Chairman’s Community Recognition Awards
A mother who started fundraising to start a disco for people with learning disabilities and then went on to establish a much loved day centre, has been rewarded with the Wychavon Diamond Jubilee Community Recognition Award.
Councillor Liz Eyre, the Chairman of Wychavon District Council, presented Tracey Hemming with the trophy, which she will get to keep for 12 months, and a cheque for £200, at a ceremony at the Civic Centre in Pershore on 5 February.
Tracey was nominated by Badsey and Aldington Parish Council for her “selfless energy and absolute dedication” to the countless list of activities and achievements of the Freedom Disco and Day Centre, which she has established at Badsey Pub in a Club.
It all began in February 2016, when Tracey started fundraising for a disco for people with learning disabilities. The initial motivation for this was her son, who had been terribly saddened when Marilyn’s Discotheque in Evesham stopped running its Tuesday disco for people with learning disabilities.
Knowing how important the disco had been for both its users and their carers, Tracey decided to raise funds to purchase the equipment necessary to provide a replacement disco in Badsey. Within a week she had managed to raise £400 via a Facebook campaign, and had also managed to pick-up a complete disco kit from a day centre in Derby that was closing.
With the equipment in place, Freedom Disco was born, catering for people aged 11 and upwards. The disco has proved to be extremely successful and numbers grow steadily. Today between 60 and 100 people from all over the area can be in attendance on Tuesdays.
Tracey has continued to fundraise through village fetes, and has also secured support from Badsey and Aldington Parish Council, Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council, as well as from local companies and private individuals, in order to purchase a properly equipped mini-bus for people who might not otherwise be able to attend the disco without transportation.
Liz Eyre, Chairman of Wychavon District Council, said: “Tracey is an inspiration to us all. There’s no doubt that without her passion, warmth and utter dedication to her family, her community and indeed the wider area, we would not have the Freedom Disco and Day Centre, and many lives would be all the poorer for that.
“I would like to congratulate Tracey for all of her tremendous work, and I feel immensely proud knowing that we have such an incredible champion in our district.”
Tracey Hemming said: “I am very proud to receive this award. I would like to give special thanks to all my team and also the Badsey community, as without their help this wouldn’t be possible.”
Now the Freedom Disco and Day Centre is established, Tracey opens its doors from Monday to Friday not only for her clients and their carers, but also for local pensioners and others who drop in. There are sports sessions, coffee mornings, cookery classes, weekly bingo and more – and everyone is welcome.
In total, 12 nominations were received from the 29 Wychavon parishes signed up to take part in the Chairman’s Community Recognition Award scheme.
The runners-up were Pam and Tony Gale, who were nominated by Flyford Flavell, Grafton Flyford and North Piddle Parish Council for their tireless work over 25 years, including their volunteering, reinstating the village fete, their fundraising, church activities and for organising many social events. Pam and Tony received a cheque for £100 to help support their community work.
There was also a £50 prize for Patrick Davis, who was nominated by Droitwich Town Council for his incredible work in organising the Droitwich Spa Food and Drink Festival since 2013.
Everyone nominated received a certificate of commendation.