We spoke to Caragh Cheesman, one of the organisers to find out more.
Tell me more about the Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards and what they mean for our local community?
The Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards were established in 2005 to celebrate those people and organisations that have gone the extra mile to support the local community in areas like charity, sport and education. All nominees are voted for by the public, so it is a great way to show your appreciation for the people that really make a difference in the community.
What is your role and why have you got involved?
I work in the marketing team at Bracknell-based technology company, Redwood Technologies Group. Redwood is the main organiser of the Awards, as well as being a Platinum Sponsor. My colleagues and I work on the planning and promotion of the event, including coordinating nominations, running an art competition with local schools and of organising the ceremony itself. It’s great to get involved in the local community with such a worthwhile event!
Can you tell me more about the award categories?
There are 12 categories up for grabs at next year’s Awards. New for this year are the SME of the Year and Large Enterprise of the Year Awards, which are designed to be more inclusive of local organisations of all sizes. There are categories in education for both School and Teacher of the Year, in the voluntary sector for Charity and Volunteer of the Year, as well as a whole host of Awards celebrating people who have made a large contribution to the area and who have shown strength in overcoming personal challenges. You can find the full list of categories on the Pride of Bracknell website.
What’s new for this year’s awards?
As well as two new categories, this year’s Awards will be bigger and better than ever! The ceremony will be held at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, which will hold the largest number of guests to date. The Awards will be a really special occasion for all who attend and, with the ongoing regeneration of Bracknell, it will be a great opportunity to celebrate the area and local community.
How can I nominate an award winner?
You can nominate your local heroes online at prideofbracknell.com or submit a paper nomination form. Look out for nomination forms around Bracknell town centre, as we will be distributing them soon!
How are the winners chosen and when will they be announced?
The winners are chosen by the Pride of Bracknell Forest Committee and will be announced on the night itself! A full list of winners and runners up will be published afterwards, as well as photos and videos from the event.
What have your stand-out stories of previous awards been?
For me, it has to be Aysha Riley-Marsh, the winner of the John Nike Pride of Bracknell Forest — Young Person’s Award in 2017. I remember giving her mum the call to say that Aysha had been nominated for the Award and it was so lovely to hear how excited they both were! Aysha was 10 at the time of the Awards and had faced a range of obstacles in her early life, including meningitis and a spinal tethering operation, but she was so chatty and optimistic. Seeing her reaction at winning the Award was amazing, as she was so excited. We’re so glad we caught it on camera — her reaction in the 2017 video puts a smile on everyone’s face!
With thanks to Caragh for telling us more about the awards. For further information, you can visit their website, Twitter and Facebook pages at:
If you know a local hero who deserves recognition — nominate them today!