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Netherfield volunteer who helped serve more than 35,000 meals to local community during pandemic is honoured with top prize at Pride of Gedling awards

Netherfield volunteer Tina Simpson has been commended for her outstanding efforts in supporting her community with an award night's most honoured prize.


Netherfield volunteer Tina Simpson has been commended for her outstanding efforts in supporting her community with a local award night’s most honoured prize.

Each year the Pride of Gedling Awards applaud Gedling borough’s most notable residents and businesses, celebrating their community achievements over the last year.

Mrs Simpson has been involved in community work since moving to Gedling in 2007, and is the treasurer of the Netherfield Forum, and manages their two centres.

The Netherfield Forum’s centres are in place to help older and younger residents, with St Georges Centre providing activities for elderly citizens, and LOCO youth centre serving as a community centre for youngsters.

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Virgin 02 award Nethefield Forum
Tina Simpson, left, was handed the Sir Tom Moore Award by Hannah-Ingram Moore, the daughter of the late Sir Captain Tom Moore, earlier this year
St George's Centre Netherfield
Over 35,000 meals were served to local people during the pandemic from St George’s Centre in Netherfield (PHOTO: Gedling Eye)

During the pandemic, Tina and her team served over 35,000 meals to the local community: “We worked our socks off during the pandemic. We did over 30,000 meals over that period.

“People came daily. Our busiest day was 156 meals. We were a small team of four, and we cooked, prepped, and did the meals.

“(The Pandemic) was really a turning point for everybody. The war in Ukraine has also affected us. It has had a major impact to everybody’s lives. Between Covid and the War, we’ve got to get together, work together, pull our socks up and get on with it.

“We work together like we’ve always done in Netherfield, with all the shops, agencies, and make lives easier for everybody.”

Mrs Simpson was inspired to give back to her local community as she had once relied on community help. She recalled the aid she received 36 years ago from an armed forces charity: “When my son was little, I needed help, and an organisation called SSAFA helped [us] when we had nothing.

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“I always said when I was fortunate enough to pay back, I would do, and that’s how I started”.

Tina and her team contribute to the community in a variety of ways, through college courses, CV writing and memory cafes for those with dementia.

Tina stressed her willingness to give back to others: “We need to ensure that we’re available to help people. We only charge people a pound for a takeaway hot meal. It’s open to everybody in the community, we’re here to serve everyone.

READ MORE: Community champions celebrated at Pride of Gedling Awards 2022

“We’re keeping going regardless, and doing what a community centre should do, provide a warm safe space where people can get food, and advice.”

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Mrs Simpson told the Gedling Eye that the win came as a complete surprise and was not something that she was expecting: “It’s an award for the Gedling community, not just for me. It’s also a recognition for all the hard work that the team here does.

“I feel very humbled.”

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