18 January 2021

Three trophies, in bronze, silver and gold, arranged on a winner's podium

Last year, South Hams residents voted for their local heroes who had selflessly helped others during the pandemic. After receiving many nominations, South Hams District Council now announce your winners, whose actions are an inspiration. 

Your South Hams Covid Heroes winners are:

Community Leadership - Winner Nick Hindmarsh

For his exceptional work in leading, co-ordinating and supporting a team of staff and volunteers, to deliver amongst other things a new and hugely successful Meals on Wheels service.

Innovative Well Being - Winner Susan Silsbury

For her amazing fundraising achievements sewing facemasks whilst also working as a nurse.

Keeping Spirits Up - Winner Lee Morcom

Receiving so many nominations, Lee played a vital role in bringing fun, laughter and happiness and a sense of togetherness to his local community.

Key Worker - Winner Andie Day

Andie managed the key care, support, and advocacy for patients, connecting the GP, the hospital, the community nurses and social services. This meant working six or seven days each week, well above her standard hours, throughout lockdown.

Organisation - Kingsbridge Food Bank

For providing hundreds of food bank parcels a week to desperate families, giving comfort and reassurance to many people in the local area.

Star Volunteer- Dan Tucker

The efficient and enthusiastic support of Dan drove the Rotary Lockdown Learning Project forward at pace. This helped to support students and their families at both primary and secondary schools by providing much needed resources to support the education of young people whilst not at school.

The judging panel also recognised Cllr Nicky Hopwood for the work she undertook in Woolwell.  She received many nominations from local residents in the Community Leadership category.

Winners have now been notified and will be invited to receive their awards at an online meeting later in the year.

As the country now endures a third national lockdown, this vital volunteering in the community continues to provide a lifeline. It's more important than ever to pay tribute to the hundreds of unsung heroes in South Hams villages and towns who are going above and beyond to help others.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said:"Hearing about how each of these local heroes has helped others in their community casts a real ray of light during these difficult weeks. It was tremendously difficult to pick out just a few winners and every nominee deserves a huge thank you for their contribution, which makes such a difference to so many local people.

"I want to commend all the nominees for their tireless efforts in helping their local communities throughout the pandemic. We recognise that the winners listed here are representatives of many who have undertaken similar work across the South Hams with no formal recognition. Therefore, our thanks goes out to our winners and everyone in the community who has done something to help someone else and who continue to offer their support to others during our third national lockdown."

At the end of the first national lock down, South Hams launched a scheme to say thank you to all those people and organisations who did incredible things to help their communities.

The scheme involved nominations being made under one of seven categories. A panel of judges had the tricky job of assessing those nominated and choosing the winners. 

To read all of the wonderful nominations visit the dedicated webpages: www.engagement.southhams.gov.uk/your-community-heroes

Helen Preston from Salcombe, who nominated Kingsbridge Food Bank for an award, explained: "Kingsbridge Food Bank has been invaluable to our community not only in Kingsbridge but Salcombe and all the surrounding villages. I have no idea how the team pulled off such an incredible job using donated foodstuffs and volunteers to deliver them. Quite remarkable."

If you would like to help out in your community during the current restrictions, or you think you have skills that would be useful, there are lots of ways you can get involved. Visit our web page to find a local group or organisation to get in touch with Community Support in the South Hams.