Supported housing tenants, community groups and young volunteers are amongst the worthy winners of our Progress Community Champion Awards.

The awards, held over Zoom, at the end of March, celebrated the achievements and efforts of volunteers who have dedicated their time to supporting their local neighbourhood over the past year.

With the aim of having a positive impact, supporting independence and creating opportunities, we were particularly thrilled to award two tenants who have learning disabilities and live in its supported housing schemes.

Rebecca Gammon, from Euxton, and Andrew Grant Salmon, from Worsley, were both given a silver award in the Volunteer of the Year category.

Rebecca dedicates a lot of her time representing her fellow tenants through the group Voice for All.

Alan Greig, who nominated her, said: “Rebecca is an inspirational person. She volunteers her time for Voice for All. This is a group for supported living tenants. She gets involved with many issues and represents tenants’ views, championing concerns. Rebecca attends events that have direct effect on tenants’ welfare and has great knowledge on support issues within supported housing.”

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Rebecca, 39, who is also an advocate for the LGBT community and has worked with the police to campaign against hate crime, said: “I am over the moon about winning the award. I get involved in the local community and try to help those who need my support, as we all go through the same things."

Andrew, 30, was nominated by his support worker Angela Hart. She said: “Andrew does a lot of volunteering twice a week. He goes to Blackleach Country Park and Parr Fold Park with a support worker and helps to clean up the park, litter pick, pull out weeds and cut trees down safely.  He chats to people and has made new friends by going there weekly. He would really appreciate this award as he works really hard every time he is there.”

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Andrew was very grateful to his support workers at Salford Cares for being there for him and nominating him. He said: “I am really pleased with my voucher. I am going to use it to buy a chair so I can sit at my computer.”

Chloe Leeland, 16, and Megan Sumner, 17, are two of the Young Volunteer of the Year Gold winners. The pair have volunteered at The Base Community Centre in Leyland since they were 13, helping to deliver food parcels and running children’s activities.

Andrea Andrews, Youth and Community Worker at The Base, who nominated them, said: “These young women are amazing and dedicate their spare time to helping out. They volunteer for the Community Shop Community Cafe and help to run children's activities in the holidays. They delivered food parcels and care packs throughout the lockdown period, helping vulnerable people within the community. I have watched them grow into confident delightful young women who deserve some recognition for all the hard work and commitment to helping their community. Megan (pictured below) has just been voted as the first Youth Mayor for South Ribble, which is an amazing achievement.”

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