A voluntary-sector hero, the founder of Green Hustle Festival, a charity trailblazer, a much–respected business leader and a champion of mental health support have all been honoured in the Nottingham Awards 2023.

The event, now in its tenth year, was held at the Council House last night (Thursday) following the historic 727th official Goose Fair opening and dinner.

The awards, which are supported by One Nottingham and sponsored by Let’s Move Nottingham, celebrate those who have helped to make Nottingham the great city that it is, and each winner has made a lasting contribution. It is a way of marking that achievement and an opportunity to say thank you.  

The categories and winners for 2023 are:

  • The Let’s Move Nottingham Sponsors Award – Mark Avison
L-R: Mike Khouri-Bent Director of Let’s Move Nottingham presenting to Mark Avison

Recognised as an outstanding community volunteer who helps to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime throughout Nottingham. He provides guidance, advocacy, and support to vulnerable people to help them access housing services and food. He has worked with homeless people, supported local services and the police in making his local neighbourhoods safer and better places to live. He knows what it is like to be a vulnerable person, and his care system success story and personal lived experiences have given him a deep understanding of the challenges people face in housing, education, and health and he makes an inspiring contribution to this city.

  • Voluntary and Community Sector Award – Kerry Devine and Adam Pickering

Adam Pickering is a real champion for the city. He organises the highly successful Green Hustle, working to raise funds and galvanising help and support from multiple communities to produce an inclusive and fun event attended by over 10,000 people.

L-R: Cllr Steve Battlemuch presenting to Adam Pickering

He epitomises the vital community spirit necessary to help make Nottingham a carbon neutral city. As a member of the city council’s army of Green Guardians and with his Green Hustle team he is creating a legacy and has already planted over 2,500 trees, creating tiny forests and bee friendly meadows in parks across the city. Plus, he has transformed a neglected area next to the Canal off Wilford Street to be more welcoming for nature and people.

Kerry Devine is described as an innovative leader and a hands-on CEO of a mental health charity; she has ensured that the “Improving Lives” offers exceptional support for more people than ever before and works to improve the lives of people with complex health and social needs in Nottingham. 

L-R:  Maria Ward from the One Nottingham Board presenting to Kerry Devine

During Covid lockdown her call was “No One Left Behind” and her charity helped 41% more people and now provides a vital lifeline during the current mental health crisis.

As an approved Mental Health Professional, she offers Clinical Supervision to the ‘Improving Lives’ team and thanks to her hard work and dedication, the charity has successfully won National Lottery funding securing its future for three more years. 

  • Private Sector Award – Dr Kevin Brown

A trailblazer in academia and the aerospace industry for over 18 years, Dr Brown has an impressive record in Nottingham of community engagement and public service and has recently been appointed the fifth President of the University of Jamaica.

L-R: Dr Kevin Brown in Jamaica with presenter Cllr Audra Wynter and Dr Brown’s son Kimathi and his wife Judy collecting the award of his behalf.

He is a radio broadcaster on KEMET FM for over 12 years as well as being a guest commentator on BBC radio. Kevin Brown joined Rolls-Royce in 2013 where he has held a number of technical and management roles and has been described as a pioneer, innovator, entrepreneur and his work led to the recent introduction of a composite fan system on the new Rolls-Royce demonstrator engine, potentially the engine of the future.

He has written and won multi-million-pound research grants and has published 22 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, as well as training and teaching the future work force at the University of Nottingham.

  • Public Sector Award – Fiona Vale

Fiona leads and participates in the work of BEGIN, a not-for-profit project established in Nottingham in 1982 and stands for Basic Educational Guidance.

L-R Cllr Cheryl Barnard presenting to Fiona Vale

Fiona has been praised for delivering essential services to people who arrive in the UK unable to speak English by promoting, supporting & providing equal access to learning. Thousands of people each year benefit from the work of BEGIN team, who run a ‘one stop shop’ for advice and referral.  They organise thousands of appointments a year for potential learners referring them to a wide range of providers and they can also help with essential childcare and transport to improve on a person’s ability to attend classes.    Her contribution to the local communities within Nottingham is massive.

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, attended the awards and said: “This is a special year, as we mark 10 years of the Nottingham Awards, where we honour and reward those who do so much for our city and make a significant and lasting contribution locally, nationally, and internationally.

“Those who have received a Nottingham Award this year are very worthy winners and it’s right that we recognise their contribution to the life of the city and thank them on behalf of the many people who have benefited from this. People like this make Nottingham what it is – a warm, welcoming and inclusive city.

“I would also like to thank the sponsors of the event, Mike Khouri-Bent through Let’s Move Nottingham, and a thank you also goes to the members of the One Nottingham Board, who have helped make this event possible. Without sponsorship and donations, we wouldn’t be able to hold events like this to recognise and honour those who make this city a great place.”

Guests at last night’s event were entertained by musician Charity Stow, the Young Creatives awards Music winner, the Robin Hood Youth Orchestra, and host Mark Del, the Nottingham DJ and entrepreneur. Meanwhile, money was raised for book-gifting charity The Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Hayward House at the City Hospital.