Posted on 04 December 2015
An eighteen-year old from Bristol has won the inaugural Fields in Trust Young Champion Award, sponsored by Groundwork.
George Friend (above centre) initiated the refurbishment of the Aubrey Meads Play Area. In 2011, aged 13, George wrote to his village magazine to express his concerns about the state of the space and after a lot of hard work and local council involvement a new play area was opened in October 2014. Attractive, fun and safe the play area is well-used by residents. George subsequently received a congratulatory message from the Duke of Cambridge.
The Fields in Trust 2015 Awards Ceremony was hosted by BBC sports and news broadcaster Ore Oduba at Lords Cricket Ground, the Awards celebrate the achievements of Fields in Trust and its partners, who have worked over the last year to ensure that everyone has access to protected outdoor recreational space.
The Community champions awards were sponsored by Groundwork and presented by Groundwork UK’s Director of Partnerships and Programmes, Sarah Reece-Mills.
Sarah said: “I was absolutely delighted to present the Young Champion Award to George. The hard work and determination he displayed to mobilise his community to build a much needed play area is nothing short of inspirational. It’s young people like George who are the green space heroes of the future, and it’s right that we celebrate their enthusiasm and passion to make where they live better places for their communities."
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust added: “Overall our awards celebrate the important role played by landowners, local authorities, and many others, in protecting outdoor space but hearing the stories of our Community Champions is particularly heartwarming. If all parts of the country had champions such as George, our outdoor spaces would be better protected and would always be there to be enjoyed by everyone in the towns and villages that they serve.”
Awards were also given in 11 categories in total including Partner of the Year, Getting Active on a Fields in Trust site, Best Have a Field Day, and Most improved site.
Contact: Garry Campbell, Communications Manager, Groundwork UK 0121 2368565
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Fields in Trust
Fields in Trust is a national charity that operates throughout the UK to safeguard recreational spaces and campaign for better statutory protection for all kinds of outdoor sites.
Founded in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association by King George V, their mission is the same now and as it was then: to ensure that everyone – young or old, able-bodied or disabled and wherever they live – should have access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation. These spaces are vital to building happy and healthy communities and sadly continue to be threatened by all kinds of development.
Groundwork is the community charity with a green heart.
Charity registration number 291558 | Company reg 1900511