Sponsored by Wright Estate Agency the 2nd Annual Celebrating Age Awards were held at Lakeside Spa Hotel, Wootton Bridge. Cllr. Steve Stubbings, Deputy Leader of IW Council acted as Master of Ceremonies for the evening and thanked all the organisers especially Lauren Turner and her team.  (Age.UK IW)

IW High Sheriff Robin Courage, who was on the judging panel for the eight awards, which recognise the achievements of the older generation in the voluntary sector, gave the opening address.

He mentioned it was the voluntary sector-the unsung heroes- who keep the Island running. This Island is due to be the first rural area to receive the accolade of an Age Friendly Area, which is awarded by the World Health Organisation.

Awards presented were:

Age Friendly Entrepreneur – presented by Paul Grimes (Director, Wright Estate Agency)

 Diane Radcliffe- Diane has dedicated the last 25 years to business in the care sector, now leading the largest private care provider on the Island and was also nominated for her Community Interest Company, the Daisy Chain Club.

Age Friendly Team – presented by Paul West and Simon Thompson (Store Managers, Co-op Food)

The Brighstone Project- The team running the Brighstone Project has made huge contributions to community life in the village organising coffee mornings, a prescription delivery service, and supporting other community ventures such as the Christmas Day celebrations, help with the Christmas Tree Festival, church services for those with dementia and the horticultural show. Their accomplishments also include improved transport links through work with the FYT bus.

Age Friendly Volunteer – presented by Tina Stuart (Registered Service Manager at SHG) & Jacqui Foster (Care and Support Operations Manager at SHG)

Marion Brettell- Marion is Team coordinator for the Totland Alzheimer Café which has 50 regular attendees. She also organises poetry reading sessions and uses her art and design skills to great effect at Westview House residential care home in Totland.

Age Friendly Arm in Arm – presented by Debbie Davies (HR Manager at Sainsbury’s)

 Joe Cave-Joe has been training and refereeing youth football in West Wight for 40 years. Additionally he has had to overcome serious illness 3 times himself.

Age Friendly Challenge – presented by Ian Jenkins (General Manager, Chamber of Commerce)

Peter Woodnutt- Peter, who for years had a Gents Outfitters in Ryde, cares for others through the use of his poetry. He is in the final stages of self publishing a book of poetry despite his dyslexia and suffering with Age Related macular degeneration. His nominator said, “He continues to make a difference in the lives of others and leads as an example of honesty, integrity and pure determination.”

Age Friendly Contribution to the Community – presented by Tim Blackmore (Southern Vectis)

Barry Williams- Barry has made various contributions to the West Wight Community. He was involved In Scouting for some 40 years and for 22 years has been teaching the Christ Church Junior church. Barry was also recognised for offering his talents playing the piano to the retirement homes in his community numerous times a week and supporting monthly services with West Wight Churches Together in residential homes. His father, who had a Show Band, first taught Barry to play the piano when he was only six years old. Barry said, ’I am still learning!’

Age Friendly Active Person – presented by Mark Penny (Community Champion, Tesco)

 Shirley Miles- Shirley has been a swimming coach for over 45 years at West Wight Sports Centre and is now teaching the third generation of some families. She was a fundraiser for the original West Wight Community Swimming Pool, not only raising funds she physically helped to build the pool.

Age Friendly Impact – presented by Inspector Andy McDonald (Hampshire Constabulary)

 Tina Maretic –Tina founded the Jigsaw Family Support Organisation which offers help and support to families hit by the experience of divorce and separation and provides a harmonious and  stable environment for children to get back in touch with parents and family members.

Other nominees over all the eight criteria were:

Jan Brookes, Carisbrooke Castle Museum Outreach Team, Kingfishers Swimming Group, David Lumley, Roy Coleman, Joyce Blizzard, Joe Cave, Sue Birch, Christine Sawkins, Pat & John Short, Dougie Stephens, Georgie White and Sue Bennett & Frances Wright.

On National Poetry Day, it was appropriate that one of the winners Peter Woodnutt should be invited to read one of his own poems ‘Whatever It Takes’ to round off the evening.