At the Shaping Portsmouth Conference on Friday 18th January, we celebrated great work being done in the city with the Shaping Portsmouth Awards.
After the event, Express FM's Darren Gamblen spoke to each of the winners.
This week we hear from Hayley Wheeler from the University of Portsmouth Global Office, who won Volunteer of the Year, and Geoff Holt, who was presented with the Shaping Portsmouth Community Award for WetWheels Solent.
Jon Brown also spoke to Andy Grays who, along with his team at The Guildhall Trust, was presented with Outstanding Contribution to Shaping by a Company.
In November 2017 Global Office employee Hayley Wheeler became aware of the ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ project which is designed to celebrate the festive season by giving useful items such as boxed / canned goods, coffee / tea, toiletries, unwanted or unopened gifts, books, dvds, games etc to those in the local community that may require additional support.
The event was launched by Hayley in November and by the closing date in December, a total of nine departments had become involved. Hayley’s vision to donate a box of useful materials to those that might be in need had grown and hundreds of items which were delivered to two local support centres.
Following the overwhelming success of this project, and in conjunction with her own ‘Delivering Excellence’ participation, Hayley developed a new campaign entitled “It’s pants on the streets”. The concept was borne through discussions with local support centres who advised that underwear was always in short supply. Running in a similar fashion to the ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ campaign, the objective was to connect with people, both in teams and departments across campus, whilst at the same time supporting those in need locally.
The campaign launched at Easter supported by the local Co-operative store and 200 pairs of underwear were donated to the LifeHouse support centre in Southsea, from fourteen departments across the university.
The team at the Guildhall have shown a long standing commitment to supporting Shaping Portsmouth and the programmes we deliver.
Whether it's finding talented volunteers to join the steering groups, or gifting us meeting room space, they have always said yes when we’ve asked for help.
WetWheels Solent takes in excess of 1,500 disabled people on the water each year. 80% of those people have never been on the water before and approximately 25% of those people have profound and complex disabilities. WetWheels is unique, it is the only motorboating charity in the world and Portsmouth should be proud to have them based here in the City.
This year their work has been recognised by the Prime Minister, who awarded them a Point of Light Award in recognition of the contribution they are making to volunteering and to making our seas accessible to disabled people. WetWheels also received a letter of commendation from the Minister of Sport and they won the Federation of Small Business Entrepreneur Award, they won the National Diversity Awards for entrepreneurship, they were named British Marine Charity of the Year and they were runners-up in the Civil Society, Charity of the Year.
They are an outstanding social enterprise doing some truly innovative and meaningful work with those most vulnerable in our society, including their award-winning Harbour Breezes project which focuses on getting people living with dementia out on the water.