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Walsall is full of people who work tirelessly for their community, making a lasting positive contribution to our city. Individuals recognised in this category inspire others by their acts of public service which are matched by their attitude and value, exemplifying Walsall as a welcoming place for people of all cultures, faiths and beliefs.

Eunice & Ray Dolan

Ray and Eunice have been working tirelessly as volunteers in their local community for many years, and although they spread their help and support in other areas, such as Goscote Green Acres and Friends Of Swannies Field, their passion is chess. They have been teaching chess at Bloxwich Junior Chess Academy and Club (5 -18 yrs), located at Ryecroft Community Hub on a Saturday morning, for a decade. This year sees the group entered once again into the UK’s Chess Challenge but other challenges include local leagues and Rapidplay Congress. They train older students to be coaches and link to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, as well as teaching chess in local schools. Since 2010 the group have had five players represent England in worldwide tournaments. The couple are a credit to their community and have made a big difference to many local people, giving up their time, energy and passion, all for free.

Carol Rowley

Carole Rowley has been nominated due to her work as the foodbank team leader at Ablewell Advice in Walsall. Carole was the first of the volunteers and has developed the team into 27 strong group. Carol never judges our clients and goes out of her way to make sure that they can access the help they need. Under her leadership, usage of our foodbank has increased from 924 customers in 2017, to 1889 in 2018 to over 3000 this year. Carol has put considerable work in creating recipes to help customers use the food they are given as best they can. Carole was sponsored in February 2018 to live on foodbank provisions for 3 days, helping us raise £1526 to buy a freezer for the foodbank. 

Balbir Seimar

Balbir Seimar is a volunteer and has worked passionately to coordinate projects that bring together Walsall’s beautiful diverse communities. She is Joint Secretary at The Hindu Forum, Walsall and supports Prof. Gatrad in WASUP (Walsall Against Single Use Plastic) campaign. Balbir supports communities & organisations to think about the environment, raising awareness on the dangers of single use plastic on our health and our beautiful surroundings. Balbir leads by example attending many meetings, canal / towpath cleaning, and events involving bringing communities together in Oneness and Harmony. Through her work she strives to make people feel valued and integrated into the current issues within the community and most importantly, the feeling, they have made a valuable contribution.


She is also “Stand By Me” Ambassador and actively supports many other community initiatives. 

Asma Riaz

Asma set up Walsall Speakers, a nonprofit ‘Toastmasters’ public speaker club.  As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an experienced inspirational leader in Toastmaster she has a mentoring spirit and is passionate about showing others how public speaking skills can help their careers as well as personal lives. Many members have taken on new opportunities thanks to the confidence and experience they’ve gained from the club. 

Bernard Cartwright

Bernard is the Vice-Chair of RSPB Neighbourhood Watch and supports The Watch, a service that provides community safety and crime prevention support/advice across the borough. He volunteers 5.5 days per week.

Edwin Venables 

Edwin is Chair of RSPB Neigbourhood Watch and also leads The Watch, a service that provides community safety and crime prevention support/advice across the borough. He volunteers 5.5 days per week.

Wendy Evans

Wendy Evans is retired, but that hasn’t stopped her from working with a range of organisations in Willenhall. She is involved with Willenhall Heritage Trust, Remembrance Parade Committee, Willenhall Town Centre Partnership, New Invention groups, Knit & Knatter groups, Christmas Planning events, to name just a few! Her Heritage work enabled an iconic Willenhall Grade II listed building, dating back to 1580s, to be saved. The building survived a huge blaze known as the Great Fire of Willenhall in 1659, when 60 other buildings in the town were destroyed. Her Remembrance Parade work involves her opening the Listed building with other volunteers and displaying a wall of falling hand knitting Poppies. This annual event is one of the main attractions to the town of Willenhall alongside recognising and acknowledging the contributions to those who have been in armed conflict.


Wendy’s contribution to Willenhall is incalculable.

Sarah Pearson

Sarah has been the chair of the Blakenall and Leamore Neighbourhood Watch since 2017, and works alongside residents and partners to make the area better. Their aim is to widen communication between residents/community and local police and council, and supporting positive local projects for the greater good of the community. 

Ibrahim Sohail

Ibrahim Sohail is part of Youth of Walsall. Nominated for his contribution behind the scenes, over the years he has contributed time and ideas to Youth of Walsall and he always volunteers whole heartedly having a truly selfless personality. He has dedicated a lot to UKYP’s Make Your Mark and is also a champion for change through sustainability projects, that he learnt about in Berlin, which he now wants others to learn about. Ibrahim was elected as a member of the West Midlands Young Combined Authority. He is a perfect role model for the youth about being able to follow your aspirations and make some change - his work shows he truly wants to create a change for future generations.

Monika Kazmierczak

Monika is a volunteer mostly in Caldmore Community Garden for over 3 years, however she has also volunteered with Children in Need events, Polish community events and other neighbourhood events. Whenever she is asked she is there, ready to help. Whether this is running a crafting or arts table, or helping with organising. She is an organiser for WOSP, a Polish charity aimed at funding medical equipment where needed. She is a very inspiring individual, she is an amazing artist and her creativity is endless. 

Margaret Gibbons

Margaret has a long history of loving people in Walsall and serving them. She is well known in refugee and asylum circles providing years of practical care and support and love. Margaret helped set up the charity WRASSA, which houses destitute asylum seekers and ensures families have an annual trip to the seaside so the children have something to write about when they go back to school. Margaret is also very involved in Pleck Methodist Church, from supporting those who are new to the community, coordinating donations to the local foodbank and ensuring that the Place of Welcome and weekly ‘knit and natter’ groups run. 

Allan Boot

Allan has been nominated for three areas of his work including the Black Country Foodbank where Allan supports all the foodbanks in Walsall and helps set up new ones like the recent one in Brownhills. He also gives free debt and benefits advice as part of the Walsall Money Advice Project and he supports some of Walsall’s most vulnerable residents through The Big Feed, a Sunday drop-in for the homeless. Each of these projects makes a huge difference, either relieving the immediate need of hunger and addressing some of the reasons for this hunger. 

Sharon Felton

Sharon was born and raised in Darlaston and is very well known for her work in the community.


Sharon is based in Darlaston Town Hall and works extremely hard to bring our community together. She works tirelessly to raise money through her charity work to provide various activities for all age groups, including Disabled groups, lunch clubs , wrestling, Zumba gold Amputee support group plus much more which prevents social isolation and exclusion. She also organised Remembrance Day in Darlaston which was greatly appreciated by many.


These activities are appreciated greatly and helps friendships to be made in our community.

Father John Nankivell

Formerly principal of Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College in central Birmingham, John Nankivell was ordained priest by Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain and appointed priest-in-charge of a newly created community in Palfrey, Walsall to serve the Black Country. He is chairman of Orthodox Christian Books Ltd, a distributor of Orthodox literature.


He also authored a book about St Wilfrid, one of the great saints of the seventh century. Father John speaks a number of different languages and serves the 
needs of a multiracial and multi-ethnic congregation serving the welfare and spiritual needs of orthodox 
Christians who are Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, Serbo-Croat and Greek.

Amy Whitehouse

Amy Whitehouse is a small business owner, based in Willenhall, who is passionate about her community. She volunteers within the community on various projects, including Willenhall In Bloom, Willenhall Carnival, Willenhall Lockstock Music Festival, Willenhall Town Centre Partnerships, environmental projects and charitable drives.


As well as providing a service to customers in her general business, she is in regular liaison with other businesses in the local area, with the aim of improving the environment and well-being of traders and customers to the local area.


Amy has supported and helped people 
in her voluntary role and is known for her selfless support to the wider community  of Willenhall.

Pauline Kenn

Pauline has been doing voluntary work in the Mossley area for over 20 years, starting as a Street Champion patrolling the local area and reporting any concerns through to the relevant departments. Pauline works tirelessly for improvement and has been involved in many projects locally over the years including Big Spring Cleans, skip days and getting involved in council and community forums. Pauline now heads up her own Mossley Litter Squad as part of Mossley Big Local 
and remains a valued member of the partnership trying to improve services and community spirit across the estate.

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