Community heroes who deserve the spotlight

Sian Crips, Georgia Perry and Abi Robinson, from Oaklands School, Waterlooville, celebrating their A-level results. Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170817-140116006

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We don’t shy away from reporting bad news. It’s part of the mix and we would be failing in our job if we didn’t reflect the reality of life. But when there’s good news to be shared, we’re delighted to give it coverage.

Our We Can Do It campaign regularly highlights all those selfless people out there raising money for good causes, making a difference to their communities and helping others. Every year a short list of nominees is drawn up and our We Can Do It Awards put them in a well-deserved spotlight.

Meanwhile, we regularly write positive news stories and features about people who show a true community spirit.

Today we feature another classic example of people whose helpfulness deserves to be recognised. Lesley Moore is so grateful for the service provided by staff at Rowlands Pharmacy in Waterlooville that she has nominated them for a Best of Health Award 2012, our special awards set up to honour health heroes in the Portsmouth area.

Despite the pharmacy being badly damaged by a suspected arson attack and not likely to be ready for use until May next year, staff are doing all they can to provide vital medicines for the community.

Just two days after the fire, a makeshift pharmacy was set up in a hut in a car park. Nine months on, staff are still there.

Lesley says: ‘The pharmacist and staff have always been great, but after the fire they have been absolutely superb – despite working in a tiny, cold cabin in the doctors’ car park.

‘They always greet you with a smile, are so friendly and couldn’t be more helpful if they tried.’

What a great example of people who are having to cope with far-from-ideal working conditions, yet are happy to go the extra mile to ensure the public continue to receive an excellent service.

The deadline for nominations for the Best of Health Awards 2012 has now been extended to Friday, June 29. We urge you to fill in the form on page 19 or go to portsmouth.co.uk so that all those unsung people who make such a difference can be thanked for their efforts.