2019 Chairman's community awards

Each year, Chairman Sir John Kingman hosts the ‘Community Awards’, recognising the wonderful things that Legal & General staff do for their communities. We asked our employees to nominate those people that they feel go 'above and beyond' in their own time, either by volunteering, fund raising, taking on community projects or simply helping others.

Each year we ask our employees to nominate colleagues who volunteer their own time to raise funds, take on community projects or produce continuous acts of random kindness. It’s amazing to discover what employees do in their spare time.

Congratulations to our winners and all those who were nominated!

Helping Hands

Chris Wilson

I volunteer for a charity called Sussex Search Dogs as an operational search technician and a trainee search dog handler. I am on call 24/7 365 days a year to help the police in finding high risk and ?vulnerable missing people. I am training my own dog to become an operational search dog.

The Team is made up entirely of volunteers who (together with their dogs) undergo constant training and must meet rigorous standards in order to obtain operational status. Most of our dog handlers and support staff fit this in around full time jobs. The charity is very important to me for a number of reasons. It’s a charity very close to my heart because someone close and dear to me suffers from a mental health condition. I also have a close friend whose daughter has had to call on the charity for help.

The charity is an amazing thing and they literally save lives! The time and dedication they show entirely in their own time and self-funded is just second to none. The real heroes are the dogs!

I would hope I would never need to call on the charity for help but knowing they are there, making Sussex a safer place for all of us and our families is something I am immensely proud to be a part of.

Inspiring young people

Dean Woods

Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the other nominees and say a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone that dedicates so much of their time to volunteer. I am delighted to have been nominated and shortlisted for the Chairman’s Awards 2020 for my work with England Korfball. Korfball is a sport that is uniquely mixed-gender. It is deliberately designed so that men and women/boys and girls cooperate together as equals, and families and local communities can stay fit and active together.

I started playing when I was 10-years old and through korfball I have experienced a number of new and exciting experiences that I would normally have not been introduced to. I have represented my country as a player, coached young players, and now referee throughout the UK and internationally. Unlike some more traditional sports, korfball receives no central funding from government or Sport England. All our youth and senior squads must cover 100% of their own training, travel and competition costs. When I was playing, I benefited from others generosity.

My love of the sport encourages me to volunteer, so that others can play and experience some of the amazing opportunities that I have been lucky enough to experience. I create and manage the online content on the England Korfball and promote korfball through the website and across social media. This leads into organising many events across the country including major youth championships, student competitions and the national Grand Finals which are now held at the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park in London.

Charity fundraiser

Dan Paton

Sophie Moolman - a very sweet little girl (my wife's goddaughter) was tragically taken from us by Acute Myocarditis at just seven years of age in March 2018.

The Rainbow Room in Rebecca House provides a private, intimate and special place of rest for a child until the day of the funeral. It can be personalised with photographs, pictures, posters, bed linen, favourite toys and music. These precious memories can bring some comfort during this very sad and difficult time. Rebecca House staff work with the family to create keepsakes and provide memory boxes for siblings. The family are able to stay or come and go as they wish,?staff are available?to offer responsive and timely support.

The support that was given to Sophie’s family was instrumental in providing the strength they needed and it inspired me?to give something back by taking on a massive challenge!

The Sophie Rocks 2019 challenge -?367?challenges in one year!

  • Challenge 1 to 365: Run every single day of 2019. At least 5km per day, with no walking and no running on treadmills.
  • Challenge 366: Run 2,620 miles across the year, the equivalent of 100 marathons (with no rest days and?working full time away from home)
  • Challenge 367: No shaving in 2019 (a very long beard…)

It was a year of a tough endeavour, one that tested me like never before. I ran in Scotland, England, Poland (running for Team GB in the World Masters), the United States, Turkey, France, Germany, amongst other countries. With just three months remaining, I had 919 miles left to run over 92 consecutive days. That was an average of 10 miles per day (having already ran 1,700 miles and 273 days in a row).

I am very pleased to say I DID IT and?all the money that?I raised went to Rebecca House.

Charity Champion

Amanda Johnson

When I joined Legal & General Home Finance, I was instantly drawn to vulnerability and wanted to expand my knowledge and be able to support some of our most vulnerable customers to my best possible ability. I started by enrolling on a Principles of Dementia course which helped me understand the basics of Dementia, but I want to do more. I wanted a way to turn my knowledge into something practical, I wanted to help.

This is when after a little research, I found out that the Alzheimer’s society were running a Dementia Friends Champion training course in my area and there was one spot left. With support and encouragement from my manager and the company, I attended and have never looked back.

Dementia Friends is the Alzheimer’s Society’s biggest initiative to change the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about Dementia and aims to raise awareness of Dementia and help people with Dementia feel part of their community. As a Dementia Friend Champion, I run information sessions where I invite all attendees to become a Dementia Friend. To become a dementia friend, you learn a little about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turn that understanding into an action.

Being a Dementia friend Champion for the Alzheimer’s society, has given me a chance to feel like I am making a difference. It feels like a little piece of me that I wasn’t even aware of was missing, and is now on the way to being filled. With each session and each new Dementia Friend, I gain confidence, a sense of accomplishment like I have never felt before. I have something I am truly and selflessly proud of myself for too.

Community Champion

Russel Reed

TackleAfrica use football coaching to teach young Africans about sexual health and HIV. Last year they reached over 20,000 young people across 12 countries. They train coaches to deliver innovative football sessions with inbuilt health messages and ensured over 15,000 young Africans tested for HIV. Last September, they won the 'Football for Good' award at the World Football Summit in Madrid.

I initially got involved by playing in one of their 12 hour football marathons, which are run across several cities in the UK. I quickly learnt how critical their work is and felt compelled to understand more about their programme, but also wanted to raise as much money as I could.

Last year, the Brighton marathon raised a record-breaking £74,000! My passion is to help this charity grow every year.? I have now been invited to train as a coach and visit Africa to help raise awareness of sexual health issues, which I am very excited about.

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