PRIDE of Swindon award winners received lasting recognition of their achievements yesterday as a plaque was unveiled in the Central Library

The 10 individuals and six groups who were selected by a panel of judges received their awards at a glittering event held at Steam museum earlier this month.

Mayor of Swindon Eric Shaw proudly unveiled the plaque which contains the names of all of this year’s winners.

Before the mayor revealed the plaque, member of the judging panel Shirley Ludford praised the efforts of the winners for their work bettering the community and read out their names.

She said: “It is such a privilege to be here and to be involved in the ninth year of the Pride of Swindon awards. It is simply all about people helping the community and I am delighted to see them getting that recognition.

“These people don’t do it for recognition, they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. By doing this it draws attention to the good work in the community and will hopefully encourage others to do the same.”

She was joined by inspirational Pride of Swindon winner Oscar Moulding who raised £2,000 to send a special wheelchair to his disabled friend Sophija in Bosnia.

The nine-year-old, who has muscular dystrophy received a special commendation and proudly displayed a letter from his friend, detailing her progress in her new wheelchair.

“I feel very happy and proud,” said Oscar, who was applauded by the waiting crowds.

His mum Alexandra said she couldn’t be prouder of her young son’s achievement.

“I am over the moon. Oscar is so determined and such a kind boy. He has been speaking with Sophija for a long time and he has transformed her life.”

The Mayor also said he was looking forward to giving Oscar and his family a behind-the-scenes look at the mayoral offices.

He said he was delighted to show his support.

“I am coming towards the end of my mayoral term and when I think of the highlights of the year, the Pride of Swindon awards are definitely the top dog.

“Thank you all, you’ve been absolutely super.”

The other individual winners were RunVEMBER champion Alan Butler who inspired runners to raise money for Threshold Housing Link, Claire Stowe for her fundraising work for charities and community groups , despite suffering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia endometriosis, Christmas Care Shelter catering manager Noreen Vitale, Caroline Watson for her caring efforts for the Walcot community, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Kathleen Wyatt, Pinehurst Netball Club’s Joan White, Swindon Carer’s Centre’s benefit advisor Roy Dowling. former divisional commander of Swindon’s firefighters John Popowicz and inspirational dance school owner Pat Bennett

The six group winners were Jaqueline Collins and Colin Crook for their services to conservation and wildlife,the Penhill Street Reps, the Swindon Lagoons Volunteer Group, the Harbour Project ,Prime Theatre and the Witness Service team of volunteers at Swindon Crown Court.