Emma Lincoln from Age Friendly Island welcomed everyone to the awards ceremony and introduced Jack Wedderkop, who acted as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Jack drew much praise throughout the ceremony for his assured presentation.
Isle of Wight High Sheriff, Gioia Minghella-Giddens gave the opening address. She mentioned it was the voluntary sector who keep the Island running and said that this Island is the first rural area to receive the accolade of an Age Friendly Area, which is awarded by the World Health Organisation. Gioia said it was a pleasure and real privilege during her term of office to meet more Islanders in different situations.
There were winners and second and third places in all categories.
Age Friendly Entrepreneur – presented by Steve Holbrook from IW Chamber of Commerce
For an individual who inspires others and who has made a significant contribution to Island businesses
Winner: Jan Brooks used her energy and flair to set up Isle Access, 1 of 85 new businesses set up by people 50+ and helped by the Chamber of Commerce.
Age Friendly Team – presented by James Baxter of Stylish Windows
For a group of older people who work together and accomplish something outstanding
Winner: The Links Trust, a not for profit organisation in the Bay Area, set up to help those facing loneliness and isolation.
Age Friendly Volunteer – presented by Debbie Reed from Red Funnel
For someone who devotes time to volunteering for the good of others
Winner: Jeanette Robiati has spent over 30 years in healthcare and now, in her early 70s, helps in the physio department of Mountbatten Hospice.
Age Friendly Arm in Arm – supported by Southern Housing Group
For an older adult who works across generations- bridging the gap between young and older people demonstrating the advantages of working arm in arm
Winner: Sheila Cates volunteers across the generations with Rainbows (aged 5-7 and the youngest members of Girlguiding) and members of Newport Townswomen’s Guild as well as singing and dancing groups for older people.
Age Friendly Challenge of the Year – presented by Simon Church from Sainsbury’s Newport
For a person who has inspired, led by their actions and motivated courage in others
Winner: Mike Sadler is retired and suffers from Alzheimer’s but was determined to keep playing golf and to go for his daily walk. With the help of Golf Club members he can keep playing.
Age Friendly Contribution to the Community – supported by Southern Vectis and presented by Susan Cullen
For someone who makes a difference to other peoples’ lives and who values safe and caring communities
Winner: Barry Jackman is the project leader of Dementia Awareness IW. He studied the condition after his wife was diagnosed with dementia and now helps others.
Age Friendly Active Person –presented by Steve Hill from Tesco Ryde
For someone who continues to be dedicated to and is passionate about a physical activity or has dedicated time and effort to inspiring others to get active
Winner: Sue Clerkin undertakes an amazing breadth of volunteering and still finds time to run with Ryde Harriers. Her energy is inspirational.
Age Friendly Impact – supported by Mia and presented by Nik Attfield of Age UK IW
For someone who has gone over and above in volunteering and supporting others which has impacted on the Island community
Winner: Helen Bridger is adaptable to any situation and offers companionship in her role as a Mountbatten Volunteer Visitor.
As an interval to the award ceremony, Helen Lewis from Age UK IW presented highlights of the Celebrating Age Festival, showing how hundreds of Islanders have participated in dozens of activities during this special week including singing, handicrafts, IT skills as well as obtaining information on organisations which support older people in the community and not forgetting the Southern Vectis Mystery Tour.
5,000 brochures had been distributed advertising some 60 events. Helen was keen to ask for new ideas for next year’s event, but she had to draw the line at lawnmower racing, citing Health and Safety Regulations!
To conclude Paul Grimes from the Wright Estate Agency thanked sponsors and all the organisers especially Emma Lincoln and the team at Age UK IW for planning the event.
Report and photo thanks to Alan and Suzanne Whitewood