REMARKABLE individuals and organisations whose 'exceptional contributions' make Stroud a 'thriving, vibrant community' were honoured last night. 

Over 150 residents gathered at the Cotswold Playhouse for The Stroud Town Council Annual Awards and Town Meeting 2024 on Wednesday evening. 

They heard an evening of music, performances, and recognition of this year's prestigious award winners.

The event showcased the collaborative relationship between the work of the local authority and residents' own efforts to improve life in the town and beyond.

Stroud News and Journal: All winners and highly commended certificate winners show their awardsThe event included a lively samba drumming performance from local community group Simbora in the theatre foyer as attendees enjoyed refreshments.

The main ceremony was opened by newly elected mayor Tony Davey who welcomed everyone and recognised Stroud's proud history of sustainability, equality and community spirit.

He said: "Tonight, we gather to celebrate the remarkable individuals and organisations whose unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions have made our town a thriving, sustainable, and vibrant community. 

"Their work complements and inspires the efforts of the council to make Stroud an even better place."

Deputy mayor Sue Fenton and Stroud Council CEO Helen Bojaniwska introduced the six award categories and outlined the public nomination process before announcing the winners to enthusiastic applause.

The lively evening also featured a keynote presentation from Lynsey Kelleher of the Network of Stroud Hubs (NoSH) who spoke passionately about food resilience, reducing waste, and the indispensable role of volunteers supporting the community during the cost-of-living crisis.

Ms Bojaniwska said: "The engagement and selflessness of Stroud's volunteers is an inspiration to us all.

"From the noble efforts of NoSH, to the quiet perseverance of neighbourhood figures like Gloria Hobday the lollipop person, we are privileged to honour such exceptional community members."

The votes came directly from the public themselves, highlighting the global concerns on the minds of residents of the market town.

Despite difficulties on multiple fronts, the community made their voices heard through their recognition of leaders making a positive impact.

The 2024 Stroud Town Award winners were:

  • Environment Award: Ann Finlayson, SEEd (Highly Commended: Dmytro Bojaniwskyj, Transition Stroud)
  • Community Award: Gloria Hobday (Highly Commended: Marcus Jelfs)
  • Trader of the Year: Moonflower (Highly Commended: Hannah Pocock, Clockhouse Vets)
  • Young People of the Year: The R.Y.S.E. and SISTER
  • Inclusivity & Diversity Award: Stroud Ceasefire Coalition (Highly Commended: This Ends Now)
  • Mayor's Award: The Stroud Centre for Peace and the Arts

The evening culminated with closing remarks from the mayor celebrating Stroud's incredible community spirit and the inspiring activism and civic engagement driving positive change in the town.