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Bro Radio's Community Awards 2020: Meet The Winners


The Bro Radio Community Awards 2020 took place yesterday evening (Friday 18th December) in an online ceremony broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.

The second annual iteration of the awards ceremony celebrated those individuals, groups, businesses and events who excelled in showing real community spirit in 2019.

Originally scheduled to take place in March of this year at Barry's Memorial Hall, the event had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic which dominated much of 2020, but the station did not want the year to pass without highlighting the work of this year's finalists and so made the moves necessary to hold the event online.

Ten winners were decided on the night from a total of thirty finalists, with three finalists competing in each category.

Young Person Of The Year - Bailey Sloan

Bailey is a dedicated and passionate community volunteer, working mostly with Barry Rotary Club.

Bailey, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, Autism and sensory processing issues, charmed Barry when he carried out a campaign locally which he called the ‘Acts of Kindness’. This was a plan to carry out good deeds and included leaving positive notes for people, clearing litter from the beach, and helping to tidy the trolleys at the supermarket. Overall he completed over 300 different acts of kindness.

Bailey has also taken part in three 5k runs to raise funds for Ty Hafan and two Santa fun runs for the mayor’s favourite charity.

Last Year, Bailey won Rotary International’s Young Citizen Award, in recognition of his ‘positive community work’.

Volunteer Of The Year - Bette Sim

Bette has worked for many years in Holton road charity shop, Craig's Corner which is named in tribute to a young homeless man who passed away on the streets of Cardiff.

A single parent foster carer for nineteen years, Bette was in the Navy during her early career and so was only too happy to send out over 5,500 parcels to the armed forces in Afghanistan, providing toiletries and other home comforts such as chocolates, sweets and Christmas cards in 2010.

Bette opens Craig’s Corner every day and spends the majority of her time caring for those who are struggling with homelessness, donating food, clothing and sleeping bags for the cause. She has also made donations for medical equipment at Barry hospital.

Bette has never taken a wage for herself with and once the shop’s rent is paid the rest is given for other charities.

Teacher Of The Year - Laura McCarthy

Laura McCarthy was nominated by Katie Smith and teaches her child Finley. Finley is eight years old and was born with delayed vision DVM (type 1).

This meant he wasn’t able to see until he was 7 months old. Due to Finley being born with DVM, he has a delay academically but is socially very switched on, meaning he is so aware of his learning delay and because of that his confidence reached an all-time low last year.Laura McCarthy has only been Finley's teacher since September, but in that short space of time she has managed to encourage Finley to trust her and because of this he is relaxed enough in class to learn, contribute to discussions and believe in himself.

Finley is now making steady progress and says "it's okay to get things wrong and make mistakes because that's how we learn."

Working in a school, the first in Wales to be awarded Trauma-Informed and Laura being a Trauma-Informed Practitioner, it is clear that relationships are a priority. Laura believes that it isn’t until these relationships are built, trust is given, a child can then build resilience and engage in learning in a positive and life-changing way.

The Charity Award - Barry Round Table

The Barry Round Table are a community charity that use every penny they raise to help the community whether it is helping to furnish a house after a fire or helping to source sensory toys for a charity.

The group support the community in many ways, especially at Christmas, when they take Santa and his sleigh around the streets of Barry allowing the children to meet Santa and his elves and to hand over their Christmas lists in person. Previously the group even went out to do this on Christmas Day itself.

Another event they run for the elderly community is the Annual Christmas Lunch when they offer lonely and venerable elderly people a day out including a three course meal, entertainment and transport if needed to and from the venue. This gives every guest a chance for some company and some time out of the house. This event truly makes a difference at an often lonely time of year to over eighty people.

A highlight of 2019 for the Barry Round Table was assisting Nessa in turning on the Christmas lights on Hoton Road.

In addition to this, the group also get involved in helping other charities, groups and schools. They help Children In Need by taking Pudsey Bear around schools and groups to meet the children and help raise fund for the cause.

Furthermore the Round Table have played a part at other charity and groups events such as the Rotary Club Duck Race, Cadstock, The Scout Fete, RNLI Funday, Barry Town Council Santa Fun, Pumpkins In The Park and more.

All of this is achieved by a small group of volunteers who give up their time to help the people in Barry in every way they can.

Sports Star Of The Year - George Evans

George Evans is an 83 year old table tennis champion and lifelong sportsman who also carries out voluntary work supporting young table tennis players in the Vale.

Still active at 84 years of age, George has had a multifaceted career in sport, playing football at semi-pro level and holding school records in athletics in his youth, but it was his main love, table tennis, for which he was honoured by the Queen in the New Year Honours list with a BEM for services to the sport in Wales.

Mr Evans has dedicated more than sixty years to the sport of table tennis in Wales, developing an entire minority voluntary run sport in a country not known for table tennis. His overarching commitment to the sport has had a direct positive impact on many others over many years, and still today in his 80s is still active in helping the next generation of table tennis talent: namely at the Cwm Talwg community centre in Barry.

A former dock worker and Barry Sportsman of the Year, George says his most enjoyable experience was being invited to play for a team in North Germany, after returning from a tournament in North Korea, becoming good friends and playing alongside Liang GeLiang, one of the worlds` best players along the way.

Sports Club Of The Year - Barry Kyokushin

Established in Barry as the first Karate club in the Vale of Glamorgan, Barry Kyokushin Karate Club has spanned across six decades to provide excellent Martial Arts tuition and continues to thrive. Just last year they managed to open a full time, community interest training facility and they teach Martial Arts to over 150 people in the Vale.

The club have a rich history and an exciting future. They have classes for everyone, from 4-5yr olds, to the over 40's. There's no one they can't teach.

Barry Kyokushin Karate Club offers an encouraging and supportive atmosphere to train in. Members learn confidence, discipline and all share a love for the sport. The community and spirit the club has created is something they are very proud of. Phill and Rhian have worked hard to make the club the success it is. 


However, working for our community is one of Sensei Phill's primary objectives. Phill works with local primary and secondary schools, with the council, with Vale Sport and Play, with the Families First Team and with South Wales Police to give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from Martial Arts training.  They're not just a Dojo, they're a family.

Community Event Of The Year - GlastonBarry

Glastonbarry, organised by Mack Events, is a community festival that provides the top tribute acts in the business to Barry, and also a major event for people from all around the Vale to catch up and spend time together.

Many travel from far and wide to Barry specifically for the entertainment packed weekend.

Mack Events aim to evoke old memories, whilst creating new ones and believe community spirit to be of utmost importance at their events.

GlastonBarry also provides an income to the local traders including pubs, restaurants, taxi and hotels.

Every year GlastonBarry bring joy to thousands of people and it would leave a big hole in the annual calendar if it did not happen.

Business Of The Year - GRABit

Grab-It is a local company based at Barry Docks in the Vale of Glamorgan providing a wide range of services to the public sector, commercial sector and the construction industry, including commercial and domestic construction, civil engineering, ground-works, specialist driveways, plant machinery hire and waste management.

Led by Byron Colston, the company has a strong community ethos, believing not only in supporting local community organisations with financial sponsorship, but also providing valuable resources and time when community groups are in need.

Grab-It is a long-standing sponsor of The Under 8’s Sully football team, Barry Football FC, Boxing Club Cardiff, Sully Community Cinema, and more.

At a time when school finances are under pressure, Grab-It came to the aid of Sully Primary School when they needed astro-turf installing and sheds moving in the playground. Providing labour and materials free of charge, Grab-It helped the school to improve its outdoor play provision.

Beyond financial sponsorship, Grab-It is a business that proactively supports initiatives designed to build a stronger community and bring people together, including clearing the waterfront car park, delivering free milk to the elderly in the snow and playing a leading role in Sullyfest.

Triumph Over Adversity - Haydn Canter

Haydn had a stroke around six years ago which left him with physical and mobility difficulties. Within the year following his stroke, after receiving support from Stroke Association, he signed up to become one of their volunteer stroke ambassadors.

This role enabled Haydn to spread stroke awareness and prevention messages across a number of organisations and events throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, doing this through Stroke awareness talks or taking blood pressures at events, the number one risk factor of stroke.

In addition to this, Haydn began volunteering for Stroke Association’s Community Steps Project in March 2019, a project aimed at getting stroke survivors back into their communities and into hobbies they previously enjoyed. He identified a need in his local area to start up a peer support stroke café and went about setting one up.

Since then, a stroke support coffee meet has blossomed in Barry, running on the first Thursday of every month, linking in with the local Age Connects cafe. Within the session, Haydn uses his own experience as well as what he has learned through his ambassador role to put people at ease and help them understand and come to terms with their stroke.

Nearly a year on from its inception Haydn is still meeting monthly with this core group of people affected by stroke and gaining new members by the month.

Outside of this, Haydn also volunteers at Llandough Hospital on the stroke ward, supporting stroke survivors to participate in art classes during their hospital stays. Haydn is self-taught and uses tips from his own experience of suffering one sided weakness to enable others to participate.

Haydn has been left partially paralysed on his dominant left side but does not dwell on what happened to him and instead takes what he has learned and tried to use his experience to help and support others and make communities more stroke friendly.

Bro Radio's Good Egg - Kath Thomas

Barry local, Kath Thomas, is mother to Anthony and Claire, wife to Anthony and a devoted nanny to her beautiful grandchildren. Despite working full-time, she takes an active role in all of their lives and is a real matriarch.

In addition to her work and family commitments, Kath is a tireless fundraiser, mostly for charities which she has a personal connection to. Kath estimates that she has raised over £20,000 in all for her favourite causes.

Kath has produced a number of cabaret shows in the past, rounding up friends and family to take part and buy tickets. These have been for many different causes, including raising money to provide special equipment and physiotherapy for a young girl with cerebral palsy. And, particularly close to her heart, SANDS the still birth and neonatal death charity. Kath’s son lost his beautiful son, Alexander at thirty weeks. Through the family’s heartbreak, Kath and her daughter Claire pulled together and raised money for this wonderful charity in loving memory of Alexander.

In April 2018, Kath organised a charity night in aid of Kidney Wales. Good friends of Kath’s, Tony and Steve Caley-Burnell had recently undergone surgery, which saw Tony donate a kidney to his husband Steve. Kath organised a raffle and cake sale and raised a total of £1482.37 for the charity, and most recently, in December she took part in the World’s Big Sleep raising £1,500 for homeless people, those sofa-surfing and those in abusive relationships, which she describes as her hardest event yet.

Bro Radio's Operations Director, Nathan Spackman said of the event:

"The Bro Radio Community Awards have already become such an important part of our calendar, so I am very glad we were able to celebrate online with the finalists, their friends and colleagues and all of the Vale, yesterday.

"Special congratulations go to the winners of course, but all of the finalists deserve commending for their efforts in our community in 2019.

"We look forward to doing it all again next year and recognising the hard work and achievements of people in the Vale over 2020!"

You can watch the whole awards ceremony on the Bro Radio Facebook account.

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