Stars of Social Services 2014: Unsung Community Heroes Recognised In National Awards

published on 3 Feb 2014

A groundbreaking community hub which is finding new ways of helping homeless people and a lady who dedicates her spare time helping elderly people and children in Cardiff are just some of the individuals and centres recognised by The Salvation Army at its annual social services awards ceremony held on Wednesday, 5 March.   The Salvation Army’s Social Services Awards, held in The Hayes Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, recognises those who have made an exceptional contribution to the church and charity’s work helping vulnerable people as the largest provider of social care in the UK after the government. With 18 older people’s homes, more than 80 Lifehouses to support homeless people, and over 800 churches and community centres offering a range of services, The Salvation Army is on hand to help people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

  Among the award winners is unsung hero Mair Chubb, from Cardiff, who dedicates hours of her time to community work at the Cardiff Cathays Church (corps), helping to clean the houses of elderly people in the city, stepping in to help at a moment’s notice at the church’s children’s nursery, and setting up summer camps to give children in poverty a holiday.

She says: “I am so privileged to receive this. I am very excited. I knew I had been nominated but to receive it is wonderful. I feel that I am privileged to be able to do the work I do, not only in my church but also out in the community. It’s great to work alongside children and to be able to communicate with them.”   The Redbridge Cold Weather Centre and Recycles Social Enterprise are projects offering year-long support for homeless people in Ilford in East London. Ilford Church (Corps) has been working with homeless people in their community for many years but with more people now needing support the team there has restructured its approach. By winter 2011 the church, under the leadership of Lts John and Naomi Clifton, became involved with an ecumenical winter night shelter. This has expanded over the past couple of years and they, with the other churches accommodate nearly 100 people during the coldest months of the year.   John Clifton said: "It is a real privilege to be recognised for the work we do in Ilford. We are really seeing a difference in the area.  Social action is so important to what we do and I'd like to thank everyone who volunteers at the centre."

Major Ray Irving, Territorial Social Services Secretary in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, said: “Each winner and winning centre is a story of dedication to the vulnerable people in our society who need a helping handing. They spend their time dedicated to helping other people. This ceremony was an opportunity to recognise their achievements and contributions. Witnessing the hard work and self-sacrifice of these incredible people shows that however dark the circumstances, there will always be those angels among us who lighten the load.”

Winners of The Social Services Awards 2014 with Territorial Commander, Commisioner Clive Adams and Commissioner Marianne Adams   The awards are split into four categories - homelessness services, community services, older people’s services and services to people with learning disabilities. They are judged by independent panels, with hundreds of Salvation Army social centres and community churches along with thousands of staff in the UK and Republic of Ireland eligible for nomination by employees, service users, residents and local community groups.