PEOPLE who have made a great contribution to the Swindon community were recognised yesterday at the Pride of Swindon awards 2015.

The Steam Museum in Firefly Avenue played host to the afternoon tea and awards ceremony for 185 pillars of the community and their nominators at the Pride of Swindon Awards 2015.

Individuals, volunteers and teams were honoured during the two-hour ceremony, which was sponsored by town companies including the Swindon Advertiser, Intel, Zurich and Nationwide.

Kerry Rutherford was one of the winners of the awards and was presented with a Pride of Swindon plaque for raising more than £500 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, the Little Princess Trust and Prospect Hospice.

During the past two years the 11-year-old, who has Aspergers syndrome, sliced off 12in of her hair and took part in a midnight swimathon to raise the money.

She said: “I’m so happy, I felt really excited before the awards and the plaque I’ve got is going to go up in my bedroom. I enjoyed fundraising with my friends.”

Proud parents Brian and Paula were also delighted.

“She just gets on with it and never makes a fuss about all the hard work she’s put in,” said Brian. “We’re really proud of her.”

Meanwhile Paul Parfrey was awarded a plaque for his charitable efforts for his work leading the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Group and the Rotary club of Swindon Phoenix.

He said: “It’s amazing and I didn’t expect it, I don’t really do this for recognition, it’s great to be able to offer help and support, it’s a great achievement.”

Team winners included Parkinson’s UK Swindon District Branch and the Swindon Stroke Support Group.

Several charities also benefited including Swindon fibromyalgia charity Foggs and Parkinsons UK which received £375 each, Penhill Community Association which received £750 and children’s cancer and leukaemia charity CALM, which received £1,000.

Shirley Ludford, 105.5 station manager, hosted the afternoon attended by dignitaries including MP for South Swindon Robert Buckland.

He said: “It’s fantastic to be here at the awards and it’s great to see the work people do in the community being recognised.

“These people are not seeking recognition but they deserve it. I love seeing the look of surprise on peoples’ faces when they win.”

Mayor Teresa Page, giving her speech in full regalia, thanked the community for attending.

She said: “What you have achieved today, it’s a great thing for Swindon and it’s a great thing to be here today.

“You should be proud of yourselves.”


Roll of honour

Teams who received awards were: 

Swindon Women’s Aid
Stroke Support Group
Parkinson’s UK Swindon and District branch
Penhill Community Association
Swindon Young Carers Forum
Relate Gloucester and Swindon

Individuals who received Pride of Swindon badges:

John Paine
Kerry Rutherford
Elena Rossi
Deb Cooke
Roy Stephen
Leona McKee 
Norma Thompson
Paul Parfrey 
Gerry Hannon
Ben Humphrey 
Ian Price

Groups who were given certificates: 

Swindon Children Without A Diagnosis
Bromford’s Swindon and Wiltshire team
Swindon Women’s Aid
Stroke Support Group 
Hop, Skip and Jump
The Crown Inn
Parkinson’s UK
Penhill Community Association 
Swindon Young Carers Forum
Relate Gloucester and Swindon