Congratulations to the winners of the Wiltshire Life Awards 2022!

Community Group of the Year

Winner: Doorway Wiltshire

Sponsored by:


Doorway's main objective is to reduce homelessness in Wiltshire. It provides a wide range of practical support and activities to people who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless. It helps people to find accommodation and those who are newly housed to retain their tenancy. It is a lifeline to those who are most marginalised in Chippenham.


Finalists
Building Bridges Programme
Tadpole Garden Village, (TGV) In Bloom

Teacher/Coach of the Year

Winner: Ben Coombes

Sponsored by:


Ben brings out the best in people with his encouragement, enthusiasm, and passion for the sport he is teaching. He is approachable and caring and takes time to compliment players on their achievements. He has natural rapport with people and a talent for weaving fun and engagement into all his sessions. He is a patient coach who helps everyone achieve regardless of their age and experience.


Finalists
Liam Abram Smith
Tom Sherman

Business of the Year

Winner: Chippenham Pit Stop and Furniturebox

Sponsored by:


Chippenham Pit Stop

This family-owned business provides a welcoming and nurturing food and drink environment for up to 100 trucker customers who stop over with them every night. Pit Stop has been recognised by the Road Haulage Association as setting the benchmark when it comes to customer care. Besides providing home cooked meals with healthy eating options as standard, it also provides hot showers, and even an outside exercise gym.

Furniturebox

Furniturebox is an online furniture company, founded by Monty George and Dan Beckles in 2015, when they were both 17 years of age. The company has continued to grow and expand, with 2020 being a record year of growth. Furniturebox now has more than 40 employees and has opened a second office in the centre of Bristol.


Finalist
The Heritage Fine Food Company

Independent Food/Drink Producer of the Year

Winner: Whitehall Vineyard

Sponsored by:


Since 1894 and for five generations, the Self family have farmed the land at their home in Lacock. Their love of growing, a passion for wine, set the Self family on a journey - to produce exceptional English wines. The vineyard was established in 2017, when 16,000 vines were planted by hand, one by one – covering a total of 11 acres.


Finalists
Hollychocs
Mere Trout Ltd

Conservation Project of the Year

Winner: Disease Resistant Elm Project, Peter Shallcross

Sponsored by:


Over several years, farmer Peter Shallcross has been working tirelessly to re-introduce the iconic elm tree back to the Wiltshire countryside. He has single-handedly sourced and imported hundreds of disease-resistant elms from Europe and has been selling them at cost to farmers and landowners across Wiltshire. Last year he planted 200 trees on his farm and gave more than 100 to his neighbours in the Nadder Valley Farmer Group.


Finalists
Grimstead Nectar Bars
Saving Wiltshire's Juniper

Services to the Community

Winner: Matt Jones

Sponsored by:


During lockdown, Matt who runs Run & Repair, a cycle shop in Swindon, asked for unwanted bicycles which he repaired and then passed to more than 120 NHS and frontline workers to save them from the risks of having to use public transport. In December 2020, he once again asked for bikes, this time for children. He repaired them in time for Christmas and offered them to families who were unable to afford a new one.


Finalists
Kerry Barratt
Val Bailey

Charity of the Year

Winner: Swindon Carers Centre

Sponsored by:


Swindon Carers Centre provides help and support to the 21,000 unpaid carers in Swindon. The team works incredibly hard to handle an increasingly high number of referrals from carers of all ages. They have seen an increase in calls from April 2020 to March 2021. It also provides carers with a varied programme of activities and training sessions offering an opportunity for time out, peer support and friendship.


Finalists
Julia's House Children's Hospice
Wiltshire Citizens Advice

Pub of the Year

Winner: The Cross Keys Inn

Sponsored by:


In April 2019, John and Jo Hume took up the reins at the pub. The immediate task was to save it from certain closure. Focussing on establishing the fundamentals whilst nurturing the local affiliations. With crib teams, a skittle team, darts nights, and sponsorship of the local cricket team. They have also worked in partnership with a local farming family to introduce milk vending and dairy machines.


Finalists
Queens Head Inn
The Winchester Gate
The Lamb Inn

Green Business of the Year

Winner: Green Tulip

Sponsored by:


Green Tulip has been trading as an online retailer since 2007 when it was launched by founder Charity Nichols. Being ethical is at the centre of everything it does. Its small team sells more than 1,000 different ethical products from more than 120 suppliers. It started with a list of categories which included sustainable, organic, recycled and natural (as well as fair trade and British). Everything has to fit into one of these categories.


Finalists
The Wheatsheaf
Wiltshire Digital Drive

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Thomas Will

Sponsored by:


Tom Will bought a horse trailer on Gumtree and with the help of his father, he transformed it into a pizza business. With booked events being cancelled as a result of the pandemic, he decided to sell pizzas from the driveway at home. This took off beyond all expectations. He then set up a successful drive-thru at Marsh Farm Hotel and Will’s Pizza Revolution now includes a growing list of more local pubs.


Finalist
Caitlin Backhouse

Young Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Louise Hunt

Sponsored by:


Louise Hunt has Spina Bifida and has been reliant on a wheelchair for her entire life. Tennis is where she found her real passion. In 2016 she qualified for the Rio Paralympic Games and was ranked number 10 in the world. That year she also competed in her second Wimbledon as well as reaching her third masters final. Louise’s highest world ranking in juniors was world number two and national number one. She has won more than 100 international titles.


Finalists
Polly Maton
Matt Coward-Holley

Independent Retailer of the Year, Incorporating Farm/Village Shop

Winner: Connolly Spar

Sponsored by:


This family business has been serving local communities since 1961. This is its 60th continuous year of business since Malcolm and Doris Connolly started delivering newspapers to the Tidworth garrison. The business is deeply rooted in the local community and family members have always actively participated in village life by getting involved in organisations or by giving financial support to social activities. They strive to put their community at the heart of everything they do.


Finalists
Chalke Valley Community Stores
Theodora's Florists
Spotty Dog Farm Shop

Local Hero of the Year

Winner: Louise Gover

Sponsored by:


Louise is the manager of Old Silk Works day club. In lockdown she made weekly phone calls on behalf of Alzheimer’s Support, which runs the club. She also collected shopping and medication for club members so that they would have a chance to chat at a distance with someone they knew and trusted. She supported her own community too by cooking and delivering a roast dinner to 17 vulnerable people living alone every weekend.


Finalists
Felicity and Julian Stafford-Wood
Steve Coleman

Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Katie Powell

Sponsored by:


Katie Powell joined Arla in 2018 and embarked on her career journey in the dairy industry. Her site-based contribution was fundamental in some of Arla’s successes over the last three years. As a result of her hard work, she has secured the position of Quality, Environment and Health & Safety coordinator and is responsible for assuring the food safety and quality of milk powders and butters at one of the UK’s largest dairies.


Finalists
Callum Stone
Rachel Hobbs

The Arts, Culture & Music

Winner: ArtCare and Wiltshire Music Connect

Sponsored by:


ArtCare

ArtCare’s 30 years experience of delivering visual, participatory and environmental projects for patients, visitors and staff has raised the standards of hospital environments and patient experience of healthcare at Salisbury District Hospital. It also works in other hospitals and health care settings, including mental health and it works collaboratively with local schools and colleges and engages in community-based arts in health projects.

Wiltshire Music Connect

Wiltshire Music Connect’s  aim is that every school child has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. One of its specific goals is that every child aged 5 -18 in the county should have access to whole-class ensemble music teaching. In academic year 2020-2021, despite the difficulties of Covid, they enabled 10,829 children in 167 Wiltshire schools to have their first experience of participating in playing music.


Finalist
The Winchester Gate

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Andrew Connolly

Sponsored by:


Andrew Connolly is a local boy, he was born in Tidworth, went to school there and has lived his entire life in the garrison town. As a successful businessman and entrepreneur, he is passionate about using his business’s resources as a platform to support local people and community groups such as schools, churches, youth groups and rugby and football teams. He has dedicated his life to his family, business and community work. He does so quietly without fuss or the need for thanks and public recognition. Everything Andrew does, directly or indirectly, results in benefiting the local community.

The Pride of Wiltshire Award sponsored by Trethowans

Winner: Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Sponsored by:


Wiltshire Air Ambulance provides an essential Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) to the people of Wiltshire, Bath, and surrounding areas. It continued to operate on the front line throughout the pandemic, attending a record number of emergencies and lifesaving missions in extremely difficult circumstances and was the only ambulance base in the south west to remain Covid free meaning it remained operational throughout.