Involved tenant wins national Council Housing Community Champion award

Posted on: Thursday, January 19, 2023

Newark and Sherwood District Council involved tenant Ginnette Hardy has been awarded the ARCH Community Champion Award for her dedication to the community. The award recognises individuals or groups who have dedicated their time to making a difference in their community and to the lives of people living in social housing.

Ginnette has been putting all her spare time and effort into starting up a weekly food club in her local community Bridge Ward and has also set up a hygiene bank to go alongside it. So far there are 80 families accessing the food club each week and Ginnette has even been providing volunteering and training opportunities for those that want to get involved.

Ginnette arranged to use the local community centre and made sure there were enough volunteers and funding to get it all off the ground.

Resident Ginnette Hardy, said: “I’ve been an involved tenant since 1988, but my husband got me into volunteering to start off with really. He was a great volunteer and supported the likes of St John Ambulance. He passed away from cancer five years ago, so this is my way of giving back.

“I’m unable to work and I’m disabled, so I do what I can to make a difference.

“It’s nice to have the recognition but it’s really not my kind of thing, I prefer to go under the radar and just keep doing what I do.”

Ginnette is also a carer and has her own disabilities which make day-to-day life a challenge, although this has done little to stop her going above and beyond for her community.

The nominations for the award are decided by the ARCH judging panel, based on entries received from ARCH members. Stories of Ginnette’s courage and determination wowed judges which resulted in her winning the ARCH Community Champion Award.  

One volunteer had not left their house in over two years until the food club Ginnette set up gave them the opportunity and the confidence to come back out. People come along to the community centre, get their food box, have a free cup of tea and a chat and get to know the people in their neighbourhood.

Ginnette has been called in the middle of the night with requests for help and she has provided her own food box because she will not see a member of her community go without.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Ginnette is a star in our local community supporting those who are in great need of help. She should be really proud for what she has achieved and the whole community is thankful for her determination and courage she has shown.

“During a time of great challenges and difficulties, Ginnette is a making a real difference to the lives of many.”