Sara Holley Community Award

Sara Holley Community AwardIn April 2011, our village lost one of its most loveable characters.

Sara Holley, who was well known and respected to many for her love of the community, unexpectedly passed away. Over many years she played a key part in many community projects, including our first Party in the Park festival in 2009. As a Peasedown native, Sara loved our village immensely and always wanted the very best for it, and for those that live here.

Those that had the pleasure of knowing Sara will have many happy memories that they'll cherish forever. She's missed by everyone who had the opportunity to meet her, and those who are active in the community can continue to make the village she loved a better place.

To remember Sara, the Party in the Park Management Committee, in conjunction with her family, introduced the new Sara Holley Community Award in 2011. The award is always presented at the annual Party in the Park festival. The recipient is selected by Sara's family.

Selection Criteria

In order to be nominated as a potential recipient of the award candidates must have:

• Showed a visible display of community activism in Peasedown St John for, at least, the previous 12 months.
• Carried out their public service in a voluntary capacity with no financial gain.
• Demonstrated a considerable amount of community activism that has made a difference to other members of the local community.

Sara Holley Community Award Winners

2017: Paul Sly

Paul SlyThe Sara Holley Community Award, set up in 2011 in memory of a life-long resident who passed away, was won by a man who has spent many years coaching and supporting young people on the football pitch.

Paul Sly's voluntary work with Peasedown Albion Football Club only started a few years ago, but once he got stuck in, he couldn't stop! Over this past 12 months Paul has not only been the manager of Peasedown Albion Football Club's under 15s team, but he’s also single-handedly got the youngest age-groups flourishing and bursting at the seams with both boys and girls learning how to play football with big smiles on their faces!

Party in the Park chairman, Nathan Hartley, said:

"Paul has worked extremely over the last three years to encourage and inspire young people to get involved in sport. Over 100 children and teenagers are being trained by Paul on a weekly basis. He does it all in his own time, and doesn’t want anything in return. Members of the club were so impressed with his dedication and commitment that we were overwhelmed this year with nominations for Paul to win the award. The person who nominated this man said “I certainly cannot think of anyone locally that would deserve this award more. Congratulations Paul on all you’ve done to support the young people of our village."

2016: Joy Fraser

Joy FraserThe Sara Holley Community Award in 2016 was won by a woman who has spent the last 10 years either partaking in, or setting up projects that benefit the vulnerable and poorer members of society. Joy Fraser, a former churchwarden at St John’s Church, coordinated the establishment of the Somer Valley Foodbank in 2013 to support those on low incomes, those out of work, and those who have been subject to changes and delays in the benefits system. More than 2,500 people have been fed across the Somer Valley – over 300 of those live in Peasedown St John.

Party in the Park chairman, Nathan Hartley, said:

"I first had the privilege of meeting Joy eight years ago at Peasedown Youth Centre. I was a local councillor at the time and she had just signed up to become a weekly volunteer. What particularly struck me about her was how humble, kind and genuine she was. As well as volunteering at the youth centre she’s been an active member of St John’s Church where she served as Church Warden for 6 years. She worked along Revd Matthew Street to transform the way the church works within the community.

"As with any great and empowered community activist, you’ll find their activism has no borders. Thanks to Joy, two life-changing projects have been set up throughout Bath and North East Somerset that have made a direct impact, positively, on the lives of local people. The first is Family Matters – which works with the council to support those on low incomes, the vulnerable, and those with low self esteem - helping them into work.

"The other is the Somer Valley Foodbank. Joy’s dedication and enthusiastic leadership has seen a Distribution Centre set up in Peasedown, and she arranged for agencies within the village to give food vouchers to those in need. The person who nominated her said ‘I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Sara Holley Community Award this year. Joy is dedicated, sincere, humble, selfless and never wants any credit or reward for the work she does."

2015: Nina Philips

Nina Philips Nina Philips, a former Chair of the Friends of Peasedown St John Primary School, and a leader of the local Guide and Brownie groups received a standing ovation for her dedication to voluntary work.

Party in the Park chairman, Nathan Hartley, said:

"Active in our community for the past 30 years, Nina has gone beyond the call of duty to support many of the children and young people of our village. Formerly a chair of the Friends of Peasedown St John Primary School, she led many a campaign to raise funds so school children could have equipment for their education, go on school trips and have access to opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise.

"She may be better known these days for her dedication to the local brownie and guide packs. For as long as any of us can remember, she has been encouraging children to fulfil their civic duty every year at our annual Remembrance Sunday service held in November. Thanks to Nina, so many young people today have a strong understanding of the sacrifice that military personally have made over the last 100 years for King, Queen and Country. It's with great honour that we were able to award the Sara Holley Community Award 2015 to Nina Philips."

2014: Ken Wilcox

Ken Wilcox In 2014, the Sara Holley Community Award was won by Ken Wilcox.

Festival Chairman, Cllr Nathan Hartley said:

"Ken Wilcox is part of the fabric of community life in Peasedown St John. If you go back as far as 1947, when he was just 16 years old, you would have found him playing cricket on the grounds where the Cricket Club stands today. Back in the early days, Ken took the decision to play all games away for a season so the cricket field that we know today could be used for tipping which brought in money to build the club but also level the playing field. Spanning almost 7 decades, looking back at his voluntary work you can see that thanks to his leadership, drive and passion for sport in the community, Peasedown Cricket Club is the fantastic facility it is today. Thanks to his work there are 3 cricket teams, a Croquet Club and no less than 16 football teams. After 67 years of commitment to Peasedown St John, we were honoured to present the Sara Holley Community Award 2014 to Ken Wilcox."

2013: Martin and Lisa Smith

Martin and Lisa Smith The Sara Holley Community Award was won, for the first time, by a husband and wife team, Martin and Lisa Smith, for their services to youth football.

Festival Chairman, Cllr Nathan Hartley said:

"I've met Martin and Lisa many times, and every time I do I can literally feel their passion for youth football. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious. What I particularly love about this couple is they just get on with it. They don't want any credit for themselves, they don't moan when things go wrong, they just do it!

"We have one of the best youth football clubs in the district. Peasedown Youth Albion FC was set up a few years ago to provide sporting opportunities for local young people – an opportunity they wouldn't have if it wasn't for this couple. Every community needs a couple like this, and Peasedown is so lucky to have them. I hope they will be with us for many more years to come."

2012: Joy Gosz

Joy Gosz In 2012, Joy Gosz was recognised for over 20 years of voluntary work in the community.

Event Chairman Nathan Hartley announced the winner along with Sara's son Scott Holley. Nathan said:

"There wasn't a dry eye on the field when Joy's name was called out!

"Since the 1980's she has played a big role in running social groups in our village. Back in the early days she took part in Open House – a support group at Peasedown Youth Centre for people who may have been unemployed, suffering from depression, and any single or young parents. She organised free day trips for local people, outings to the sea side – opportunities that they would never of had otherwise.

"Back in the 1990's she made an appearance on the local TV news as an anti-drug campaigner, and I'll never forget 10 years ago when she and her neighbours stuck bed sheets in front of their bedroom windows saying 'save our homes' in protest against plans to knock down their homes. The campaign worked – the plans were turned down, and their homes saved."

After taking a few years out of community activism to care for her grandchildren, Joy has now set up a new specialist women's group – KARMA. Standing for 'Karing and Reaching Out to Motivate All Women', the group meets weekly, and offers help and support to women who need someone to talk to.

2011: Andy Day

Andy Day The first ever Sara Holley Community Award was presented, by her son Tom and festival organisers, to resident Andrew Day who has made a significant difference to people's lives in the village.

As well as setting up a weekly youth open night at the local Methodist Church for teenagers, along with his wife Lucy he provided a free Christmas dinner on Christmas Day for people who would otherwise be alone. Andrew and Lucy provided the food, entertainment and presents entirely at their own cost.