Tables laid, lights lit, PA system checked (testing, testing). After weeks of preparation, the Up Our Street team were putting the finishing touches to the Thank You Awards 2016. The event at the Trinity Centre on 20 October was the sixth year we have run this event, which comes from a really simple idea - to say thank you to all those unsung heroes who give up their time to do amazing things in our community.
As the night progressed we heard the stories of fifty residents from Easton and Lawrence Hill. We heard about volunteers using their skills as ESOL tutors, football coaches, trustees, event organisers, and campaigners on everything from sustainable transport to protecting girls from FGM, and much more. Chatting with with people at the event, the word 'inspiring' came up again and again. As one person commented, all those individual actions add up, and make a very powerful impact.
We were particularly delighted to present a Thank You award to Lil Stiddard, who will celebrate her 100th birthday in December. She was nominated by local councillor Ruth Pickersgill, who told us how Lil had helped set up the Evergreens group for older people in the 1980s, and was a tireless committee member for the Easton Community Association who helped raise funds to get the community centre built. She is still volunteering with Evergreens, helping to put out chairs and organising the raffle. "Lil has always been dedicated to making things better in Easton and has given so much of her time over several decades to community activity. She has always been so humble about her role, but we are so priviledged to have Lil as part of our community."
So a big Thank You from all of us at Up Our Street!