The Gold and Silver Award Winners of this year’s Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards have been revealed! On Friday 1st April at Wellington College, Crowthorne, the shortlisted nominees came together for a fantastic ceremony and black tie dinner, including performances from Sandhurst & District Corps of Drums, Uplands Primary School & Nursery Choir and the Artemis College Singers.
Discover more about our Gold and Silver Award Winners for 2022:
The John Nike Pride of Bracknell Forest – Young Person’s Award
Gold Award: Myla Rose Bryant Dinsmore
Myla Rose is an inspirational young person, who is always looking out for her fellow students. At the age of 11, Myla Rose founded and continues to run an anti-bullying team at her school, offering help and support to young people suffering from bullying and confidence issues. She has also worked with the school on their anti-bullying policy to make sure all students feel included and supported.
Silver Award: Bethany Langley
Bethany is a dedicated charity campaigner in the Bracknell Forest community. She founded Children’s Care 4 Cancer, an organisation that helps raise awareness of childhood cancer, which will soon be recognised as a registered charity. Bethany’s charity Facebook page actively shares the stories of children battling cancer and promotes fundraising campaigns, both to fund life-saving treatments and offer day trips for families affected by cancer.
The John Nike Pride of Bracknell Forest – Adult’s Award
Gold Award: Gareth Mepham
Gareth is Area Youth and Community Work Manager at The Wayz Youth Centre. Working tirelessly with the young people of our community, Gareth shows unending determination to improve the lives of everyone around him. He is a pillar of the Bracknell Forest community, and is being recognised for his positivity, selflessness and continued resilience.
Silver Award: Julie Crann
Julie has dedicated 30 years to providing a safe and loving environment for vulnerable children. Showing love, support and patience, she throws herself into helping each and every child thrive. Through her immense and inspiring commitment as a foster carer, Julie has improved the life chances of countless young people and proven herself a community hero.
School of the Year
Gold Award: Harmans Water Primary School
The support delivered by Harmans Water Primary School to its pupils extends beyond just providing an education. During the pandemic the school has supported its community with a food bank, and has provided pupils with laptops and iPads to ensure all pupils have access to IT at home. This dedication to learning and to the community is reflected in the school’s improved Ofsted report. They achieved an overall rating of ‘Good’, with ‘Outstanding’ in some areas.
Silver Award: Sandy Lane Primary School
Sandy Lane has become a school of which the whole community can be proud, due to the hard work, commitment and passion of everyone involved. The staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that each child is cared for and nurtured. During the pandemic Sandy Lane’s team worked diligently to maintain school operations. The family support team also provided meals for vulnerable pupils, as well as providing much-needed support for families in crisis.
Teacher of the Year
Gold Award: Sarah Buchanan
Sarah Buchanan is the Assistant Head Teacher and Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordinator for Easthampstead Park Community School. Having held the position since 2012, Sarah is described as dedicated and caring, and has won the Gold Award for going the extra mile to realise the potential of all students in her care.
Silver Award: Rebecca Deeks
Rebecca Deeks is the Year 2 Class Teacher at Uplands Primary School. Described as kind, caring and compassionate by those who nominated her, Rebecca is a teacher who goes beyond her teaching role to help the children of her class in whatever issues they face. She is an inspiration to pupils and teachers alike.
Sport and Leisure – Young Person’s Award
Gold Award: Berie Howard
Berie is an inspirational young gymnast. Since her diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes and anxiety at the age of three, Berie has overcome adversity to work towards her Olympic dream. Through her courage, determination, strength, and talent, she has gained a place in the Foundation of International Gymnastics Tumbling Squad.
Silver Award: Zach Callinan
A talented biathlete and swimmer, Zach competed in the 2022 Berkshire and Southern Buckinghamshire County Swimming Championships. He won gold medals in the 200m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley, 100m Backstroke, 50m Butterfly, and the 50m Backstroke, making him a five-time County Swimming Champion.
Sport & Leisure – Adult’s Award
Gold Award: Joshua Zeller
An outstanding athlete, Joshua won the 2019 European U20 Athletics Championship 110m Hurdles title, running the second-fastest time ever by a British athlete. Having achieved several international athletics wins, Joshua now trains under world-class coaches at the University of Michigan, alongside completing a business degree.
Silver Award: Connor Wharram
Connor is one of the most successful British TeamGym gymnasts ever. He was triumphant at this year’s European Championships, winning a European Medal as well as an ‘AllStar’ award. Connor was awarded the status of Master Gymnast in 2019 by British Gymnastics, in recognition of his international representation.
Business of the Year
Gold Award: Afton Chemical
Afton Chemical’s Bracknell office has received the Gold Award for its extensive charitable work. For several years, they have supported a leading UK charity for homeless people, which offers year-round education, employment, housing, and wellbeing services. Afton employees and their families also regularly volunteer their time to support this charity.
Silver Award: Canine Assisted Learning
Canine Assisted Learning is at the forefront of animal-assisted interventions, providing a range of mental health and wellbeing services to schools, colleges and universities across the UK and Europe. They have won the Silver Award for making an incredible difference to the emotional wellbeing and learning of young people across Bracknell.
Charity of the Year
Gold Award: Home-Start Bracknell Forest
Home-Start Bracknell Forest is a local charity which supports families with young children. Despite lockdown restrictions, the charity continued its 25-year service to the Bracknell Forest community, providing invaluable support throughout the pandemic. Staff and volunteers persevered to maintain contact with families by phone, text, video calls and walks, all at a time when other organisations were closed to families.
Silver Award: The Ark Trust
The Ark Trust is a local charitable organisation which this year celebrates 35 years of service to the Bracknell Forest community. The Ark Trust offers a range of services to local people with disabilities, and other disadvantaged groups. Since the start of the pandemic the small team of Ark volunteers have run the community response and vaccine hub, benefitting countless Bracknell residents.
Volunteer of the Year
Gold Award: Dorothy Hill
Dorothy won the Gold Award in recognition of her many years of voluntary service within the Bracknell Forest community, having dedicated 50 years to volunteering with St Michael’s School. She is an integral member of the school community, volunteering twice a week in EYFS and in the school library. Her commitment to staff and students is a true inspiration.
Silver Award: Ken Spencer
Ken has been a volunteer coach at Bracknell Athletics Club for well over 20 years, developing many athletes to compete at English schools’ level, as well as on the international stage. During lockdown, he continued to provide training to his athletes online, helping them to fulfil their potential in the most difficult of circumstances.
Team of the Year
Gold Award: Bracknell Gymnastics Club GB Gymnasts
Throughout Lockdown, the GB Gymnasts diligently continued their training via Zoom and at Pinewood via the Government’s elite sport lockdown exemption . In March 2021, a staggering 23 gymnasts from Bracknell were selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships. Despite the challenges of the past two years, the gymnasts made history, winning Great Britain’s first official medals in a European Championships in five out of six categories.
Silver Award: Evelyne, Bella, and Callan Rose
Evelyne (11), Bella (10) and Callan (6) from Silwood Park Karate Club provided invaluable support throughout lockdown to a large number of children across Bracknell. Helping to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of others during lockdown, the determination and selflessness of these three children are to be celebrated.
Gold Award: Andrea McCombie
Responsible for coordinating 15,000 volunteers, Andrea has worked tirelessly since the start of the pandemic. Often working 14-hour days, she ensured help was provided to those who needed it. Andrea organised the COVID-19 community response volunteer network, including the volunteers at the Waitrose vaccination centre.
Silver Award: ABC to Read
Established in 2004, ABC to Read finds, trains and supports volunteers in primary schools across Berkshire. They help hundreds of children each year gain an essential skill for life. Working through the pandemic, these volunteers have supported numerous children across Bracknell, raising each child’s self-esteem and engendering a love for reading.