recognition through these special awards this year.
Councillor Andy Furse, council Chair, said: “Over the past year I have found it staggering to witness many extraordinary acts of kindness and support by people in Bath and North East Somerset to those in need. We have always known there are true heroes in our community, but the challenges posed by the pandemic have highlighted these exceptional people more than ever before. It’s really brought out the best in our communities.
“It’s especially important this year that we ‘shine a light’ on these individuals and groups and so I encourage everyone to think about whether they know someone who deserves to be honoured by one of these special awards. Perhaps you know someone who has made sure a vulnerable person feels less alone by providing emotional support, or a business who has provided services for free to volunteers. We want to hear about all these heroes, big or small, who have found creative ways to look after others.”
Ruth Atkins, Head of Public Engagement and Insights for NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The past 12 months have been unprecedented and the awards will provide an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous work individuals, teams and organisations across B&NES have achieved. BSW CCG welcomes working in partnership with the Council and other organisations to deliver these awards.”
Jo Scammell, Head of Commissioning and Wellbeing at Virgin Care said: “We are delighted to be part of the Awards again this year. We have been amazed by the community response during the pandemic and how compassionate the residents of Bath and North East Somerset are. This is a great opportunity to hear more about all these incredibly kind and generous people.”
Ghika Savva, Community Liaison Co-ordinator from the Student Community Partnership said: “All of us in the Student Community Partnership have been touched to hear stories of residents and students coming together to support each other during lockdown – these acts of kindness have helped us all through the past year. We are looking forward to celebrating the local heroes that make this community such a special place.”
James Carlin, Director of 3SG said: "It's been incredible to see thousands of people coming forward to help each other during the last 12 months. We'd encourage you to Shine A Light on all the unsung heroes that have made a huge difference to the lives of people in Bath and North East Somerset."
Tom Box, Resident Engagement Manager at housing association Curo, said: “It’s been an incredibly tough year but at Curo we’ve seen residents and communities do extraordinary things to support each other time and time again. We look forward to helping to celebrate our COVID heroes through these awards.”
Nominations will be considered by a panel made up of the partner organisations.
There will be an online awards evening in May. Winners will receive a certificate of recognition and a Bath Aqua Glass Award.
Nominations are encouraged to be made online via the nomination form before April 30.
All nominations must demonstrate that the nominee
- has provided support to the local community or an individual during the past 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- in addition to their normal work or volunteering, they made a significant difference to the lives of the community or an individual that they have supported during the past year.
- is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it.
- benefits residents of Bath and North East Somerset.
Find out more at the Awards webpage
It is important to also highlight and celebrate the winners of last year’s Community Awards. Whilst we were unable to hold a celebration for them due to the event being cancelled, we managed to find alternative ways to surprise them with their awards. Take some time to view their individual surprises here