Older Islanders from all walks of life have been honoured at a dazzling awards ceremony, aimed at acknowledging those who make the island a better place to live.
The fourth annual Celebrating Age Awards ceremony took place at Lakeside Park, Wootton, as part of this year’s Celebrating Age Festival, hosted by Age UK Isle of Wight’s Age Friendly Island Programme.
The evening began with an opening speech from Isle of Wight High Sheriff, Gioia Minghella-Giddens who handed over to Master of Ceremonies, Jack Wedderkop (Age Friendly Island Development Officer). Jack delighted attendees with insights into the stories behind all of the nominations across the eight categories, which included some very touching quotes and anecdotes from friends, family and loved ones.
Helen Lewis (Age Friendly Island Officer) gave an overview of the success of this year’s record-breaking Festival, which included over 60 events and activities across the island, for those aged 50 and over.
Award winners were announced by each category’s sponsor, and were often met with enthusiastic and sometimes emotional responses. In particular, the Age Friendly Challenge accolade, which was awarded to Mike Sadler (nominated by Elizabeth Martin of Carers IW). The audience heard the inspirational story of how Mike (who has Alzheimer’s disease and dementia) had found it hard to find the right words when he was conversing with others, and so, to overcome this, he designed a card he could use when out and about, to help others to better understand his struggles. Carers IW helped Mike to share the cards with others who also found them useful, and subsequently, GP surgeries have also requested cards for patients encountering similar difficulties. Mike’s delight at receiving the award from Sainsbury’s Store Manager, Simon Church, was unmistakable, as was that of those who had heard his inspirational story.
The winners of the eight categories were:
- Age Friendly Entrepreneur Winner – Jan Brookes
- Age Friendly Contribution to the Community Winner – Barry Jackman
- Age Friendly Arm in Arm Winner – Sheila Cates
- Age Friendly Impact Winner – Helen Bridger
- Age Friendly Challenge of the Year Winner – Mike Sadler
- Age Friendly Volunteer Winner – Jannette Robiati
- Age Friendly Team Winner – The Links Trust
- Age Friendly Active Person Winner – Sue Clerkin
A closing speech from Paul Grimes, of The Wright Estate Agency was then followed by an opportunity for attendees, nominees and winners to chat and network over canapes and coffee.