THE DEREK WATSON JONES AWARD TO A COMMUNITY GROUP OR ORGANISATION
1 The Travel Store
Although a relatively new business to Gnosall, this little shop has made a fantastic impact already. It is friendly and accessible both in person and on the net, where weekly offers (even daily offers!) are published and queries are answered promptly and helpfully. The offers themselves are fantastic, whether they be for full-length holidays abroad or for shorter stays and breaks within the UK. Scott James opened the store, part of the Freedom Travel Group in June 2018, after 9 years with a short break specialist company. Lorraine has similar industry experience and they plan to take on another advisor shortly.
Even if you like the sound of one of their holidays but need details changing, they are as helpful as possible. Nothing is too much trouble. Prices are highly competitive and the range of offers is very wide, catering for all tastes.
The firm already sponsors local events, such as the 10k, so is clearly part of village life. I feel that it has added considerably to the opportunities within the village, it already has an excellent reputation and has won industry prizes in its first year, while being in the running for more, and it is keen to become a supporter of all aspects of life in Gnosall. It is a great asset to the village.
2 Gnosall Scout Group
This organisation has existed and thrived for 60 years and that’s amazing in itself. During that time, operating out of the Scout Hut behind the Memorial Hall, they have had a positive influence upon the lives of hundreds of Gnosall youngsters – not just boys either.
The Scouting Movement is a movement with a strong focus on the outdoors and survival skills that aims to support young people in their physical, mental, and spiritual development so that they may play constructive roles in society. At a time when youngsters are often the subject of criticism for thing’s they have not done that they ought to have done – or for things they have done that they shouldn’t have, this movement has been there to show young people another way.
As well as taking part in and enjoying exciting activities from kayaking to coding, scouts develop character skills like resilience, initiative and tenacity; employability skills such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving; and practical skills like cooking and first aid. In short, they learn to be positive and practical citizens. This is all thanks to the dedication of the many Scout Leaders who have given generously of their time over the years.
3 The Phoenix Federation
The Gnosall branch of the Phoenix Federation has almost 200 members, most of whom live within the parish. Its membership is restricted to over 50s but is otherwise open to all. It holds meetings on most Fridays through the year and the attendance rarely falls below 50. In addition, there are smaller groups covering interests such as walking, table tennis, tai chi, skittles, book reading and board games. The club also organises:
· Visits to places of interest
· An annual 5-day break with a focus on walking
· An annual quiz for all the groups within the Phoenix Federation
Many new members are recently retired, newcomers to the village or bereaved and the club supports them through potentially vulnerable periods of their lives. It also takes steps to ensure that those in declining health can maintain contact and continue to take part in its activities.
The group is a significant part of the life of the village and an award from the parish council would be good recognition of this.