Ark supporters win honours at A Place to be Proud of Awards

ARK Cancer Centre Charity supporters were among the winners at the 2020 A Place to be Proud of Awards.

The awards were held virtually for the first time in their 17-year history, with celebrations taking place from the living rooms of the nominees and winners instead of in the Haymarket theatre.

In all, nine awards were given out to people and organisations that have made a difference to the town and borough - and a further eight winners were recognised for their outstanding contribution to Basingstoke's COVID-19 response.

Massive congratulations go out to Paul Fearon and his Apollo Hotel team - the Basingstoke hotel did the double, winning the Business and the Community award, voted for by the public, and scooping one of the COVID-19 Hero awards. These latest awards add to the Apollo trophy cabinet after the team scooped the Business and the Community prize at the INSPIRE19 Business Awards in November.

Fellow Ark supporters Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) also won a COVID-19 Hero award, while the fabulous Arkriders - who have raised over £270,000 for Ark - and Mark Jones, Ark's director of fundraising and communications, were among the finalists in the Above and Beyond category, which recognised those individuals and groups that go the extra mile.

Apollo Hotel general manager Paul said: "A huge thank you to everyone who supported us for our Basingstoke Place to be Proud of award. It’s very much appreciated and we really look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel on September 6."

HHFT chief executive Alex Whitfield told the awards ceremony that she was proud of how her team have responded to the crisis.

“It has been kind of amazing and phenomenal in terms of how staff have responded to the challenge”, she said.

“The innovation from some of our teams, particularly microbiology and infection control has been superb.

“We were the first hospital in the country to be testing for COVID-19 and we are now running our lab in a van, taking COVID tests to the community.

“Thank you so much for this award - it really goes to all the thousands of staff and volunteers that we have working here who are just incredible.”

Picture caption: Apollo Hotel general manager Paul Fearon with Arkriders and members of the Ark Cancer Centre Charity team. The Apollo is a long-standing Ark supporter, and hosted the 2018 Une Grande Nuit charity dinner which raised more than £30,000 for the charity.