Mark Jones is partnerships manager at Destination Basingstoke. He has worked in Basingstoke for 27 years, including 13 years as editor of the Gazette and eight years as director of communications and fundraising at Ark Cancer Charity.

IF there is one key reason why Basingstoke is affectionately called Amazingstoke, it’s because of the people who live and work here – people who care about other people and want to make a difference to life in the town and borough.

It’s been my good fortune to be part of our wonderful community for nearly 30 years. I have witnessed so much kindness and support for others and a growing sense of pride in the local community.

READ MORE: Pictures from Basingstoke A Place to be Proud of Awards 2024

At Destination Basingstoke, it’s our privilege and honour to organise the annual A Place to be Proud of Awards – a very special event that showcases and celebrates people, businesses and community organisations that make a telling contribution to Basingstoke and Deane.

This year marked the 21st anniversary of the awards, and it is fantastic to see that the strength of the nominations across the various categories is as great as it has ever been.

The 2024 event was also a milestone evening as the awards moved to a new venue and returned to being an awards dinner event. It was great to have the Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on board as joint headline sponsors. Together with the other event and category sponsors and partners, this fabulous support is key to keeping the awards going, and it is a significant show of support from the sponsors for the Basingstoke and Deane community.

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke's Place to be Proud of Awards 2024 announced

You can read all about the finalists and winners by going to – it truly is an impressive role of honour, and there were many more strong nominees who unfortunately didn’t make the final cut.

It was a marvellous, memorable, and at times emotional evening as the finalists and winners had their well-deserved moment in the spotlight. It is jaw-dropping to see and hear what some of the community’s local heroes have achieved. There are so many people, and organisations, to be proud of.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists, massive thanks again to the sponsors and event partners, and we look forward to shedding more light on the amazing people of Amazingstoke at the 2025 awards.