Runnymede civic awards

2024 winners

Here are the winners and highly commended nominations from the 2024 Runnymede Civic Awards.

Sports and fitness awards

Health & Wellbeing Award

Winner: Gillian Rae  

Gillian runs Agein’ with Attitude classes that enable older residents to keep fit and improve their balance and strength. They have reported improvements in their walking and pains from osteo-arthritis, whilst also enjoying the chance to socialise with others. 

Sports Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Wendy Dobson

Wendy is a volunteer at Addlestone Canoe Club and has been a driving force behind bringing visibility of the sport to as many people as possible in Runnymede. In addition to her role as Head Coach, she is also an active member of the club committee and organises the 'come and try it' days. She also initiated the river clean up days which involve general litter picking and the removal of non-native invasive plant species.

Highly Commended: Terry Francis

Terry is the groundskeeper at Runnymede Rockets BMX club and gives up his Saturdays to keep the grounds looking tidy and safe for everyone who uses the track. He brings a smile to the day and is well loved by everyone (parents and kids alike) at the club and track.

Highly Commended: Christopher Heighes

After ‘Woking Mind’ could no longer support the ‘Walking for Health’ project for mental and physical health, Chris liaised closely with both Runnymede and Woking Councils to do everything he could to keep the group running. Despite his own health problems Chris plans walks and carries out a full recce in advance to ensure they are accessible and safe for all.

Coach of the Year

Winner: Aaron Turner

Aaron coaches a large number of children and adults at Core Judo, when one member suffered a significant injury Aaron went above and beyond to ensure their return to competition. They are now back to winning medals at national and international competitions and have recently been called up to the England squad.

Highly Commended: Kyle Francis

Kyle was nominated for his amazing leadership and dedication to Runnymede Raptors Basketball Club, dedicating a lot of his time to coach & support the kids. Parents said that their kids really enjoy playing for the raptors and have even been given the opportunity to play at a national league level.

Sportsperson of the Year

Winner: Greg Cheeseman

Greg is a member of Chertsey Runners and received 15 nominations from club members. Despite suffering a heart attack while running a few years ago he has since gone from strength to strength and progressed from half marathons in 2022 to ultra marathons in 2023. Greg is very supportive to new runners, and members who can’t run due to injuries.

Highly Commended: Amanda Heath

In October 2023 Amanda achieved a personal triumph beating her own World Record in the Female 100m breaststroke for her age group. Amanda swam a phenomenal 1:27:95, beating her old time of 1:28:03. 

Young Sportsperson of the Year

Winner: Niamh Hanratty

Despite having many health conditions, Niamh was nominated for her contributions to both swimming and rugby. Her achievements during 2023 in both sports really impressed the judges. Highlights include winning ‘best girl’ in her age group at her swimming club and competing in the Surrey Youth Games for Runnymede at Touch Rugby.

Highly Commended: Tiana Duffy-Hall

Tiana was nominated for her love of all sports including netball, football and basketball. She enjoys attending multiple sports clubs and signed up to football camps after football camps, she even saves up her own money for new shoes for the specific sports. Tiana always remains focussed and competitive whilst keeping a positive mindset and ignoring any negativity.

Sports Club of the Year

Winner: Abbey Rangers

In 2023 Abbey Rangers relaunched their Pan Disability Team which is part of the Club's philosophy for inclusivity in the community and providing football-for-all. There are also 45 other teams at the Club from Mini Rangers and Wildcats through to adult teams with over 650 players in total. The Club has built a great relationship with local schools and helps by providing services and facilities free of charge.

Highly Commended: Runnymede Raptors

Parents felt that the work, time and effort the coaches put in to make Runnymede Raptors a successful club goes beyond what would normally be expected. The care of the players from all backgrounds is second to none. Raptors have made a huge impact on kids lives, it gives them something to look forward to,

Highly Commended: Egham Bowls Club

Egham Bowls Club has both an indoor and an outdoor section, both of which have enjoyed enormous success this year. In 2023 the men's indoor senior team won the Denny Cup, which is a national knock out competition and is equivalent to winning the FA cup in the bowls world. The outdoors ladies senior team made it to the final of the Top Club at the national championships.


Young creative of the year

Winner: Serenna Copsey

The judges were impressed by the quality of Serenna’s work, in particular her portrait in oils of the Retiring Headteacher at her school. Such was the quality of her work the GCSE exam board used her coursework to show teachers across the country as an example of excellence.

Highly Commended: Lacey Penfold

Judges were impressed with her hard work and determination during the drawing of the Van Gogh Chair which she recently won an art competition for.

Arts Group of the Year

Winner: Egham Brass Band Youth Project

The Egham Brass Band Youth Project is entirely staffed by volunteers who teach five different classes across three schools in the borough. Their recent Childrens Christmas Concert saw over 200 brass musicians playing Jingle Bells!

Highly Commended: Runnymede Art Society

Who offer opportunities to Students from Royal Holloway to set up exhibitions which incluse displays of paintings which keep Egham Highstreet looking lively.

Highly Commended: Thorpe Players

During 2023 they have put on two productions. They pride themselves on keeping ticket prices low to keep theatre accessible to all. They also take park in many community events.


Environment & Sustainability Award

Winner: Rima Chai

Rima has led the set up and operation of a community fridge in Egham in order to save fresh food from going to waste. The Community Fridge is open to everyone, regardless of means and is not a food bank or a solution to food poverty but encourages people to live more sustainably. By the end of November 2023 the community fridge prevented 10,000kg of food from being wasted. It is also an integral part of the annual Eco-Fair in Egham which encourages the community to create green actions that have a positive impact.

Making a Difference Award

Winner: Robert Dixon

Robert has set up ‘Lions in the Camp’ which is an amazing fitness and boxing facility for young kids to build their self-esteem and confidence and keep them off the streets. He was described as an inspiration and very driven and focused to help others. Robert fundraises for various charities and is a massive advocate for mental health.

Highly Commended: David Breakwell

David is the Group Scout Leader of 2nd New Haw Scout Group, in addition to this he is also the District Explorer Scout Commissioner. Next year 2nd New Haw Scout Group will celebrate 50 years and David has been a huge part of this and has had an impact on hundreds of young people across the years.

Young Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Edith Schofield

Edith was nominated for her role as an Explorer Young Leader for 1st Chertsey Bourne Beavers. In April 2023, Edith organised a fundraiser for her Surrey Scout Expedition to Belgium, offering a low-cost holiday club. Edith planned the whole programme and worked incredibly hard to deliver an amazing day. Edith is amazing at annual camp and helps nervous kids to settle in, keeps them busy, singing and smiling all day, which is really important for those who are away from home for the first time.

Highly Commended: Hector Rutter

Hector was nominated for his role as an Explorer Young Leader for 1st Chertsey Bourne Beavers. Hector has fantastic patience, and he shines in small group work. He is very good at explaining tasks at the pace that each young person needs. He is an extremely kind young leader, especially attuned to young people who need a little extra support. If there has been a minor bump or disagreement you will see Hector quietly dealing with the situation entirely appropriately and with a quick and happy resolution.

Highly Commended: Rosie Williams-Taylor

Rosie has been raising money on behalf of Andy’s Man Club which is a Men’s Mental Health charity after she lost her family friend. Rosie dedicates her time to help fundraise to help local people have a place to go to feel safe and be able to talk to others that may be struggling with their mental health. In 2023 Rosie has raised a grand total of £3,458 for Andy’s Man Club.

Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Carol Edmondson

Carol leads the Loaves & Fishes Lunch Project at St Paul’s Church in Addlestone, which was created to help those struggling with food poverty. Free healthy lunches are given unconditionally to all who would like one during holiday periods. During 2023, an amazing 4,958 lunches were given out and Carol does a fantastic job co-ordinating the whole project involving all the other wonderful volunteers.

Highly Commended: Leigh Brook

Leigh setup New Haw litter pickers just over a year ago and has worked relentlessly on social media and putting leaflets through doors. Her hard work has resulted in many volunteers attending litter picks in New Haw and Woodham. Volunteers range from the young to elderly and it has created such a community spirit, that they are now seeing what else they can do to help out locally.

Highly Commended: Brian Bainbridge

Brian is part of the New Haw Litter Pickers and has helped the group go from strength to strength. He goes above and beyond to support the group in many ways. He attends every litter pick and helps with the organisation before, during and after.  

Volunteer Group of the Year

Winner: The Teaboat Project

The Teaboat Project is a community enterprise in a wonderful river setting between Staines Bridge and River Park Avenue. It has a great group of volunteers who are on site twice a week maintaining the riverside site and serving refreshments from the café. Sadly, the founder Ari Zoides passed away in May 2022, however the trustees and volunteers have worked in all weathers throughout 2023 to carry out his vision to create a safe space along the river which is accessible to all.

Highly Commended: Holme Farm

Holme Farm came from, and is entirely delivered by, volunteers from within the community. In the last 18 months Holme Farm has developed from a derelict building unused for more than 30 years on 8 acres of untended land, to a biodiverse area which aims to improve the physical and mental health of our community by providing a hub that is open to all.

Highly Commended: Chertsey & Addlestone Good Neighbours

Chertsey & Addlestone Good Neighbours was nominated by one of our residents whose Dad receives support from the group. They arrange to pick him up and take him to his local community group at Manor Farm, to ensure he continues to maintain a social life. Often plans can change at short notice which means they have to work quickly and efficiently without any complaints.

Service to Community – Organisation

Winner: Citizen’s Advice Runnymede & Spelthorne

This year Citizen’s Advice have dealt with their highest ever number of clients and issues - supporting 6,462 clients with a total of 18,493 issues. With the largest cost of living crisis for decades there has never been a more challenging time for Citizens Advice, both in terms of the demand they are experiencing, and the challenges of having enough resources to deliver their current level of service.

Highly Commended: The Village Centre

The Village Centre is a community centre and café in Englefield Green providing a number of outreach projects. The community fridge and Foodbank continuously supply, cook and deliver food to vulnerable residents. The baby basics project provides new parents with access to equipment for their newborns and the child contact centre helps parents and children, who would not otherwise be able to see each other unsupervised, spend time together.

Highly Commended: Revive Café at Beacon Church

Revive Café continues to provide a wonderful location which has allowed Ukrainians across Runnymede to meet and access support in a welcoming community environment. Additionally, their involvement with wider groups such as Runnymede Foodbank, Just a Helping Hand and the Beacon Church, has also been key to the success of the drop-ins with new arrivals able to readily access foodbank vouchers, some clothing basics and wider community events hosted by the Beacon Church.

Service to Community – Individual

Winner: Frances Dyble-Goode

In 2010 Frances set up Runnymede Dementia Carers Support group where a carer and the sufferer could meet others in a similar situation and share experiences and information over a cup of tea and a cake. She has been involved in the support of people with dementia and their carers in Runnymede and surrounding areas for over 35 years now. These are provided at no cost to those attending, and carers are never excluded even after the sufferer is no longer being cared for at home or has passed away. 

Highly Commended: Jill Reynolds

Jill has been the Chair and driving force of the Egham United Charity. Her work has been voluntary and unpaid and she is due to stand down this year, but during 2023 she showed no let up in her devotion despite all the challenges. Jill’s in-depth knowledge of the local community and its many supporters has helped in the targeting of various local services in such areas as Youth support, and poverty alleviation.

Jenny Wardill

Jenny is integral to the success of the drop in sessions supporting Ukrainians at Revive in Chertsey, not only offering practical support issuing foodbank vouchers but also taking an active interest in the individuals who attended and proactively looking for other ways she could support them. She always offers a warm welcome and emotional as well as practical support.

Special Recognition Award

Winner: Glen Edwards

Glen is 65 years old and still working 12 hrs a day operating a tower crane on a construction site. In November 2023 a horrific fire broke out on the site in Reading where Glen was working. Amidst the chaos and under immense pressure Glen kept his calm, operating the crane to accomplish the safe rescue of a co-worker who was trapped between the fire and the high rise buildings edge. Thanks to Glen, his co-worker, who is married with young children, got to leave site and will live to tell the tale.

Well done to everyone.

Hope to see you again next year.