REVEALED: Shortlist for The News’ We Can Do It community awards

The winners of last year's We Can Do It awards. Picture: Keith Woodland PPP-160512-101512001
The winners of last year's We Can Do It awards. Picture: Keith Woodland PPP-160512-101512001
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They’re the people who always think of others before themselves – and now it’s time to shine a spotlight on these selfless superstars with our annual We Can Do It awards.

Throughout the year we feature stories about people who make a difference to the lives of others and are happy to go that extra mile.

Today we reveal those who have made it on to the shortlist for the 2017 awards, which are sponsored by city council highways contractor Colas.

A judging panel will now meet to decide winners in each of the 10 categories.

They will be invited to receive their awards at a special celebration to be held in the Mayor of Portsmouth’s banqueting room at the Guildhall on Monday, November 27.

Mayor Cllr Ken Ellcome and Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Donna Jones will be among the guests.

Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘We’re delighted to once again host our We Can Do It awards, which pay tribute to all the fantastic work done by individuals, groups and companies to improve life in our communities.

‘The We Can Do It campaign is our way of making sure the good news in our area is recognised and reported.’

Linzi Stean, community involvement representative for Colas, added: ‘We have a strong community ethos within Colas, so supporting awards that recognise people doing great things in their communities is something we’re very proud of.’

Good luck to all of those shortlisted and we’ll be in touch with the winners after judging next week. Make sure you’re free from 6.30pm on Monday, November 27 as you could be receiving an invitation to come to the Guildhall and be presented with an award.

The award nominees are as follows:


Green Road in Gosport played host to the Alverstoke Michaelmas Fair, bringing together thousands of people with live music and charity stalls.

Castle Street in Southsea hosted the Pie & Vinyl Street Fair, celebrating Record Store Day 2017 with a concert of live music and a selling a selection of special vinyl releases.

Fratton Road in Portsmouth held the Fratton Family Festival, with live music, stalls in every direction and a variety of children’s activities all day long.

Queen Street in Portsea was turned into a riot of colour as it hosted its first carnival – after hard work from a group of locals determined to put on an event.

Marking the first anniversary of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, more than 100 residents from Rochester Road, Southsea, joined together to have a street party.

North Street in Havant was the site for the return of the Havant Town Fair for the first time since 2012, celebrating the town and its life by reviving what was a popular annual tradition.


Don Claudio restaurant in Portsmouth served up a special Italian meal at The Avenue care home in Fareham for an ‘Italian Day’.

David Wilson Homes took part in Macmillan’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ across the region, raising more than £450 for charity.

Hi-Lites Hair and Beauty Salon hosted a summer fair at Milton Junior School, raising almost £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

With a staff member’s brother suffering from four brain tumours, Erin’s Nail and Beauty Salon in Fareham held a cake sale for Brain Tumour Research.

Taylor Made Computer Solutions in Fareham raised £15,000 in the Three Peaks Challenge.

Portsmouth Business Exchange raised over £2,400 for Music Fusion at a charity breakfast.


Gosport pensioner Elizabeth Humphries has raised thousands of pounds for The Big Match with garden sales and an abseil.

Daniel Tregarthen and the field gun team from HMS Collingwood held a gun run across Southsea for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

In the aftermath of Storm Brian, Cliff Culver organised for the Surfers Against Sewage team to do a clean-up around Stokes Bay, Gosport.

Blind woman Betty Richards, 90, from Fareham abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower to raise money for the Macular Society.

Leader of 1st Alverstoke Guides Diane Williams organised a centenary party at Bodrick Hall, where the guides learned about life 100 years ago.

Julia Mundy, 69, celebrated 40 years of volunteering with the Southern Domestic Abuse Service in Leigh Park.


Students with learning difficulties at Rachel Madocks School, Waterlooville earned ASDAN qualifications to boost pupil confidence.

Portsmouth College saw an increase in the number of students getting top level grades (A*-C), going against the national trend of a fall in top results.

Students from Portsmouth Academy won the Police Apprentice competition, which asked schools to think of projects to stop hate crime and discrimination.

Queen’s Inclosure Primary School in Waterlooville saw hundreds of students take their shoes off for charity, leaving them on their desks to be donated to third world countries.

Bay House School’s performance of Zella Compton’s ‘How To Be A Girl’ was so well-liked by MP Caroline Dinenage that she invited the Gosport pupils to perform in Westminster.

St Vincent College in Gosport was the only place in the region to take on mature student Bruce Wetherill, allowing him to get his A-levels.


Seven-year-old Charlie Harris, from Portsmouth, spends his days in and out of hospital being treated for leukaemia, but still took the helm of a superhero fundraising party.

Leigh Park toddler Brinley MacDonald raised hundreds of pounds for a family friend with terminal cancer with a Canoe Lake walk.

Nevaeh Dunmore-Simkins, seven from Horndean held a singathon at her local Morrisons store to help buy friend Olly Jones a bath hoist.

16-year-old Lewis Hine from Havant, who has a brain tumour and epilepsy founded Friend Finder to unite lonely teens.

At the young age of seven, Zeeshan Mahmud from Southsea was asked to perform with the Russian State Opera at Kings Theatre.

Nine-year-old Shyloe Wilson from Gosport was diagnosed with Type One diabetes when she was a year old, but that still ran in a child fun run at Gosport Leisure Centre.


Marvels and Meltdowns opened up a brand new centre in Gosport earlier this year, helping children with ADHD, autism and SPD.

Brothers Chris and Michael Treagust finally downed their tools after notching up a century of work between them at Lewmar, in Havant.

Horndean PE teacher Julian Brown from Horndean Technology Centre retired after 35 years of contributions to the school.

Portsmouth resident Rhoda Joseph stepped down as director of the Cascades Shopping Centre after 14 years at the helm.

Philippe Woodbridge from Portchester has spent the past 50 years working in hairdressing and isn’t retiring anytime soon.

Estate agent Terry Hilliard from Portsmouth has called it quits on his time in work, age 84.


The Baffins Pond Association in Portsmouth celebrated the opening of the Benham-Rew Environmental Study Centre.

Portsmouth priest Julian Kent converted his home garage into what he believes is the world’s smallest cathedral.

After two years redeveloping the site, the Horndean Community Association held a fun day in the grounds of Merchistoun Hall.

The Countryside Awards praised the work of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for its transformation of Milton Locks.

Students from Priory School in Southsea teamed up with the University of Portsmouth to create a Sound Garden in the underpass at Victoria Road North and Holbrook Road.

The Rotary Club of Fareham Meon has planted purple crocus bulbs at the back of Cams Mill pub to mark fewer global cases of polio.


Workers and sailors at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and HM Naval Base have switched to pedal power, in a scheme called NAVYfit, aiming to make the base greener and more efficient.

Volunteers from the Fareham Society took to Meon Shore in April to wage war on litterbugs in the area.

The Sustainability Centre in Waterlooville hosted the South Downs Green Fair in May, with more than 3,000 people attending.

Ex-naval officer Andrew Gadsden and salon owner Tony Wood launched a scheme in Southsea to turn businesses into water refill sites.

Pupils from Saint Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School in Havant raised over £440 for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Volunteers took to Southsea beach in September as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean.


Organisers behind the Portsmouth Don’t Hate, Donate campaign have been offering up free hot meals for the homeless.

Artist Karl Rudziak spent time at social clubs and community centres around Somers Town in Portsmouth, painting 30 pictures of people he got to know during his time there.

The Society of St James took control of the former Arts Lodge in Victoria Park, Portsmouth, and has transformed it into an outdoor cafe.

The Gosportarians raised the profile of local artists with the Music Madness event in Walpole Park, Gosport.

Making Space from Havant celebrated 10 years of collaboration with local artists with a display at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays.

Young singers performed at The Golden Lion, Bedhampton to raise money for Beat The Bullies, a Havant charity that boosts teenagers’ self-esteem through music.


Jake Clarke from Waterlooville swam 36 lengths of the Waterlooville Leisure Centre pool, raising more than £2,000 for Cancer Research UK in memory of his dad, Matt Clarke.

In 2016, Hilsea grandmother Sharon Nutland was hit by a bus in Copnor Road. This year, she abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower for charity.

Oakley Way, 17 from Portsmouth, was told by doctors he’d never walk again – but recently won the iBMXff World Championships.

Horndean builder Gary Burch, 33, has Type One diabetes, but that didn’t stop him on BBC Two’s ‘Special Forces - Ultimate Hell Week’

At the age of 17, Gosport teenager Ariane has become the youngest person to achieve her full pilot’s license at Phoenix Aviation, having already completed her first solo flight.

Alexandra Newton, 16 from Portsmouth, has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy – but still finished the Great South Run Wheelchair event.