IT was a night for thanks and recognition at the 17th Blacon Community Awards.
Residents, volunteers, community leaders and dignitaries gathered to congratulate those who give selflessly to help others and change lives in Chester’s largest community.
Blacon’s five primary schools, the high school, headteachers and teaching staff came together to support, perform and inspire on a night to remember.
The annual event is sponsored by the Chester Leader and the Leader’s sister paper the Chester and District Standard, Sanctuary Housing, Avenue Services, Blacon Education Village, Chester Voluntary Action Group, Airbus, Arriva, Cheshire Constabulary and Tesco.
Awards were divided into five categories on the evening and this year included the discretionary Joe Rose Lifetime Achievement Award in honour of the late Blacon community champion Joe Rose. This award went to John Price MBE, the former long-serving Blacon councillor who championed his home community for decades.
Accepting the award, Mr Price spoke of his love and pride in Blacon and congratulated those in the room for their enthusiasm for Blacon.
The former Chester City Council leader also congratulated those who had gathered to show support for the community.
Nominations were sought throughout Blacon and all nominees received recognition on the night.
Awards were presented by Chester MP Stephen Mosley, Blacon councillors Reggie Jones and Carolyn Graham, Blacon High School headteacher Sue Yates, together with the head girl and boy at Blacon High School and Arriva representative Keith Anglesea.
Dave Williams, headteacher of Dee Point Primary School – who was the recipient of a Blacon Extra Mile Award on the night – was the compere.
The Kath Evans Young Inspirational Award – in honour of the late Kath Evans, a stalwart campaigner for Blacon and in particular, young people – was presented to Finlay Woodcock-Daniels.
This award is given in support of those aged under 16 who have been an inspiration and role model to their peers and overcome seemingly overwhelming problems. It is also given to those who demonstrate a caring attitude to others.
Those who nominated Finlay said despite facing many hurdles in his life through having cerebral palsy, he has not been prevented from achieving all the things his peers do. He was described as a great team member, an inspiration and a comfort to anyone who is upset.
The Community Team Award went to the Blacon Silhouettes dance troupe, under the leadership and guidance of Blacon resident Amanda Vickers for more than 30 years,
This team of dancers allows children and adults from the age of two to travel all over the country to enter competitions, making new friends, and building confidence and social skills.
Blacon resident Lee Challinor received the Harold Tomlins Community Award. Lee has successfully raised funds to ensure every school in Blacon has a life-saving defibrillator machine.
Last, but by no means least, were the joint winners of the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, Alex Barber, Bethany Griffiths and Mia Jones.
The award is for those aged 21 and under and for those who may have excelled in a field of continued education or apprenticeship, aimed high, setting themselves aspirational targets and achieved outstanding progress.
Alex Barber attends Highfield Primary school and is a very able pupil. Described as an excellent role model for everyone in the school, he has secured a scholarship to the King’s School in Chestery.
Bethany Griffiths, who also attends Highfield Primary School, has been recognised for her outstanding academic achievements which have secured her a full scholarship to the Queen’s school in Chester.
Mia Jones was described as a wonderfully talented young lady who thrives at school and is classed as ‘more able’ in all areas of school life. But above all she is a phenomenal mathematician, they said.