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The Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards 2024 Winners

The Gold and Silver Award Winners of this year’s Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards have been revealed! On Friday 21st April at The Old College, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, 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 2023:

Business of the Year Award

Gold Award: Newtown Pippin Pub

The Newtown Pippin is now a family-run pub in the heart of Harmans Water. The pub, run by Vicki and Simon Powell, has been described as a community hub, holding music events, quiz nights, parties, Christmas fayres and an acoustic café. Since they took over the pub in 2020, they have done a fantastic job turning it around, winning CAMRA awards and being mentioned in local and national publications.

Silver Award: Honda

A large local employer, dedicated local fundraiser, and corporate patron for Berkshire Community Foundation, Honda is dedicated to making the world a better place one community at a time. Their programs, including Team Honda Week of Service, Honda Battle of the Bands and other charitable giving demonstrate how they are trying to make a difference in their neighbourhoods, globally. Through effective and targeted funding to grassroots organisations and projects, Honda is also a long-time supporter of Business Philanthropy Club (BPC), a Berkshire-based group for businesses who want to make a positive difference within the local area.

Charity of the Year Award

Gold Award: Bracknell Foodbank

Managed by Claire Mathers and based at Kerith Community Church in the centre of Bracknell, Bracknell Foodbank provides three days of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are in crisis. Part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, Bracknell Foodbank works to combat poverty and hunger and also offers additional support to help break the cycle of poverty, putting people in touch with relevant agencies who can offer further support, such as debt help, job search support, addiction support, budgeting help, reading and writing skills.

Silver Award: Youthline

Youthline provides a free, confidential counselling service for young people up to the age of 25, as well as adults who support them. Since 1988, Youthline has offered a safe and supportive environment with a professional team of vetted counsellors providing humanistic, client-centred counselling in person, online and by telephone, working across several locations within Bracknell Forest including 11 secondary schools. As a registered charity, they are overseen by a team of Trustees who all come with a vast amount of experience working with young people.

John Nike Pride of Bracknell Forest-Adult Award

Gold Award: Sharon Bowden

Sharon started as a volunteer before being employed by The Ark, working as a Carers Support Worker for the SIGNAL Carers Service supporting family carers, helping out with community services and running group sessions at The Ark charity shop. She is a wonderful inspiration to the community and has gone the extra mile at several local projects, including regularly DJing at the Friday night project: a disco for adults with disabilities and their carers. She also runs free craft groups at Forget-me-knot, both for the local community and an exclusive session for unpaid carers and their loved ones. Sharon was nominated by several volunteers who work with her, as well as the families she helps to support.

Silver Award: Victoria Andrews

Victoria Andrews has been leading Chance to Dance for over 10 years, a dance school for students and families in the disabled community. She founded the company after she struggled to find an accessible dance class for an autistic boy she was nanning, and since then has grown to run thirteen dance classes between Reading, Coley and Bracknell, supporting over 200 children and young adults with mild to complex needs access dance and activity classes. Her vision, determination and drive are aspirational and her passion has helped to create an inclusive environment for children, young people and their families.

Gold Award: Angel Sande

Angel Sande has tirelessly devoted their time and effort to supporting those in need, demonstrating a remarkable commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others. Their unwavering dedication to serving our community at the local food bank showcases an exceptional level of compassion and selflessness at such a young age. Beyond their outstanding contributions to the community and academic achievements, Angel embodies the qualities of a role model, displaying kindness, empathy, and a positive attitude in all endeavours. Their willingness to go above and beyond to help others, coupled with their genuine humility, sets a shining example for their peers and serves as a beacon of hope for the future.

Gold Award: Ollie Perry

Following the unexpected and tragic death of his brother, Charlie, in 2017, Ollie was committed to honouring his memory by continuing the charitable work that Charlie had begun. Inspired by the pupils at Cawarden House School, a learning and additional needs (LAN) school for students with a wide range of needs including moderate learning difficulties, autism, ADHD, and Down syndrome, Ollie raised money for the Autistica charity, which funds and campaigns for research on autism and related conditions. Ollie raised just over £10,000 thanks to various fundraising efforts, including running a marathon and organising a ‘Festival of Musical Theatre’ which brought together young people from different schools in the area in a celebration of music and dance.

Gold Award: Janet Mauler

Janet Mauler is a remarkable member of the Bracknell Forest Community. A former teacher, Janet has dedicated her life to serving the community, having a profound impact on the lives of young people, and only retired to care for her late husband. To this day, she volunteers at toddler groups, runs community sessions, and until recently, volunteered to help take out people with dementia. A member of Warfield church since 1959, she helps out with the weekly setting up of the church, going above and beyond for her parish community.

Silver Award: Paul Jacobs

Paul Jacobs has been a valuable member of the Bracknell Town Council team for almost 50 years and throughout his tenure has been instrumental in maintaining the standards of all areas managed by the council. Beyond his professional duties, Paul is renowned for his mentorship and encouragement of his colleagues. In a remarkable act of heroism, his quick thinking and bravery saved the life of a one-week-old baby, demonstrating Paul’s dedication to go above and beyond to help the Bracknell Forest community. As Paul embarks on retirement, he leaves behind a legacy of integrity, dedication, and leadership that will be sorely missed.

School of the Year Award

Gold Award: Winkfield St Mary’s CE Primary School

Winkfield St Mary’s CE Primary School is celebrated by both its staff and pupils, and is a key pillar of the community, greatly contributing to the education of children from across the borough. The headteacher, Rachel Tomkins, goes out of her way to make the school a special place for her pupils. A school with a rich history, dating back to 1871, Winkfield St Mary’s has recently gone through a programme of modernisation and improvement whilst continuing to deliver excellent academic support for the pupils while adding other experiences such as trips, contests, sports days, and competitions with other schools. The staff have also worked hard to provide an amazing educational play structure through the OPAL scheme, a new play system for break and lunchtimes, as well as a buddy system helping children transition from nursery to reception by pairing them with a pupil from year 5.


When one of its pupils, Jasmine Freeman, known to many as Jasmine The Warrior Princess, sadly passed away at the age of 7 following a long battle with an inoperable, incurable, and aggressive brain tumour, the school acted sensitively and with grace and honour, helping the Freeman family put on a huge fundraising event at Bracknell Leisure Centre where the whole community gathered to show their support.

Silver Award: Rise@GHC

Rise@GHC is a learning centre for young people primarily with autistic spectrum conditions, aged between 11 and 19 living in the Bracknell Forest area. The staff at Rise@GHC go above and beyond to deliver high-quality learning, including GCSEs and functional-based qualifications, and also provide a bespoke life skills-based curriculum that nurtures young people to be the best versions of themselves and to be ready to enter adulthood.

Rise@GHC is led by Phil Mortimer, Head of the Centre and Deputy Heads Connie Milnes and Charlotte Pullinger who are Joint Deputy Heads of the Centre. Without their leadership and care for autistic pupils in Bracknell, hundreds of students that they have supported would be left without any ambition or resilience, left to struggle in mainstream settings. The school is currently being assessed by the National Autistic Society in order to become an accredited autistic academic provision.

Sport and Achievement- Adult’s Award

Gold Award: Neil Graham

Neil Graham has set up a local youth football scheme for local children with disabilities. His ‘Football For All’ scheme provides a unique and inclusive initiative for neurodivergent children and adults, providing participants with the opportunity to develop social, communication and team skills while reaping the numerous benefits of regular physical activity. The children involved have limited social and physical abilities and for some, this is their first opportunity to get involved with a team sport. Neil put his dedication, passion and knowledge into creating such a unique and well-needed team together to promote the physical and mental well-being of the children involved.

Silver Award: Baz Cilla

Baz Cilla is the Head Instructor and 3rd Dan at Bracknell Kickboxing Club. With over 30 years of Martial Arts experience, he helps to train students in a relaxed, fun and enjoyable atmosphere while instilling the traditional martial arts values of respect, honour, discipline and focus. A former Maltese Heavyweight Kickboxing champion, he was only 20 he opened his own club from which two of his students Mark Manicolo and Noel Mercieca becoming two of the most high ranking and successful Kickboxing Instructors on in Malta running full time clubs with fighters fighting (and winning) all over the World. Last year, two of his students became world champions after being selected to compete for Team GB at the WUMA Kickboxing World Championships.

Sport and Achievement- Young Person’s Award

Gold Award: Manny Safari

Manny Safari is an extremely talented athlete training at The Ring Amateur Boxing Club. At just 16, Manny is a seven-time national champion, a bronze medalist at last year’s European games, and a victor in the 3 Nations championship for England. Being selected to represent England in Europe once more this year confirms Manny’s rising status as a formidable and unstoppable champion.

Beyond his achievements, Manny has given back to the Bracknell Forest Community, serving as a beacon of inspiration and determination. Through his journey, he has mentored and inspired younger members of the club, demonstrating the value of hard work, resilience, and the spirit of sportsmanship.

Silver Award: Isabelle Rae

Isabelle Rae is an accomplished athletics athlete, working hard in training to deliver personal best times race after race, always striving to do better. Isabelle recently won the National Indoor Championships in the 60-metre hurdles and made the 75-meter final representing Berkshire in hurdles and combined events at her first English School Championships. Achieving the fastest time during her heat, Isabelle finished 3rd in the England Outdoor Championships final, earning her first national medal.  Competing at a national level in two sports means Isabelle has had to work extremely hard, with commitment, determination and perseverance.

Teacher of the Year Award

Gold Award: Lisa Fazey

Lisa Fazey is a year 3 teacher at Winkfield St Mary’s CE Primary School, who won the Gold Award School of the Year. When Jasmine, a pupil in her class, sadly passed away at the end of January, Mrs Fazey went above and beyond to help the students in her class to come to terms with this loss.  She understood the difficult emotions they were processing and encouraged her students to talk about their feelings. She was there for her pupils every day with a smile, a cuddle, or some kind words while navigating her own grief in losing a much-loved student from her class. She was also there to reassure parents, with individual ideas to help each child in her class. For pupils who needed extra reassurance, Lisa gave them additional support to help them attend school despite the unimaginable circumstances. Lisa is described by her nominators as an empathetic, professional, and an amazingly strong person.

Silver Award: Phil Mortimer

Rise@GHC, Silver Award winner for School of the Year, is led by Phil Mortimer. Phil has made the school an inclusive learning environment, always going the extra mile to support the staff, children and their families. His unwavering support extends beyond school hours: often attending pupils’ extracurricular activities to provide additional encouragement and guidance. Under Phil’s leadership, there has been a remarkable transformation in both staff morale and the quality of teaching at Rise@GHC. His dedication and hard work eliminated the need for agency staff, leading to a more stable and nurturing environment for students with autism, who greatly benefit from consistency and routine. He has genuine care and understanding of each pupil’s individual strengths and challenges, going above and beyond to discover and celebrate their “special powers,” recognising that these abilities often extend beyond the traditional curriculum.

Team of the Year Award

Gold Award: Brakenhale’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

Brakenhale’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a youth organisation within Brakenhale school that works closely with the Military of Defence. They aim to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness and a sense of service to the community. Volunteers spare their time to teach the cadets vital life skills as well as helping them to develop effective communication skills, grow their confidence, and be part of a team with a winning spirit and a sense of pride.


Through various fundraising efforts, including the Poppy appeal and a gruelling 24-hour 800-mile challenge, they raised over £7000 for Hope for Hasti charity, a parent-led charity, supporting gene therapy for those living with a rare genetic disease, directed by Chris Brannigan, who has been an officer in the British Army since 2007.

Silver Award: Home-Start Bracknell Forest

Home-Start Bracknell Forest is a local charity which supports ordinary parents in Bracknell Forest who are going through extraordinary times. They are there for parents when they need them most, because childhood can’t wait. Since 1993, they have recruited and trained volunteers from Binfield, Bracknell Town, Crowthorne, North Ascot, Sandhurst, Warfield and Winkfield who are then carefully matched to a family in need of support. Volunteers are from all walks of life, all of whom are parents or even grandparents, all with a little free time available each week to help local families. Volunteers will regularly visit the families in their own homes, offering emotional and practical support through difficult times. This parent-to-parent support is a simple yet effective way of giving hope and enabling families to get back on track.

Special Recognition Award 

Ruth Jackson

Ruth Jackson is an outstanding Headteacher at an outstanding school. After joining Crowthorne CE Primary School as Deputy Head  in 2007 the school has gone from strength to strength under Ruth’s leadership, and she is well-loved by teachers and pupils alike.. The school not only achieves excellent results, but the children are safe, happy, and leave with the characteristics needed to thrive She is highly respected by her colleagues and is described as ‘an inspiration’Visitors to the school comment on the ethos of the school which they say ‘you can feel as soon as you walk through the door’. As well as successfully leading Crowthorne CE Primary, Ruth has had an impact across the borough being a mentor to other Teachers and school leaders, and is often called on for advice and support. Always professional and passionate, Ruth has gone above and beyond to serve her community. Ruth will be sorely missed after her well-earned retirement at the end of the academic year.


Brad Clapson

Brad Clapson is a Co-Founder and Guest Practitioner at Artemis College and a proud LGBTQ+ advocate. He has formed local support groups to counter cyber and physical bullying and has worked closely with local government entities to try to improve equality and diversity in Berkshire. He works as a creative and digital lead within the Storyy Group, and set up ‘The Practical Approach’, a specialist provision using creative and visual arts to work with children and young people excluded or unable to work within mainstream schooling. He has helped so many people in Bracknell within the LGBTQ+ community, taking the time to listen to and educate parents who are struggling with family members who have come out.


Monika Taplin

Monika has taken on several sponsored runs, including the virtual London Marathon in 2023, to fundraise for Youthline. As well as raising money and awareness through these events, Monika also uses her voice and posts on local social media groups to try and help raise awareness of the Youthline charity. 

Young Person in Business or Apprenticeship

Gold Award: Jacob Day

Jacob Day joined Energy Efficient Solutions Group (EESG) in 2020 after completing his 6th Form education at Garth Hill College. He was employed on-site as a labourer to the electrical team and soon stood out as hard-working, diligent and reliable. In 2022, thanks to his hard work and dedication, the in-house design team identified Jacob as the right candidate to go on their apprenticeship design program, and within 6 months he was already one of the chief designers. Jacobs’s personality and expertise meant that clients began to request to work with him exclusively, leading to his promotion to Sales Executive in 2023, where he now oversees a portfolio in excess of £6 million. Jacob is hard-working, always willing to go the extra mile, and has been commended as not only a fantastic employee but a great example to follow.