Councils' Civic Award Winners for 2024

Chippenham Council have announced their annual Civic Award winners for 2024.

All nominations for Civic Awards were received by the Civic Matters Sub Committee which selected the recommended winners and were ratified by the Strategy and Resources Committee. The Civic Awards will be presented at a ceremony on Civic Sunday on 14 July 2024.

Chippenham Town Council have expressed their thanks to all residents of the town who took the time to propose all this year’s nominees. Once again it was a very difficult decision for Councillors to make their final decision on the eventual winners.

Congratulations to the following people and organisations for their brilliant contribution to the local community and to the Town.

Simon Hyde

Simon has been the station manager at Chippenham Hospital Radio for over 20 years. Not only does he host his own radio show every Saturday morning, but Simon has also been instrumental in keeping the station going on behind the scenes and developing it into a thriving community radio station.  He supports the team of volunteers at the station ensuring they are in his words ‘professional amateurs’, guiding them and giving them access to improved technical equipment to enable them not only to broadcast from within the station but the ability to be involved in outside broadcasts.

Pip Higman

Pip Higman has been involved various local groups and good causes for a number of years. Pip has been chairman of the North Wilts u3a since 2019. This organisation provides regular activity groups to over 180 members, such as German classes and book groups, some of which Pip hosts in her own home. In addition to being busy in with u3a, Pip is an active member of the Twinning Association, being a fluent German speaker, hosted 2 Ukrainians at her home and has been giving regular English lessons to Syrian refugees.

RISE Youth Service Volunteers

RISE Youth Service have been delivering youth activities in Chippenham and across North Wiltshire since 2001, providing safe spaces, well-being sessions, detached youth work, community mentoring and care packages. The team of 5 volunteers currently offer 4 sessions a week either at the Oaks or Olympiad in Chippenham. The team actively encourage those young people they support to become peer mentors becoming Young Youth Volunteers, currently there are 6 on the team.

Phil Townsend

Phil Townsend has devoted 25 years as an Explorer Scout Leader, helping the development of hundreds of young people in the Town. Phil volunteers not only at the weekly evening sessions but has also organised day trips and annual camps for the young people involved in the group. Over the years Phil has mentored and encouraged the young people involved in the group with things like fundraising and training.

Melanie Yexley

Melanie Yexley performs home checks within Chippenham and outside the town to help find suitable foster and forever homes for dogs that would otherwise be stuck in kennels or put to sleep. Melanie carries out assessments on dogs to understand their needs and gives guidance to their new owners, assisting with the dogs rehabilitation where necessary. Alongside her volunteer work, Melanie opened up Bargammon’s Tavern, a local board game café. The café has quickly become a safe space and a social hub for the community, having a positive impact for many especially those in the neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ communities, with Melanie being instrumental in providing a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, assisting with form filling and supporting individuals growth. On Christmas Day Melanie opened up the café to provide somewhere for people to go.