The seventh annual Wyre Forest ‘No Barriers’ awards ceremony took place on Friday 24 October.
Organised by Wyre Forest District Council, the event was hosted Wyre Forest Community Housing Group. It celebrated the significant contribution made by individuals, businesses and organisations to improving access, service or employment possibilities for local people with disabilities.
This year saw 18 awards presented to individuals, groups and organisations that had been nominated for going the extra mile.
Representatives from local private and public sector organisations were on the panel that considered the nominations which were submitted from residents and businesses across the district.
The No Barriers Mike Oborski Awards 2014 went to Sandra Weidrick for her Someone’s Art work, DIAL North Worcestershire for services to people with disabilities, the Monday Night Group for running their annual pantomime and donating the profits to disability organisations, Elaine Ball for running her Extend, Wheely Different Theatre Company and Emotions group, Joanne Bowkett and the Town Hall team for being extra helpful for people with disabilities, Alison Coley-Smith for putting in extra time and effort for her community service Reach4Support, Brian Strange and the TWIGS team for going ‘over and above’ in their work for the Emily Jordan Foundation, Amrit and the Pharmacy team at Tesco Kidderminster, Mel Gina and staff at The Railway Train pub for creating an extra warm and helpful welcome for wheelchair users, Cue and Brew for making their bar and pool hall “open to everyone”, Angela Shuck at Purcell House for going out of her way everyday to help residents, Reginald Clews who looks after his neighbours every day, Jonathan Haley longstanding volunteer driver for Dial-a-ride, Catherine Queckett and Caroline Jones from Our Way Self Advocacy for going the extra mile for their Wyre Forest service users, Justine Hunt James Knight Adams and Paul Smith of Northstar Foundation for putting in loads of extra hours and effort for their Wyre Forest service users, Julie Alcorn and the team at the Museum of Carpet for being extra helpful for local disability groups, Cafe Chad volunteers for giving their time to provide a wonderful community cafe and Stephan Natynczuk and the team at My Big Adventure for going the extra mile working with young people with disabilities in local schools.
The awards were set up in memory of long-standing District and County Councillor Mike Oborski, who passed away in 2007. The project is based on a similar scheme in Poland.
The awards evening featured a welcome by Ray Brookes of The Community Housing Group, and an introduction from Councillor Fran Oborski who said:
"I am absolutely delighted that the awards this year have taken a further step towards delivering what Mike originally had in mind.
Mike's vision, taken from the original scheme in Gdynia, Poland, was an award for individuals, businesses, pubs, shops and cafes that, while providing a service to the general public, go the extra mile to ensure easy access and equal opportunities to those with disabilities".
The guest speaker was Lauren Rowles from Cofton Hackett. Lauren is a member of Wheelchair racer UK, was a finalist in the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 was voted BBC newcomer of the year for Hereford and Worcester and BBC newcomer of the year West Midlands.
The awards were presented by Councillor Fran Oborski, Chairman of the No Barriers The Mike Oborski Awards and closed by Councillor Stephen Williams, Chairman of Wyre Forest District Council.
Picture shows: Lauren Rowles, who was a wheelchair racer finalist in the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, was guest speaker at the seventh No Barriers, The Mike Oborski Awards, with Cllr Fran Oborski, Chairman of the No Barriers Awards.
See the photographs here.