Congratulations to the winners of the Wiltshire Life Awards 2023!

Community Group of the Year

Winner: The Platform Project CIC and Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union

Sponsored by:

The Platform Project CIC

The Swindon based Platform Project is an innovative development organisation on a mission to reduce youth unemployment by helping young people gain the skills, confidence and experience they need to launch their career and build a sustainable future for themselves.

Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union

The credit union’s overall purpose is to improve the financial well-being of the people of Wiltshire. It is embedded in the community, offering convenient savings schemes, fair value loans and financial skills support.

Harnham Community Network

Teacher/Coach of the Year

Winner: Caroline Radcliffe

Sponsored by:

Caroline has been leading singing groups for Alzheimer's Support for more than 12 years. In that time scores of people living with dementia and their carers have benefitted from her skilled approach and musicality and compassion. Caroline leads weekly Music for the Mind groups in Bradford on Avon and Westbury.


Shelley Hills - Hills Minding
Liam Abram-Smith - Showoff Dance

Business of the Year

Winner: Perfect Pet Insurance

Sponsored by:

This Salisbury-based company is an ambitious insurtech business, delivering pet insurance solutions. They place great emphasis on training and advancement, empowering their employees ensuring work environments are stimulating and challenging.

Blue Bee
Milk & Tweed

Independent Food/Drink Producer of the Year

Winner: Hollychocs

Sponsored by:

This is a family-run business where chocolates are engineered to perfection by Holly and Sam Garner. Together, where possible, they source locally their eggs, milk, cream, and butter which all come from Wiltshire and Somerset farms.


BRAVE Chutney
Downton Distillery

Conservation Project of the Year

Winner: Wiltshire Wildlife Trust - Taking Action For Insects

Sponsored by:

This exciting project is taking place at more than 30 reserves and other locations in Wiltshire - protecting, maintaining, and enhancing the diversity and abundance of invertebrates across a range of habitats.


Salisbury Cathedral’s East Gable Pinnacles
The Dinton Daffodil Project

Charity of the Year

Winner: Willows Counselling and Training

Sponsored by:

For more than 32 years Willows has been offering its services to meet the mental health needs of people in Swindon and  Wiltshire overall. 16 neighbourhoods, based around Swindon alone, rank in the most deprived 10% in England. During the past year Willows’ 30 volunteer counsellors have provided around 1,100 client sessions for adults struggling with mental health difficulties.

Doing It For Dan

Pub of the Year

Winner: The Winchester Gate

Sponsored by:

Over the past six years Robb and Abi Blake have transformed 'The Winni' into a popular, vibrant, and creative pub and arts venue priding itself on being at the heart of its local community.


The Goat at Downton
The Three Brewers

The Green Business Award

Winner: Downton Distillery

Sponsored by:

The Distillery is now Green Small Business Certified. In 2021 they converted to green energy. Their new vodka and Eau de Vie range use 100% recycled glass and cork. They are working with Plantlife to rewild juniper in the county and have also introduced bottle for life and refill initiatives.

Coombe Bissett Blooms
Good Energy

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Ethan Davids - Chickpea Group

Sponsored by:

Ethan grew up above a pub. With his sister and a school friend he formed The Chickpea group and took on The Grosvenor Arms in Hindon, boosting its annual turnover from £300,000 to £1 million. The group has since grown to four pubs with rooms and two pizza restaurants. One of Ethan’s goals is to help a member of staff open their own pub or restaurant.

Nicola Davis - Nicola Davis Crafts
Aimee Hancock - The Immersive Group

Young Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Ophelia Pye and Christopher Skelley

Sponsored by:

Ophelia Pye
Ophelia is a member of Marlborough Athletics and is a pupil at Dauntseys School in Market Lavington. She represented Great Britain in the 400 metre hurdles at the Under-18 European Championships where she won gold, and set a British national record. At 17, she is already the most successful athlete in the Marlborough club’s history.

Christopher Skelley
Chris competes in the sport of Judo. He has had an exceptional couple of years, including receiving an MBE in recognition for winning gold at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. He is aiming to become double Paralympic gold medallist in Paris 2024.  He also volunteers and mentors other athletes. This world number one is a true role model.

Cameron Jacobs

Independent Retailer of the Year, Incorporating Farm/Village Shop

Winner: Chalke Valley Community Stores

Sponsored by:

This Broad Chalke shop champions local produce, food producers and the local community. It stocks village honey, cards by local artists and organic salad and vegetables grown locally. At the helm is their manager Tony Patel who goes out of his way to help customers – he has even been known to repair bicycles.

The Cake Tin
May's Greengrocers

Local Hero of the Year

Winner: Maureen Atkinson

Sponsored by:

Maureen is truly a pillar of the community.  Even when she broke her hip, she was at the end of the phone sorting out other people’s issues. Her involvement in the community includes volunteering for the Bourne Valley Day Centre since 1983, plus acting as treasurer and trustee of the village hall and secretary of the Bourne Valley Historical Society since 1988.  She is also chair and a volunteer for the Bourne Valley Link Scheme and a member of the gardening club.  After 10 years of service, she has stepped down as Vice Chair of Winterbourne Parish Council.  She organises the Winterbourne Café, bringing local people together and connecting with those who may be isolated or alone.


Jane Ebel
Jack Jones

Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Jacob Greenfield - Thatchcraft

Sponsored by:

Jake was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Horlock Educational Trust Apprenticeship in 2022 to support his training in thatching. Jake’s employer, Ellis Butcher, says: “He is a perfectionist at heart and takes great pride in his work -we see him as being the future of Thatchcraft Ltd, therefore taking his craft in to the future.”

Michaela Kalupa - Good Energy
Alana Long - First Friends Day Nursery

The Arts, Culture & Music Award

Winner: Fisherton Mill – Gallery, Café, Studios

Sponsored by:

Fisherton Mill is an established and award-winning Art Gallery. Run by the Fox family for more than 25 years, it is a platform for artists and makers to showcase their work and a place for people to visit and absorb themselves in the creative atmosphere.


B L Sculptures
Revolution Performing Arts

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: David Rowlands

Sponsored by:

In 2002, David began volunteering with The Harbour Project in Swindon. It is the only organisation in Wiltshire providing direct support to asylum seekers and refugees. Two years later he joined their board of trustees, becoming chair in 2005. He has a reputation for taking on some of the more difficult cases and uses his experience gained through volunteering at Citizens Advice Swindon for more than 20 years to find solutions.

From a small volunteer-led organisation in 2002, he has been the driving force behind its establishment as a registered charity in 2003, conversion to Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2017, and receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2020.

Alongside his work with the charity, he has also served as a governor at Swindon New College for around 10 years, more latterly as chair.

The Pride of Wiltshire Award

Winner: Youth Adventure Trust

Sponsored by:

Youth Adventure Trust are celebrating their 30th anniversary and in that time, they have supported and transformed the lives of thousands of young people across the county.

At the heart of Youth Adventure Trust is the belief that everybody should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. With a combination of 1:1 support and outdoor adventure they help some of the most vulnerable 11–15-year-olds from Wiltshire and Swindon to unlock their potential and lead positive lives in the future. Their programme, which spans three school years, is a genuinely life changing opportunity, giving young people the chance to build resilience, develop confidence and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

Over the past 30 years they have helped almost 2,000 young people, delivered more than 11,114 hours of outdoor activities and facilitated 428,000 hours of activity participation - the equivalent of 39 hours a day every day for 30 years. There are no financial barriers to taking part as their programme is entirely free of charge to all the young people, their families and the organisations who nominate them to take part.