A WOMAN who suffered 19 miscarriages before having a baby and a woman who has coped with redundancy are nominated for a Newport’s Night of Honour award.
The pair work with vulnerable families despite battling through challenges of their own.
Joanne Short and Claudine Morgan, livelihoods workers for organisation Duffryn Community Links, were nominated for the Community Champion award by their boss Bob Barry, who received an award himself last year.
The pair work as part of the team at the Duffryn office, providing support to residents including education, training, days out for families and confidential groups.
Learning coordinator Mr Barry, 63, who won a Night of Honour award himself last year, said: “These girls go above and beyond.
“They almost become part of the families they work with, steering them through crises and potential conflict. I can’t think of two people who deserve it more.”
But the two community support workers, who said the job can be challenging, are not averse to having battled through hard times themselves.
Joanne Short, 39, from Rogerstone, suffered 19 miscarriages and had undergone several invasive operations before she finally gave birth to her daughter Emily-Kate in January last year.
Ms Short suffers from endometriosis, a condition which makes taking a baby to full term very difficult and affects around two million women in the UK.
Treatment includes laporoscopies - the laser removal of part of the womb to help the pain the condition causes.
Ms Short's award comes after the joy of having her daughter.
She said: “I’m really pleased and absolutely delighted about this award. It’s heart-warming – we feel like we make a massive difference but it’s nice to be recognised."
Claudine Morgan, 44, also said the redundancies and other issues she has been through has put her in a better position to relate to other people’s struggles.
Mother-of-two Ms Morgan said: “Your empathy skills are heightened when you have been in a similar position and I do thrive on that, it’s that personality link.
“I went through different challenges which helps me to really understand and get to know others with similar problems.”
The Oxfam-funded Livelihoods Project at Duffryn Community Links also work with professional bodies like social services and schools to ensure the best help is given.
Families, children and adults from Duffryn who need help are referred to the two community workers who provide a listening ear for people to offload.
Ms Short said: “I’m really pleased and absolutely delighted about this award. It’s heart-warming – we feel like we make a massive difference but it’s nice to be recognised."
The annual Newport’s Night of Honour award is looking for individuals and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to the community or have done something special.
Nominations are now open for four award categories which each celebrate different achievements and contributions in Newport.
Newport’s Braveheart Award is one of this year’s categories which recognizes someone who has overcome life’s challenges with courage and determination, while Young Person of the Year honours inspirational youngsters.
Also looking for entries are the Above and Beyond Award and the Neighbour of the Year award.
Event organizer Hayley Corley said the new community award will celebrate people who work tirelessly to help others in their neighbourhood.
Ms Corley said: “Newport is a really segregated area and we really wanted to bring all of the communities together.
“The feedback we have had so far has been absolutely brilliant. Community champion nominations have poured in.”
Nominations for the four main categories will be judged and presented in an awards ceremony on Sunday, September 28 at the King’s Church.
An audience of 400 attended the event last year, and this year beckons to be just as successful with the Mayor of Newport and MP Jessica Morden set to present awards.
The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 5 and forms can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.