Outstanding contributions from volunteers, charity champions, and other pillars of local communities in Bridgend County Borough were all recognised as winners in this year’s Mayor’s Citizenship Awards.

The awards, organised by Bridgend County Borough Council, recognise the outstanding achievements by local residents who have put their community on the map, or regularly go the extra mile to make a difference.

Amongst the full list of winners was a teacher from Cefn Glas Infants School, the chair of a baby loss support group as well as vital community organisations such as the Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness Group and the Newton Buoyant Bluetits.

 

Cllr Martyn Jones, Mayor of Bridgend County Borough, said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to all the winners and it is clear that they have all made a huge contribution to their local communities and the county borough as a whole.

“It is really important that our unsung heroes are given the recognition they deserve and it is has been a real honour to meet and present the winners with their well-deserved awards.

“I’d like to thank residents for sending in their nominations and the selection process was no easy task.

“We are well and truly inundated with many individuals and groups who go the extra mile for the good of others.”

The individual award winners are:

 

Bernard Aylward

Bernard has been recognised for his long-standing work as secretary of Nantyffyllon Miners Institute which has helped to put his community on the map.

The position is a voluntary one, and as the institute is a registered charity, Bernard is also a long-standing trustee and manages the building in accordance with the rules of the charity commission. The institute hosts a variety of key community events such as playgroups, dance classes and karate classes.

 

Billy Davies

Billy has worked tirelessly in the Garw Valley as a church warden and regularly collects shopping and prescriptions for many elderly residents as well as going out of his way to visit many residents who live on their own.

 

He helps to keep St David’s church in good order and always offers a friendly welcome to any visitors.

 

Carol Delbridge

Over the last 20 years Carol has held the role of Chief Librarian at Pyle Library. Residents would like to thank Carol for going above and beyond in her role by regularly using her own resources and time.

Carol has been known to pick up and drop off books for vulnerable residents. She also helps to combat loneliness and ill health within the community by spending time accommodating the needs of vulnerable residents and allowing her staff to do the same.

 

Catherine Mathias

Throughout the pandemic, Catherine made a valuable contribution to her community in Heol-Y-Cyw by delivering food and prescriptions for residents who were unable to leave their homes for a variety of reasons.

Catherine also volunteers with Keep Wales Tidy and regularly litter picks throughout her community to ensure all pavements are free of litter.

 

Christopher Hill

Christopher has worked with the RAF cadet service in Bridgend for over 7 years as an adult trainer moving into uniform and progressing through the ranks to a flight sergeant.

He spends his free time helping youngsters train, grow and develop. He runs events to raise money for charity and is always on hand to take pictures of events and post them online raise awareness.

 

Eileen Thomas

Eileen has been recognised for her strong portrayal of community spirit where she is an active member of St Paul’s Church in Heol-y-Cyw.

Last year, Eileen felt she wanted to do something to support the Ukrainian people, so, she arranged a concert at Heol-y-Cyw Welfare Hall and over 100 people attended. There was a variety of performers, who all gave their time free of charge. A total of £1600 was raised. for this worthy cause.

 

John McCarthy

For more than 25 years, John who is a former Bridgend County Borough Council Mayor, has demonstrated his commitment to the county borough by not only serving as a town and county borough councillor but by being a member of many boards including Awen Cultural Trust, Coity Wallia Conservators, Friends of Salem Chapel and a governor at Pencoed Primary School.

John has also helped his local community by clearing blocked culverts, marshalling at community carnivals and fireworks displays and by playing a key part at the Credit Union Branch in Pencoed.

 

Jeffrey William Davies

Jeffrey has volunteered his electrical services free of charge to install a countless number of external defibrillators throughout the county borough.

He has fitted these crucial devices in schools, councils, community centres across Bridgend, Porthcawl and Maesteg.

 

Jessica Sim

Jessica has taken over as Chair of Bro Morgannwg Baby Loss Support Group and in only seven months she has undertaken two lots of fundraising events to raise just over £2100 for charity.

Jess worked tirelessly during Baby Loss Awareness Week (BLAW) to raise awareness and money for both BLAW and Bro Morgannwg’s baby loss support group, Befriender.

 

Michelle Williams

Michelle is a champion for the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and works tirelessly in the local community to make sure there is support in place for new mothers as well as anyone else who is struggling with their mental health.

She previously suffered from postnatal depression and has raised awareness of this important topic by doing interviews on TV and radio. Michelle now volunteers with Wyndham Boys and Girls Club, whilst also working with Mental Health Matters Wales to set up projects such as the Dementia Hub in Nolton Street.

 

Sarah Jones (Unique You) 

Sarah runs an Inclusive Camera Club & Photography business which is aimed at Neurodivergent, Neurotypical & differently abled Young People.

The company ethos is to empower young people to be themselves and to learn new skills which will help them to flourish in whatever they choose to do.

 

Sonia Thornton

Sonia, who is a teacher at Cefn Glas Infants School, made it her mission to run 5k every day throughout February 2022 to raise money for a defibrillator to be placed on an external wall at the school.

Due to her extensive efforts, the device is not only accessible for staff, pupils and parents at the school but for all the local community.

 

The group winners are:

 

Cornelly and District Development Trust

The Cornelly and District Development Trust run a key local community facility in the centre of North Cornelly which helps the neighbourhood as whole.

As well as running a local Pantry, there’s the “Just a Second” shop which is full of good clothes, household items and items for children and babies.

The group also organise coach trips for parents & children, craft sessions for all ages and local fayres & fetes that are very popular and serve to bring the community together in the best way possible as well as giving support to local small craft businesses.

 

Newton Buoyant Bluetits

This vital community group was formed in the wake of COVID to try to combat social exclusion and to help the local community deal with unprecedented illnesses, bereavements and many other traumatic events.

The group now has over 1500 members and offers many benefits to both physical and mental health. The bluetits are an inclusive group who always welcome people to share a cuppa and a chat on the slipway in Newton.

 

Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness (OVSA)

This voluntary group aims to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding suicide. A public meeting is held once a month to gather ideas and feedback from residents so the purpose of the group can be tailored to the needs of the local community.