Winners of the 2017 Heart of the Community Awards announced

Published: Friday, 21 April 2017

Five local residents have been announced as the winners of Northampton’s 2017 Heart in the Community Awards, after being shortlisted from 24 nominations.

The five winners have been confirmed as Sam Green, Robert and Wendy Gilburt, Amarjit Atwal, Robin Odell and James Wyatt, each of whom was nominated for working hard to help make the town a better place to live, work and visit.

The Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Christopher Malpas is set to congratulate the five winners for their achievements at a ceremony at the Guildhall on Tuesday, 9 May.

Cllr Malpas said: “We received some fantastic nominations this year, which made the shortlisting process extremely difficult. However, we felt that these five individuals really stood out for inspiring and supporting others and helping make the town a better place for everyone.

“I would like to thank the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Gareth and Terrie Eales, Rev Haydon and Joanne Spenceley and David Kennedy for assisting myself and the Mayoress during the judging process. We now look forward to celebrating the winners’ achievements together during an evening ceremony on 9 May.”


The 2017 Heart of the Community Award Winners are:

Sam Green

Sam is a Petty Officer in the Northampton Sea Cadets and is infectiously passionate about water sports. Sam promotes water sports through her role in the cadets and she teaches approximately 500 people of all ages to wind surf and sail each year and this year will train 14 new sailing and wind surfing instructors. In addition, Sam leads the Team15 youth windsurfing squad competing at the highest levels for the county. This ability has inspired many young people and girls into the sport and given them confidence.


Robert and Wendy Gilburt

Wendy and Robert foster their grandson under a special guardianship order and in their spare time they run the not for profit Kinship Carers group in Northampton. As part of their work supporting kinship carers, they organise monthly meetings including speakers and activities, social events, days out and holidays. Their group really helps to combat isolation in kinship carers and brings a sense of togetherness.


Amarjit Singh Atwal

Amarjit organises the Northampton langar seva every Sunday giving out food to the homeless. He also donated white goods to the new homeless shelter. He always goes out of his way to help others. He helped deliver over 100 Christmas presents to the homeless. He is a pillar of the community and is always out and about supporting those less fortunate.


Robin Odell

Robin is respected member of the Friends of Dallington Park group. He can be seen often in the park with his group of volunteers weeding, painting and planting. He designed the snakes and ladders and the mini cycle track on the old tennis court site, which is used and loved by many children and adults alike.


James Wyatt

James Wyatt founded the choir Singing4Breathing to help people who experience chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung and breathing problems. The choir is not only fun to be involved in by coming together and performing songs but also helps with improving breathing and stamina. The choir have entertained audiences at Royal & Derngate theatre, the University of Northampton, the Royal Festival Hall London and at several care homes in Northampton