The Grand Final of the iHelp 2011 competition took place at Beaconsfield Masonic Centre on Sunday 10th July. The very high standard of the five finalists meant that the judging panel had to make a very difficult decision.
All five finalists had already received prizes of £250 in the heats and now the battle was on for the “big one” – a cheque for £5000. After much deliberation, the panel, consisting of Ray & Doreen Reed, Mike Stimson, Cllr. Jocelyn Towns, Mayor of Marlow, and Vic Dorman chose the Beaconsfield School and its “Sport for the Aged” project as the winner.
“Sport for the Aged” began by inviting residents of the Beaconsfield Sunshine Home to attend weekly sessions of not-too-strenuous sporting activity at the school. However, as numbers grew to large for the school’s mini bus, it was decided to take the events to the Sunshine Home instead. Plans are in hand to extend the project to other homes in the area and to include other activities such as IT. Next year, they plan to have their very own “Olympic Games” for the elderly.
Runner up in the competition was the 1st Stokenchurch Scout Group with “Project Graveyard”. Following consultation with the Parish Council, they decided to do a complete makeover of a disused graveyard in the town. The land, which is crossed by a footpath between Marlow Road and Wycombe Rod, had become very overgrown, to the extent that many residents were becoming afraid to walk there. There were also signs that drug users had been making the most of the cover for their activities. Their efforts in making the area a pleasant and safe environment won them the runner up prize of £1000.
1st Princes Risborough Scouts decided to do “The Big Garden Project”. This involved them in clearing and planting the gardens in two houses owned by a mental health charity. They repaired broken patios, made and stocked planters and now plan an “allotment” so that the homes can grow some of their own vegetables. This excellent project earned them a cheque for £500.
Gatehouse School in Milton Keynes is a school for children with special needs. They became involved with a local charity – Foodbank – which collects food from various sources in the area and distributes it to the needy. The pupils started by stacking the shelves as food came in and moved onto “picking and packing” the bags ready for delivery, tasks that earned them £500.
The 1st Langley Scout Group set out to help elderly and disabled people in their community by carrying out various jobs in the homes and gardens of those who are no longer able to do things for themselves due to age or infirmity. Their willingness to get involved also earned them a further cheque for £500.
iHelp 2012 will be launched in August 2011 and full details will appear on the iHelp web site in the near future.
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