DOZENS of Newport residents and workers who have made a difference to the lives of others and the city were honoured tonight at the Extra Miles award ceremony.
A total of 56 people were nominated for their accomplishments, dedication, bravery and effort in going the “extra mile” over the past 12 months.
One of the winners – as voted for by South Wales Argus readers – was Tony Gilbert, who picked up the first Argus readers’ award.
Mr Gilbert was honoured for the work he has done over the past 38 years as part of the backroom staff at Newport County.
He has served the club for over five decades and in that time has worked as a groundsman, physio, caretaker manager and kit man, working for 27 managers.
A group of swimmers that swam the English Channel in order to raise funds for St David’s Hospice Care were among the first to be honoured at the event.
Kara Williams, Gary Parker, Dawn Lea, Keith Leslie and Kath Lewis swam the channel together, swimming one hour at a time for over 15 hours to raise the money.
Another resident rewarded for their endurance ability was Dee Clark, a local GP who undertook 69 10k races over 69 weeks in order to raise money for the For Luca Campaign.
Liam James was honoured for his work in the Duffryn area where he has clocked up over 600 hours of volunteer work on various activities.
One of the most heart-warming awards of the night was given to Ieuan Coombes, who rode 300 miles from London to Paris.
Mr Coombes who suffers from cerebral palsy, has undergone more than 20 operations, but that didn’t stop him from riding a specially designed bike that will now be used by children at the Serennu Centre in Rogerstone.
Megan Pyke, a student at Bassaleg School, was presented with a prize for excellence award. Miss Pyke’s mum suffers with multiple sclerosis and has been looked after by her daughter since she was 12-years-old.
This includes handling the household budget, making sure all the bills are paid on time and running the household.
She supervises her mum’s medication, makes sure it is taken on time and acts as her advocate when prescriptions aren’t dispensed on time.
Despite all of this, Miss Pyke has excelled at school and is currently planning on going to university.
Extra Mile Award winners
Kara Williams, Gary Parker, Dawn Lea, Keith Leslie & Kath Lewis
This group of swimmers trained and swam the English Channel in order to raise monies for St David’s Hospice Care.
A local GP who undertook 69 10k races over 69 weeks. This was in order to raise money for the Luca Campaign. Her blog while undertaking this challenge made fascinating reading.
David & Claire Thompson
The loss of his Father inspired David to take on extreme expeditions to raise tens of thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Claire has now caught the bug and has joined David on these expeditions to help with fundraising for this very worthy cause.
A lady who over 30 years ago formed a ladies volunteer committee to help members of the Rogerstone & Bassaleg Social Club. She has helped to raise monies to fund trips, parties for children of members, and is still active on the committee today.
Janet & Phil Sutton
Janet & Phil have been fostering children for over 24 years and state that they get a real of sense of achievement in caring for these children who are full of surprises, which makes fostering for them so rewarding.
Having watched a documentary on Comic Relief identifying the need for mosquito nets and malaria vaccines in Africa, this young girl, eight years old at the time, undertook a sponsored swim and other activities to fund raise for children in Africa.
Over 38 years service as one of the backroom staff at Newport County, Tony has served the club over 5 decades incorporating both the Ironsides and Exiles version of the club. He has served as a grounds man, physio, caretaker manager and kit man and has worked for 27 managers during that time.
Ryan Farley & Robert Shipley
Ryan and his friend Robert decided to cycle from Barcelona to Nice in 7 days to raise money for BRAKE which is a road safety charity in tribute to Ryan’s brother who died in an accident back in 2010, and to raise awareness of the dangers of the road. They continue to fundraise for other Newport charities.
A dedicated Newport postman who has given 50 years service to Royal Mail. He started as a telegram boy when he was 15. For over 30 years he served as postman to the rural areas of Goldcliff and Bishton and was affectionately known as “Postman Pat”in his delivery van.
Jackie became a serious fundraiser following the death of her son Steven who died of cancer in 2011. Since that time she has been actively involved in raising money for St David’s Hospice Care. She has galvanised family & friends to engage in all sorts of fund raising activities with the aim of raising £20,000 by May 2014 and has already surpassed that target.
Gerald has given. 60 years continuous service to the Scout movement; 23 service working for the Mission to Seamen along with giving service to his local church of Christchurch and over 40 years service working for the Poppy Appeal which has raised over £40,000 for the RBL.
Liam has been working as a volunteer on behalf of the Rotary Club of Newport Uskmouth for over 2 years and has completed over 600 hours working in the Duffryn area on various activities. He is a true role model to the up and coming generation and his dedication to volunteering is second to none.
Ieuan suffers from Cerebral Palsy but loves a challenge. He has undergone more than 20 operations but nothing stopped him from undertaking a 300 mile London – Paris cycle ride. He rode a specially designed bike sponsored by Wilkinsons and the bike will now be used by children at the Serennu Centre in Rogerstone.
Jody is the driving force behind the charity “Saying Goodbye” here in Newport. This charity provides memorial services for people who have lost a child at any stage of pregnancy. Since April 2013 she has raised over £2000 for this worthwhile cause.
Liz works for the ONS here in Newport. Every year she organises a veterans and pensioners Christmas Party for 100 people free of charge. Throughout the year she undertakes fundraising events in order to provide this event, and has received support from colleagues, caterers and outside agencies.
Julie is employed as Office Manager at Duffryn Community Link. She is a caring person and gives her own time and money to help those less fortunate than herself within the local community.
Thirty years of multiple Sclerosis has left Stuart unable to walk more than 20 metres at a time. However at the beginning of October he undertook the ultimate challenge of walking 60 kilometres (in London) to raise funds for MS. In a specially designed frame to aid his walking Stuart completed the challenge on 14 October 2013.
Janelle Hotter, Andrew Briscombe, Kathryn Harris & Tania Comber
4 members of City Council staff who came to the aid of a member of the public who had collapsed with a suspected heart attack outside the Civic Centre.
Ceri has been rewarded for the work she undertook to ensure the success of the Council’s recent Corporate Assessment with the Wales Audit Office.
Trevor has been a referee in the Newport and District Football League for over 37 years, and at 83 years of age is still refereeing games in Newport.
Martyn Smith, Stephen Drayton, Thomas Seagrim & David Nancarrow
4 police officers who fought their way through a smoke filled house managed to rescue it’s only resident and also helped to stop the spread of the fire until the Fire Service arrived on the scene.
Undertook a 1600 mile bike ride to 26 UK towns beginning with a different letter of the alphabet and raised over £2200 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research.
Works at Nightingale Court as a cleaner and plays a big part in the emotional and social wellbeing of the residents by always being available to listen to them.
An avid fundraiser who supports St Davids Hospice and other Newport Charities.
A Gwent Police Officer who helped revive a heart attack victim and her actions played a key role in ensuring that the lady survived.
A former soldier who works tirelessly in helping to provide football coaching for homeless people and takes time off from his job working for a homeless charity to undertake this voluntary work.
A real team player for the Council who stepped into the breach on Remembrance Sunday to guide and support the Mayor, Leader of the Council and dignitaries at this important event within the City.
Joined the Council in 1974, working in IT and has spent many hours outside the normal working day to ensure that IT systems remain operational for the benefit of operators and the City as a whole.
Extended his period of Retirement from the Council until after the completion of 3 critical audits by the Food Standard Authority and the Wales Audit Office.
Bassaleg School – Megan Pyke
Megan lives with her mum who suffers with Multiple Sclerosis. Megan is her mum’s carer. In everything she has done over the last six years, that’s throughout her time in Bassaleg School, Megan’s first consideration has always been her mum’s well-being.
From the age of twelve, Megan has run the household and all that entails: shopping, including deciding what to buy, cooking the meals, cleaning, washing and ironing.
Megan handles the household budget, making sure all the bills are paid on time. She supervises her mum’s medication, makes sure she takes it and acts as her advocate when prescriptions aren’t dispensed on time or there are mistakes to be addressed with the doctor or pharmacist.
Before they moved to their bungalow two years ago, Megan wouldn’t come to school from Marshfield until she saw her mum settled downstairs for the day; she often missed the bus and had to organise a taxi to get to school.
Mum’s illness has seriously compromised her short-term memory which means paradoxically that Megan spends many a lonely hour with her mum. After helping her mum bathe and safely to bed by 8.30pm, Megan tidies her mum’s room and cleans the bathroom every evening, then returns to the school work she left earlier.
She then reads for pleasure; she’s a prolific reader!
Megan’s spirit is indomitable! What epitomises her selflessness is that when the authorities are able to offer support to Megan’s mum, Megan spends the time gained volunteering for Barnardo’s and Pobl Ifanc, working to raise money for the benefit of others.
Recently Megan has faced a dilemma, created ironically by her remarkable academic success; she has the talent and opportunity to go to university and, as ever, her first consideration is her mum. Discussions are taking place to make provision for her mum and for Megan to go. Megan goes the extra mile every day!
Caerleon Comprehensive - Ben Rackham
Ben is one of the most able students Caerleon have had and possesses exceptional academic potential. At Advanced Subsidiary level, Ben’s performance was outstanding, attaining high A grades in all five subjects.
He attained full marks in all Physics papers, in his Mechanics and Statistics papers, as well as Biology BY2 and Chemistry CH1. Ben is currently studying Advanced Level Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths and is predicted A* in every subject. Ben’s talent in Science and Maths has been recognised in recent years.
He was awarded the “Best Student in his Year” Award in the UK Mathematical Challenge and GCSE prizes for excellence in both Science and Biology.
Although Ben excels in his academic studies, he has also contributed immensely to the wider life of the school community. Ben leads the school’s Environment Club.
He was a key member of the school’s Young Engineering Scheme, is also a talented musician and is an integral part of a number of school ensembles, as well as the Gwent Greater Wind Band. Ben is an exemplary and delightful individual who inspires all within the school community.
Prize for Excellence Winners
Duffryn High School – Elinor Jones
Elinor has been nominated for the Prize for Excellence for her outstanding academic performance throughout her time at Duffryn High School.
Elinor is a quiet, unassuming young lady, but she also combines these characteristics with an exceptional talent and determination to succeed.
From Elinor’s modest demeanour it would be difficult to identify her as an outstanding student who achieved nine grade A or A* star results along with a Distinction* in her 2013 GCSE’s.
Elinor is insightful and perceptive and is always willing to help her teachers or other students.
Overall, she is an absolute credit to herself, her family, Duffryn High School and to the young people of Newport. Elinor wants to study medicine at university and specialise in anaesthesia.
Llanwern High School – Connor Shefford
Connor is currently a Year 11 student at our school. Since joining us in Year 7 he has been the perfect role model. He is popular with students and staff alike. He consistently seeks to help others and does so with tact and humour.
Simply by looking at Connor you might suspect that sport must figure prominently in his life and of course you would be correct. He is a successful rugby player as indicated by him being a member of Newport Gwent Dragons under 16s.
But an example of his nature and aptitude he is not purely focussed on developing his own rugby career but wants to see others develop and he does this by visiting Eveswell Primary School every Thursday Evening, where he works with Year 5 and 6 pupils.
He is also a member of the school Cadet Force where he has gained the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and is working towards his silver.
Throughout his time in school he has won a number of awards including Year 10 Student of the Year, Key Stage 4 Sportsman of the Year and it was no surprise when he was selected to be a prefect.
He is now working flat out with his GCSEs coming rapidly towards him.
Lliswerry High School – Tamanna Begum
Tamanna is a Year 13 student at Lliswerry High School. The school is proud to commend her for this Extra Mile Award. Academically, she has flourished in the Sixth Form. This includes spending 6 weeks of her own time last summer on a Nuffield Research Placement. Her project for the placement included investigating biological markers to show whether a person is suffering from kidney disease.
She was presented with her award by Professor Sir Martin Evans at the celebration evening in October. She undertook this placement whilst continuing her commitments in her local community and at home.
Newport High School – Voice Leadership Group
Liam Kelly (Headboy) Shaunagh Coldrick (Head Girl)
Jack Vaughan ( Deputy Head Boy) Megan Grist (Deputy Head Girl)
Darian Clarke (Senior captain) Megan Couch (Senior Captain)
Ambassadors for the school.
Role models for younger students
Contribute to wider school life.
Since July 2013 they have:
Represented the school in numerous activities including the September 11th memorial service.
Fund-raised for Children in Need.
Presented in assemblies to students from Year 7 to year 11.
Met with Governors and presented their improvement plan.
Organised and held whole school elections for the school councils.
Hosted visitors to the school and arranged tours for groups.
Hosted the annual school Awards Ceremony.
They are a high achieving, high performing group of young people of whom the school are very proud.
St Joseph’s RC High School – Giordan Price
Giordan is currently in year 12 studying for 4AS levels and the WBQ. A committed musician, Giordan became involved with the Tredegar Town Brass Band prior to his GCSE examinations and was heavily involved in rehearsals and practice whilst he was in the middle of studying.
The band went on to win the British Open Championships and are now widely regarded as the best Brass band in the country, regularly giving recitals at the Royal Albert Hall and the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Giordan has been an integral member of this success, whilst at the same time achieving all A* and A grades in his GCSE examinations.
St Julian’s School – Jay Malpas
Jay is a delightful student who inspires all within the school community.
Her fundraising activities are exceptional. Jay chose to support St Anne’s Hospice after the care they provided for her Grandmother and helps them organise their BBQ in the summer, helps with bag packing schemes and other events.
She even helped out as an Elf at the Charity Christmas grotto in Kingsway in December. Jay will consider others before herself and asked that family and friends donated money to St Anne’s charity rather than give her Birthday Presents.
Diana Fode Bakary, Stephen Beaumont, Marco Guy, Lyndon Jarvis & John Donaghey
Bettws in Bloom
James Bufton, James Tonks, Jay Rowe & Lewis Richards
Newport Home Care Service Team
Newport CC Waste Management Refuse Service
Newport CC Winter Maintenance Service
Harry Poloway MBE
Alison Harris & Rhiannon Goode
Hillside Residential Home
St Catherine’s Nursing Home Care Assistants