Local community hero Denise Nolson was treated to a surprise presentation of the Edna Powell Cup for an Outstanding Contribution to the Community on Saturday.
Denise had been nominated to receive the award in recognition of her dedication and passion for supporting Middle of the Hill Community Group, and the Stroud Country Show Committee agreed that she would be this year’s worthy recipient. The award had been due to be presented at the Stroud Show last month, but after the show was cancelled due to bad weather, was instead given at one of the Community Group’s monthly Action Days over the weekend.
Volunteers at the Action Day – which included gardening, furniture building and shed organising – had managed to keep the presentation a secret from Denise. However, the arrival of Stroud Country Show Committee Chair Wendy Fabbro and Stroud Town Deputy Mayor Camilla Hale gave the game away.
Wendy made a short speech thanking Denise, who is Chair of the Community Group and the driving force behind the Foodhub, for her commitment to her community. She described how Denise lived the values of the late Edna Powell, who had worked tirelessly to support community life in Stroud.
Wendy said: “On behalf of Stroud County Show I am delighted to be able to award the Edna Powell Cup to Dee, who has done so much through Middle of the Hill Community Group to help reduce food poverty and food waste in Stroud. She embodies the values that Edna Powell believed in, of helping and giving back to our community.”
Camilla Hale added: “I have seen all the hard work Dee puts in and her dedication to her community, she is a very deserved recipient of this award and it is a delight to be here.”
The recipient of the award, Denise, said: “Edna was a force of nature and it’s a real honour to win this award in her memory. I believe very strongly that everyone, no matter their circumstances, has a right to be safe, to be housed, to be warm and to be nourished – both physically and mentally. Our community hub goes a little way to supporting people with that, and our work is so important, especially now as we head towards what will be another hard autumn and winter.
“I’m mostly homebound with ill health myself, so I know too well how hard it can be to ask for help; people do not walk lightly through our doors. Thankfully we have the most amazing team of over thirty volunteers who help provide the warmest of welcomes to our customers, along with a chat, cooking tips, and referral advice if needed. This award is absolutely for us all.”
After the presentation, the volunteers enjoyed some delicious home-made cake and biscuits, then got back to work.
For more information about the group’s Action Days please see their Facebook page for details – www.facebook.com/MHCGStroud
Stroud Country Show is an annual event celebrating life and community in the Five Valleys. For more information, visit www.stroudshow.co.uk.
Middle of the Hill Community Group aims to build and support the community living in and around Nouncells Cross in Stroud. The group runs a thriving food redistribution hub and a community gardening club.
To join one of their action days, or get involved in the work of the community group in any way, please email contactMHCG@gmail.com or ring 07707 126628 for more information.