The Thank You Awards are always a highlight of our year and 2023 was no exception. The awards are a great opportunity for community members to say thank you to each other for acts of kindness, small and large, and to celebrate the inspirational community spirit of Easton and Lawrence Hill.
The event is an important time to recognise all the support that neighbours and voluntary groups have given each other over the year.
Because of everyone nominated Easton and Lawrence Hill is a strong and united community.
Thank you to our sponsors the University of Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise campus, Galliard Homes, Spaceworks and Whitehall Printers. Their contribution goes a long way to supporting the evening and we are truly grateful.
A real pleasure to be here and hear about all the incredible people in our locality working with heart and soul to better our lives. Thank you so much for the warmth and kindness of this event.
A wonderful event – great food, friendly hosts, and such a range of worthy winners.
A brilliant way to be connected to all the kind and wonderful people doing brilliant things in our community.
MURMURATIONS COMMUNITY THERAPY
Nominated by Ruby Clift, Em Williams and Adèle Grace-Keevil
This award is for Murmurations Community Therapy, a group that provides a warm, welcoming, nurturing space to help parents of children with special educational needs and Disabilities connect and feel less isolated. Attending these sessions has been a tonic, for parents and careers, offering them a space to rebalance and emotionally recharge.
They bring a unique blend of lived experience, community work, meditation, therapy skills, music, food, and joy to these sessions that have changed the lives of so many people. Their love and gentleness are so needed in the world.
nominated by Ahmed Daad
“I joined the football team last season, and my goal was to make new friends, but I ended up finding a new family!
I was really taken care of by the players and management team as I was initially a very shy and closed person. Over the course of the season, I got more comfortable and settled. What sets this team apart from others is that it’s run by young people who come from a Somali background like myself. One of the players on the team ended up mentoring me and supporting me in applying for jobs and pursuing my dream career. I can say today with his support and the Club management team I was able to secure an internship which I am very grateful.
Playing home games at Netham Park close to my house was an exciting experience as my family came down often to support me and the team!”
nominated by Aisha Monic-Namurach
Trace is a superwoman, through her organisation DET Entertainment she runs holiday clubs, family fun days and has curated Windrush film events. She has a huge heart, loves her community, and will do anything for anyone. She is an incredible mum, friend, daughter, and woman. Such an inspiration to us all. Thank you Trace for everything you do.
Brigstowe’s Positive Speakers
nominated by Aled Osborne
This inspiring group of people shared their courage and vulnerability, by telling us their personal stories on World AIDS Day. The impact of these stories is never-ending. For people living with HIV, hearing these can help them tackle their own self-stigma and empower them to one day be open about their own diagnosis and no longer live in shame. For others, it will help tackle stigma and see that in 2023 people living with HIV are thriving and not surviving.
nominated by Andy Thomas
Sharon has worked hard to establish a free drop-in café at Kensington Baptist church Stapleton Road. Every Saturday Sharon, with help from a pool of 56 volunteers, serves food and drinks to the community, many of whom are vulnerable and experiencing homelessness. The café has served over 500 people in this past year and has ambitions to do the same this year. What a positive force for good. Thank you, Sharon.
nominated by Azmina Mitha
Banu has always been supportive and helpful to people from all faiths and backgrounds since she came to the UK from Kenya 45 years ago. Filling in forms, giving people refuge, even food and clothing. A selfless lady who gets on and gives without hesitation. A lady with a golden heart, who is a silent warrior. Thank you for helping the community when they are most in need.
nominated by City Academy Community Allotment group collected by Nic Ferris
“Chiarina, City Academy community allotment resident growers would like to thank you. Your involvement in our community growing space as a resident member and volunteer gives us confidence and guidance.
We appreciate you sharing your extensive knowledge about growing and your calm, friendly, wise, nurturing approach to keeping the allotment productive.
Thank you for tending the herb and fruit beds and adding to the communal plants with your own donations for the space. Your thoughtfulness brings joy.
You’ve found ways to tend, grow and give, despite health and energy challenges since COVID. You are a sunny, smiley, inspiration.”
nominated by Azza Mustafa and Leena Elhedi
These women are volunteers at Sadaga, an Arabic-speaking group for women. It runs every Friday morning. Sadaga, would like to say thank you for their willingness to give their time and service. Their support to the group allows them to continue our mission of helping vulnerable asylum seekers and refugee women to settle and to be part of the community. Volunteers like you genuinely change the world and we are very grateful.
nominated by Becky Whitmore
Hannah is a positive voice and advocate for Stapleton Road. So often the high street at the heart of our community is portrayed in a negative light but Hannah runs the @StapletonRoad social media handle to showcase local businesses and positive stories about the street. Bristol’s most diverse street often gets a bad rep, but Hannah is there to counter that. Thank you, Hannah, for shining a light Stapleton Road and always having its back.
Packers Football coaches
nominated by Fran Tolson
Thank you to Chiz, Peter, Christy, Richard, Rob, Pietro, Jerry, and Esther for putting your hearts and souls into running Packers Football Club for children in BS5. You’ve helped so many kids in the area by offering this fun and welcoming football club for all abilities. It’s an amazing club, with brilliant coaching. Thank you so much for your years of dedication.
SEND Family Club
nominated by Becky Whitmore
SEND Family Club is a group for families who have children with additional needs and Disabilities. It is driven by three amazing women who wanted to have a space for parents, careers, children, and siblings to come together, play, and support each other. The group meets regularly at the micro settlement in Barton Hill and holds a monthly play session at Felix Road Adventure Playground. Muna, Shukri (SHUCK-REE), and Amran are wonderful advocates for their children and amazing assets to their community. Thank you for sticking with it, fighting for your children, and wanting to do something for others going through the same experience.
Salah Hassan Mohamud
nominated by Delroy Hibbert
“I have known Salah since being a child attending Felix Road Adventure Playground, to being a volunteer there in his teens and now a play and youth worker while also attending university. In this time, he has always been a great role model and an inspiration for the children attending. He is a very popular and willing member of staff. You deserve this and are appreciated, Thank you Salah.”
Community Ambassadors for Newtown Brick Project
nominated by Fraisia Bruist-Papazian
Thank you so much to the entire team of Community Ambassadors who have helped make the Newtown Brick project a success. Each and every one of you has brought your enthusiasm and creativity to help create an amazingly colourful, bright and eye-catching artwork for Newtown. You have ensured that the people of Newtown have been included and embedded in this artwork. Thank you so much to you all.
nominated by Eastside Community Trust
Morowa Selassie has been a figurehead and a strong woman in this community for over 30 years. When her children were younger, she dedicated years of her life as the Chair of Felix Road Adventure Playground Association. If there is something good going on in this neighbourhood, Morowa and her son Jah Lukie will usually be there, as well as other members of her lovely family, offering her collective support, and community wisdom. Among many actions for the community this past year, Morowa has been a volunteer updating the Community Noticeboard on Easton Road. Thank you Morowa!
nominated by Fran Tolson
Thank you to Dee for her incredible community contribution over many years, particularly the lantern parades, community climate action and working with young people in schools. Dee is a passionate community arts producer and puppeteer. She deserves a big thank you for her years of commitment and dedication to bringing joy, light, and creativity to our part of town.
Wellspring Food Club volunteers and Cook Together group
nominated by Harriet Wylie
All of the food club volunteers give their time each week to support members of the community, not only by running the club (packing, opening up, cleaning down) but also by being a smiling face. All the volunteers are amazing at offering advice or cheering people up when needed.
The Cook Together group meets each Friday at the Wellspring Settlement, and since forming at the end of last year has prepared hundreds of meals for the Food Club. The group also offers peer support to each other and help to ease loneliness and isolation around Barton Hill.
They have all helped to make the Food Club feel like a community and it would be impossible to run without their help and support. You are all superstars, thank you!
Friends of Rawnsley Park
nominated by Abiir Shirdoon
Friends of Rawnsley Park are a newly formed group of parents that have come together to run activities, making changes and improve their local park for local children and their families. They have run fun days, Eid celebrations and after-school clubs at the park in the heart of Easton. Keep doing what you are doing and your park will thrive. Thank you.
We love the Rhubarb Tavern campaign group
nominated by Becky Whitmore
The We Love the Rhubarb Tavern group was set up to support the pub after it closed and was threatened with being turned into flats. The group has worked tirelessly with the owner of the building and powers that be to raise awareness of the fact that it is a valued and vital community space that needs preserving. They have organised clear-up days and taken care of the building from the outside and are now working with local musicians to bring it back as a pub, music venue and community space for all. Thank you for your passion and commitment to keeping this historic community space alive.
Boost Community Volunteers
nominated by Lisa Dora
Thank you to the Boost Community Volunteers. Every week, they each give their time, energy, skills and experience to support people in navigating the challenges of everyday life and the impact of the current cost of living crisis. The work they do makes a difference and improves the lives of many struggling in our community; providing advice, information and support on money issues, housing, employment, legal matters and community life.
nominated by Tom Williams
Misha is always willing to help at Felix Road Adventure Playground with setting up and running activities within sessions, especially Felix Girls. Misha helps in the kitchen making cakes and walks around the playground collecting donations on events – even helps clean the hall on a Sunday morning before sessions. She recently helped at the Bollywood Womens Night at Easton Community Centre making and serving mocktails. Thank you, Misha.
Refugee Women of Bristol volunteers
nominated by Negat Hussein
“Refugee Women of Bristol would like to thank our team of committed volunteers. We wanted to let you know how incredibly you’re doing as a team of volunteers. You help us fulfil our mission of bringing people together to build communities and hope. This position requires so much hard work and dedication, and you are all truly the perfect fit. Thank you so much for being a part of our sisterhood!”
Lesley Wynne from St Mark’s Café
nominated by Patrick Winch
Lesley is an Easton institution and will be sadly missed after retiring from running St Mark’s Cafe this year. She has helped the lives of so many with her warmth, selflessness, and organisation to run the cafe since 2008. She is an amazing lady – always smiling, never forgetting your name, and taking a genuine interest in the lives of so many. The community will miss her – but she is the most deserving of people to take retirement and we all wish her so well. It’s people like Lesley that make Easton the most wonderful place to live in the world.
St Marks Road Community Group
nominated by Nouman Ahmed
Over the last few years, this group has been working hard to bring annual community events on St Marks Road – including the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations where free biryani was given out to all the attendees. This year, they organised the event to celebrate Eid in a way of a Festival bringing the diverse community together and celebrating our neighbourhood. The efforts of the group have won St Marks Road a national award ‘ The Great Street Award’ by the Academy of Urbanism in 2020. This month they launched the “6 to Fix” campaign to advocate for much-needed repair and attention to the street. Thank you for your passion and dedication.
Kenyans Association in Bristol
nominated by Robert Owino
Since 1999 Kenyans Association in Bristol has been a strong group, supporting the needs and bringing together diverse groups of Kenyan-born Indians, Somalis as well as Kenyans living in Bristol to promote their social, intellectual, and economic welfare. They are dedicated advocates for their community and work hard to unite people to promote collective benefits.
Tania Paterson and Luis Dias
nominated by Sally Caseley
Tania and Luis took on the resurrection of The Dings Youth Club one year ago after a number of years without funding. They have transformed Friday afternoons at the Youth Club. The kids cook, do crafts, celebrate special occasions, and have a huge amount of fun in a very safe and supportive environment. Outside of the youth club, Tania and Luis have organised a football club, a trip to SS Great Britain, and take part in the Dings Fun Day.
Feedback from the kids shows how much they value not just the Youth Club, but Tania and Luis in themselves. It is for these reasons we would like to show our appreciation and say thank you to them both.
Hannah More Primary School PTA
nominated by Sarah Franke
This amazing PTA group is a constant source of support, innovation, and entertainment for the school community. They are always on hand to help-out wherever they can with whole-school events, welcoming new families, fundraising and generally being at the forefront of fun when it comes to organising things on and off site. The school feel so lucky and grateful to have this wonderful group of parents – they are the beating heart of the school.
nominated by Tracy Edwards Brown
Venetia has been volunteering with Eastside Connect for the past 7 months. Her energy and commitment to the shared reading groups have rubbed off on the members who come week after week to listen to the amazing pieces of writing she presents. The group numbers have grown from strength to strength. Thank you for the time you give freely and your patience.
Eastside Warm Home Champions
nominated by Vic Wakefield-Jarrett
This group has fully engaged in Eastside Community Trusts Warm Home Champions scheme – allowing them to conduct thermal imaging surveys of their homes to identify heat loss, alongside helping us design a six-part course on ways to save energy in the home and then sharing their knowledge with their friends, neighbours and people attending our events. They have shown continued enthusiasm and commitment, turning up to weekly evening sessions during a particularly hot June, and Eastside look forward to working with them more this winter.
nominated by Ted Fowler (Ted collect the award for Penny)
Penny is a long-term resident of Easton. She has strong community support values which she puts into action in practical ways – quietly supporting her neighbours and making a difference in her church and in asylum seeker support activities.
Penny doesn’t take the foreground but gently nudges and encourages people, with a charming and fun attitude to all in her diverse community. It is notable that she takes the glass half-full attitude to life – a boon to all who know her.
nominated by Tracy Edwards Brown
Steve is part of the furniture at Easton Community Centre, he even has his own special corner. He is continually on Bristol Council’s case regarding street cleaning issues. But he is also very generous when sharing his knowledge of computers on a Friday afternoon at drop-in IT support sessions at the centre. Many a time people have left the building with a smile on their face and a phone or laptop they know how to work. Steve thank you for your patience, we know at times that’s been tough, and giving an hour is something we all really appreciate.
Eastside Repair Café volunteers
nominated by Vic Wakefield-Jarrett
Thank you for giving up your Saturdays to run our popular monthly repair cafes at Easton Community Centre. These volunteers have repaired over 50 items in the last six months, helping people keep their much-loved lamps, lawn mowers, radios and chairs going, saving people money, keeping items out of landfill and removing the need to buy new ones. Andy, Jamie and Alice are always friendly and approachable and meet challenges with good humour, and they have made significant financial and environmental savings for those who come along.
Abdulkadir Sheikhusein of Bristol Somali Forum
nominated by Yassin Mohamud
“I am thrilled to nominate Abdulkadir Sheikhusein from Bristol Somali Forum for this award. He embodies dedication, commitment, and consistency. What sets him apart is his unwavering commitment to empowering individuals, teams, and organisations without seeking personal recognition. Moreover, Abdul’s remarkable role as the driving force behind the annual Somali Festival and Culture showcases his diverse talents, captivating both children and adults alike. His humility, combined with his exceptional efforts, truly make him a standout. I say a huge Thank you to Abdulkadir, for his outstanding contributions.”
nominated by Abiir Shirdoon
“Thank you to Mouna for all your hard work and dedication to helping out in the kitchen at Felix Road during the summer holidays and beyond. You have been an enormous help to the whole team and are a pleasure to have around.”