SOME of the best of Basingstoke were celebrated at the Place to be Proud of Awards last night.

The awards, organised by Destination Basingstoke, returned for the 16th year on Thursday, 6 June, to recognise volunteers, organisations and other members of the public making a difference in the area.

Speaking to the crowd gathered at the Haymarket, managing director at Destination Basingstoke, Felicity Edwards said: “We are very proud to be organising the Place to be Proud of Awards again. Every year, we are amazed by the variety of people and organisations that are nominated.

“That’s why we have mentioned everyone we can, the way we see it is that there are no losers, only more people to thank.”

After a short introduction of the awards, returning compere and multiple rowing world record holder David Holby-Wolinski, known as Dave the Rower, took to the stage to introduce each award and the sponsor, who announced each of the winners.

Before and after the awards presentation section of the evening, there were performances from previous award nominees dance group DancePhaze, as well as the choir from Testbourne Community School, Bella Voce.

There were nine awards, sponsored by a range of local businesses and organisations, including the Gazette, that were up for grabs, with two awards making their first appearance, celebrating the environmental impact of organisations in the community and those who go above and beyond the call of duty.

The winners were:

Arts and Entertainment Award- sponsored by Basingstoke Leisure Park: Exit 6 Film Festival

Health and Care Award- sponsored by BMI The Hampshire Clinic: Thrive

Community Project Award- sponsored by Face TV: Basingstoke Sports Trust

Unsung Hero Award- sponsored by Festival Place: Fred Gifford

Volunteer of the Year Award- sponsored by Gazette Newspapers: Arun Mummalaneni

Business and the Community Award- sponsored by Basingstoke Together: Basingstoke Sports Trust

Above and Beyond Award- sponsored by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council: Maxine Hart

Green Community Award- sponsored by Destination Basingstoke: Inspero’s Nature2Nurture Forest School Programme

Young Role Model Awards- sponsored by The Breeze and Queen Mary’s College: Haydn Sheppard

For full coverage, interviews and photos from the event, see next week’s edition of the Gazette, which will be coming out on June 13.