Week 8 recipients of the Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award awarded


Unity and Dmitrijs Meiksans MYP are proud to announce the eighth round of recipients that have received the Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award. The award aims to recognise and highlight the amazing people that have gone above and beyond to assist their local communities throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

This week, the shortlisting panel voted to select Hazel Prince from Braishfield and Ann-Marie Bentham from Andover.

One nominator said about Hazel, “Hazel Prince is the Chairman of the Braishfield Social Contact Group which has been operating for many years in the village for the benefit of those who are living alone. Hazel and her team organise trips and outings as well as get-togethers in the Church Room and beyond. The last get-together, over a year ago, was ‘Buns & Bingo’ in the Church Room.  At that event, Hazel outlined to the Members all the plans and ideas for 2020 but due to Covid, they had to be put on hold. It was during 2020 that it was even more important that Social Contact members knew they were not alone or forgotten. 

Some of the Members have very close supporting families, neighbours and friends however, shielding on their own for health reasons meant the days were extremely long and monotonous. Hazel made sure to phone around to ask about their shopping requirements or just to talk about how they were coping or to just spend time having a chat and laugh together and this is what Hazel and the helpers did. Hazel knew how much a surprise would mean, so organised ‘The Doorstep Fairy’ to appear on members’ doorsteps with little gifts to add cheerfulness to their day.  The surprises varied from a chocolate rabbit for Easter, potted geraniums for summer colour, a tin of biscuits at the start of Autumn, and an arrangement of hyacinths for Christmas.  At the start of the new year the Members all received a New Year card sending love and good wishes for 2021 and the promise that the Social Contact group would meet as soon as it was safe to do so.”

A smiling older lady with shoulder length light blonde/grey hair wearing a black jumper with white polka dots and a dainty silver necklace.
Hazel Prince

The nominator for Ann-Marie said:

“Ann-Marie is Carer to my little boy who is critically ill. Not only does she care for Isaac, but she is also a selfless loving person who helps make my daily life better and brighter. She comes at a moment of notice when I call her day or night and stays calm In life-threatening situations. Since the coronavirus, I have been unable to leave my house to protect my little boy and she has done everything for me from shopping to walking the dogs. She doesn’t just help me, anyone that needs it, Ann-Marie is there. At the beginning of the pandemic, an older person in a supermarket was crying as they couldn’t get paracetamol for their husband due to shortages, she gave the ones she had in her bag without a second thought.

She is completely selfless and without her, I really wouldn’t have managed during this lockdown. I have only been out of the house 6 times in over a year due to my little boy and she helps keep me sane and safe.”

Anne-Marie has blonde, shoulder length hair with a block fringe. She is wearing black sunglasses perched on her hair and has a nose stud.
Anne-Marie Bentham

Dmitrijs Meiksans, the organiser of the awards scheme, said, “Ann-Marie and Hazel are both amazing individuals within their communities – congrats to them both for being Week 8’s recipients.”

Nominations are still open to nominate your local unsung hero in Test Valley. Visit www.testvalleycuha.co.uk/nominate to recognise someone today.

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