Amazing gardens, a project to help bees and a five-year-old who encouraged his classmates to donate to a High Wycombe food bank have all been recognised as part of Red Kite Community Housing’s Neighbourhood Awards 2021.

The incredible winners were rewarded in a special online ceremony held in September.

Five people were recognised in the young hero category, including kind youngster William Dollery, who celebrated his fifth birthday by inviting his class to donate food to High Wycombe charity One Can Trust instead of giving him gifts.

Bucks Free Press: William DolleryWilliam Dollery

Nature-lover Jake Sims, who is currently studying gardening at Amersham College, used his skills to help tenants with their garden work at Red Kite’s Gatensbury sheltered scheme in Princes Risborough. He also volunteers at Waddesdon Manor and helps with their garden maintenance.

Bucks Free Press: Jake SimsJake Sims

Mahum Ansari was also recognised for setting up a project called The Knitting Grove, which she designed to help premature babies at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Mahum even created a website with guidelines and has enlisted friends, family and volunteers to knit baby blankets, hats, boots and cannula covers.

Bucks Free Press: Mahum AnsariMahum Ansari

“Thoughtful and kind” Alex Stocking has also been volunteering with Wycombe Youth Action and High Wycombe girls’ group Sheros, while Aaran Chauhan has been supporting young people with technology during his work with CloudyIT and the Cloudy Foundation over the summer.

Bucks Free Press: Alex StockingAlex Stocking

Bucks Free Press: Aaran ChauhanAaran Chauhan

The Bee Squared Project, an initiative that has seen wildflower seeds given to every household in Hazlemere ward to create pollinator corridors – was the worthy recipient of the Project of the Year and was so successful, it is being rolled out to more areas next year.

Bucks Free Press: Bee SquaredBee Squared

Best communal garden was presented to Archdale Sheltered Scheme in Rutland Street, High Wycombe for their beautiful garden that can be enjoyed by all the tenants - they were awarded a £150 voucher to make it even more special.

Bucks Free Press: ArchedaleArchedale

Meanwhile, master gardener was awarded to David Wooster, from Marlow, for the second time.

Sandcastle Nursery in Lane End Road, High Wycombe, received first prize for Best Vegetable Garden. Jo McCarthy, Deputy Manager, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled.”

Terence Wilkins, from Stokenchurch, was also awarded first prize for best small garden, adding: “I’m delighted to have won. Thank you to all the team at Red Kite.”

Bucks Free Press: Terence WilkinsTerence Wilkins

Best kept garden was won by Red Kite tenant Kim Avou, who lives in Marlow. Pets were also recognised, with Poppy, who belongs to owner Derek who has dementia, being awarded the pet hero of the year title.

Bucks Free Press: Kim Avou's gardenKim Avou's garden

June Pallet’s photo of two laughing kittens was also judged as pet photo of the year.

Bucks Free Press: June Pallet's picture of the yearJune Pallet's picture of the year

Ten people were given the good neighbour award - Marry-Anne Burns, David Collier, Veronica Hatt, Clarice Haywood, Graham Moore, Tim Rogers, Trysh Russell, Michael Veck, Jenny and Alan France and Natallia Dzemiashkevich.

Thirty-two people and organisations were recognised for being amazing volunteers, including mayor Andrea Baughan, Citizens Advice Bucks and the Chiltern Rangers.

The full list: 

Andrea Baughan, Jane Noakes, Daffodil Hodge, Margaret Saint, Bola Magbagbeola        Jenny Lord, Mark Lacey, Bruce Bradley, Daniel Mee, Jenny Ryan, Alistair Newman    Michael Hearne, Maureen Ashpole, Julie Smith, Dr K Ajmal, Leyton Scarlett, David Sears, June Pallet, Dr Rosinda Hamed, Esti Perez, Maz Hussain, Fazia Malik, Patricia Brion, Rosinda Brown, Rachel Ross, Wendy Giles, Melissa Silver, Larissa Mount, Estela Monterio, Lois Comley, Adesola Sogbesan, Barbara Erwing, Jo Law, Citizens Advice Bucks and The Chiltern Rangers.

Katie Wall, Head of Communications at Red Kite, said: “This year has been another incredible one for our Neighbourhood Awards which just go from strength to strength. The gardens have been difficult  to judge as they are all so beautiful and it is obvious to see the hard work that people put in to get them looking so good.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter our awards. All of you play your part in making our community a better place to live, and for that we you are very grateful.

“I would also like to say a big thank you to the judges: Claire, Jenny, David, Tendai and Maggi and the sponsors: Tesco, Rooster Piri Piri and Computer Gallery.”