Community Honours Champions at 10th Anniversary Party

The Herald celebrated its 10th anniversary at Henley Rugby Club and presented their 2022 Community Champion Awards to the well-deserved on Friday night.

Before the awards were presented Editor Michaela said a few words about the last 10 years, “I’ve learned a lot, made some incredible new friends along the way and I hope I’ve made a difference to our community by offering an alternative news outlet for our fantastic town. Over the last 10 years we’ve published over 13,000 articles covering everything from Councils to community group news, schools to sport news, events to emergencies and everything in between.”

Michaela was joined by radio presenter Mike Read to co-host the evening and the party was kindly sponsored by ManningUK insurance brokers.

The evening was raising money for Blubells Day Centre which provides support for people with Dementia at the Christ Church Centre through ticket sales and a raffle with prizes kindly donated by Henley Festival, The Relais, Henley Rugby Club and Brakspear.

Over 1000 people voted online in the public vote in November in the six categories Community Champion, Charity Champion, Top Teacher/TA, Heart of Gold Neighbour, Customer Service Champion and Young Sporting Superstar.

David Eggleton won the Community Champion award for his tireless work co-ordinating supplies for the war in Ukraine. He said, “Thank you to everybody that’s voted for me. Anybody that knows me knows that I just go out and do stuff that needs doing, in any situation. I’ve met some really nice people from Ukraine, who have come over, and I’m still working with people on Ukraine and they keep sending me messages about different stuff that they require. Everything that they want, I try my best to get it out there. I’ve got people that take stuff straight to the front line. The last thing we did was, Piers loaded his truck and went out to Ukraine and distributed his stuff, so thanks Piers. Gemma Birch, when I first started doing this people would come to me and ask what can we do, so Gemma from MotherSisterDaughter, thank you. We’re all so lucky in the aspect that we’re not going through a war, and seeing some of the scenes, I’m glad that the stuff I’m sending out there is getting to where it needs to go.”

Emma Jane Taylor was awarded the Charity Champion award for her work on child sex abuse. She said, “The conversation on child sex abuse is not a glamorous conversation. Over the last year, I have been doing lots of challenges – one a month. I have trekked the Jurassic Coast, I’ve paddle boarded 15 miles down the Thames, cycled along the Thames on a specially created bike and wing-walked. Child sex abuse is huge. I’ve been in this space for five years, I’ve written a book, and I’ve been very fortunate to spend a lot of time last year at the House of Commons. It’s getting more recognition. I’ve decided to found a charity called Project 90/10, and it’s based on the fact that 90% of children being sexually abused are being abused by someone they know, but at schools, we only educate on 10% which is stranger danger. It isn’t pretty, and I’m quite emotional tonight with an award for a conversation that isn’t ever really recognised.”

It was a great night for Gillotts School, Leanne Dallarda, a Gillotts School Dinner lady won the Customer Service Champion and said, “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. I love my job and I love doing it – it’s wonderful.” Gillotts School LSA Team won the Top Teacher/TA award. Head of the LSA Team Claire Collyer said, “I’m glad they won because I nominated them. They are the most phenomenal team, and they allow me to be able to do the job that I do, or else I think I’d be rocking in a corner somewhere. They don’t get paid a lot; they go above and beyond. They are truly phenomenal and I wouldn’t be without my family, so that’s why they are absolutely the most deserved winners here. Well done – love you.” Emily Simmons a student at Gillotts School won the Young Sporting Superstar for rowing and for overcoming anxiety and getting back in the boat after Covid and to go on and compete at the Women’s Regatta and for GB U16 crew in France.

Sharon Harper won the Heart of Gold Neighbour award and was the only nominee this year in the category. Sharon was in complete shock in being announced as the winner as she didn’t know she had even been nominated and a group of neighbours had said to here they were just going for a nice night out!

The awards were sponsored by THP Solicitors, Southern Plant, IBS Office Solutions, Henley Self Storage, Brakspear and Meadows Farm Studios. Guests enjoyed a glass of fizz to celebrate thanks to a kind donation from The Fairmile Vineyard.

After the awards guests enjoyed dancing the night away to the band Ready or Not.

The nominations for the 2023 awards will open again in September.

The full results of the public vote are below

Community Champion 2023 Results
Community Champion
David Eggleton – Ukraine23
Chris Furley – Henley Mobile Vet for Widlife Rescue18
Tom Scott – Henley Tennis Club15
Nicola Taylor – Henley WI, Toad Patrol and Living Advent Calendar14
Tim Prior – Nomad11
Lucie Henwood – Acorn Music Theatre and Kenton11
Patrick Fleming – Greener Henley8
Charity Champion%
Emma Jane Taylor – Child Sex Abuse20
Andrew Huyton & Jessica Martin – Oxfordshire Autism Support18
Gemma Birch – MotherSisterDaughter18
Laura Reineke – Surfers for Sewage14
Piers Burnell – Ukraine13
Sam Jonkers – Care4Calais11
Barbara Grimms – Care4Calais7
Customer Service Champion%
Leanne Dallarda – Gillotts School38
Vince Riley – Waitrose19
Eva & Graham Rickett – Henley Scan11
Adam and Rose Lubbock – ADV9
Laurence Morris – Laurence Menswear8
Nick Totman – Whitehill Service Station6
Clare Stacey – Bunkers Opticians6
Lorna Dunlop – Henley Florist & Flower School4
Top Teacher/TA%
Gillotts LSA Team32
Claire Collyer – Gillotts School21
Kath Booth – Valley Road School18
Emma Steer – Rupert House School12
Susie Newman – Rupert House School9
Sara Catanach – Gillotts School8
Young Sporting Superstar%
Emily Simmons – Rowing44
Jess McDonagh – Football34
Ben Palmer – Football22
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