Staffordshire’s Chief Fire Officer has presented two prestigious MORE Awards to winners in the north of the county.
"The Time Banking initiative and café have become a really big part of my life and have given me a sense of purpose. Being involved with the community fire station has helped to boost my confidence and enabled me to get out and meet new people that I otherwise would not have known. It has also given me the chance to help other people who may feel isolated by encouraging them to join the Time Bank or just to pop into the Wednesday Hub, have a chat and enjoy the social aspect of the café."
Tim McKie - Volunteer
CFO Peter Dartford announced the winners at the eighth annual ceremony held at Staffordshire County Showground last night.
The ceremony aims to highlight the excellent work carried out by operational and support staff as well as Fire and Rescue Authority members and volunteers.
Fire Safety Officer Kelvin Chell, based at Hanley Community Fire Station, scooped the Fire Service Fundraiser Champion award.
Kelvin raised around £10,000 during 2014 for organisations including The Fire Fighters Charity and Douglas Macmillan Hospice among others. He has given up his own time to arrange curry nights and car boot sales as well as organising the first-ever Stokie Christmas Market in December.
The event, held at the community fire station, attracted more than 60 stalls and a Santa’s Grotto along with entertainment from a brass band. Kelvin, who has been tirelessly fundraising for many years, was described as an inspiration by those who nominated him.
Kelvin said: "I’m excited and very proud to be accepting this award, although it is very much a team effort. We’ve raised money for various causes over the years, the most memorable being a Children in Need auction we held at Hanley Fire Station back in the 80s when we raised £13,000 in one night alone.
"We are now busy planning some more curry nights and our next Stokie Christmas Market which will be held on December 12."
Volunteer Tim McKie is a member of the Time Banking initiative and also helps to run the café during the Wednesday Hub at Newcastle Community Fire Station. Tim was presented with the Fire Service Champion – Partnership Achievement award. Tim walks three miles from home every week to ensure that the café is open and has proved to be a valuable and well-respected member of the Time Banking team.
Despite facing his own challenges, he is a role model to other people within the scheme and is an advocate for it, frequently encouraging people to join up and telling them about the benefits to health and wellbeing that can be achieved by participating. Tim’s effort and dedication have been key to ensuring the Time Banking project and Wednesday Hub are not only sustainable but are continuing to thrive and attract new members.
Tim said: "The Time Banking initiative and café have become a really big part of my life and have given me a sense of purpose. Being involved with the community fire station has helped to boost my confidence and enabled me to get out and meet new people that I otherwise would not have known. It has also given me the chance to help other people who may feel isolated by encouraging them to join the Time Bank or just to pop into the Wednesday Hub, have a chat and enjoy the social aspect of the café."
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: "The calibre of the shortlisted nominees this year was second to none and the winners of the MORE Awards are incredibly well-deserving. They have shown an admirable level of commitment to serving the communities of Staffordshire and have played an important role in helping to make the county one of the safest places to live, visit and work.
"I am extremely proud to be at the helm of an organisation that has such a dedicated, hard-working and innovative team, be they operational firefighters, support staff, Fire and Rescue Authority members or volunteers, their contributions are greatly appreciated."