Little Iuestyn honoured for Special Inspiration at Making a Difference Awards

Smiling five-year-old Ieustyn Bassett was presented with a Special Inspiration award for his positivity and determination in his long battle against leukaemia at Wales & West Housing’s Making a Difference Awards 2017.

Ieustyn, who lives with his nan Toni John in Brackla, Bridgend, was given a standing ovation when he stepped into the spotlight to collect his Special Inspiration Award  from sponsor Day’s Rental at the annual event at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.

Ieustyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of cancer where the bone marrow produces too many cancerous white blood cells, in October 2015. Since then he has been through several courses of chemotherapy treatment and blood transfusions, spent Christmas in hospital and lost almost a year of school. He will continue his daily treatment until November 2018 and will have to continue to have.

The side effects of his ongoing treatment has left him weak and in pain and affected his immune system so that any simple infection can be life-threatening. Despite all this, he is always smiling and his bravery earned him a standing ovation at the awards.

Ieustyn’s nan Toni, said: “We are so proud of Ieustyn. He goes through all his treatment and nothing phases him. Now he has won a MAD Award, he thinks he is famous.”

Now in its ninth year, the awards are open to the 20,000 residents living at Wales & West Housing properties across Wales, and recognise the positive impact they have made on their own lives and to their communities.

Paul Gibson, of Gibson Specialist Technical Services sponsors of the main event, said; “We were proud to sponsor the MAD Awards 2017 and celebrate the achievements of some very special people. All the finalists have gone that extra mile to make a difference in their communities.”

Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive of Wales & West Housing, said: “The MAD Awards are our way of recognising the strength and community spirit of our residents. Each year I am inspired and moved by the stories of kindness and selflessness. It’s humbling to know we have people living in our communities who make a real difference to the lives of those around them. To see the continued success of all our residents at these awards, showing such fantastic displays of community spirit, is amazing and we look forward to our 10th Awards next year.”

This year’s Making a Difference Awards was bigger and better than ever before. More than 200 people, including WWH residents from across Wales, attended the 2017 ceremony which took place on Friday, March 3 at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.

Money raised from the event goes into Wales & West Housing’s Making A Difference grant scheme, which helps to kickstart community and environmental projects and training and employment opportunities for residents. 

Other sponsors included CJS Electrical, Contour, Anwyl, Cambria Maintenance Services, Solar Windows, Thorlux Lighting, Envirovent, Thermal Earth, Snowdonia Windows, Polyflor, One Call Wales, 1st Communications, Vaillant, Ian Williams, Dulux, MA Cooper Projects, Jehu Group,  Symphony Kitchens, Stelrad, LH Evans, FDIS, Simmons Services, RLD Construction, Herz, Drac Consulting, GKR, Pentan Architects, Roca, Lovelock Mitchell, Inta, Bamford Doors, Aico and Valor. 

Other finalists and winners were: 

Good Neighbour Award, sponsored by Cambria Maintenance Services

Winner: Fay Williams of Wrexham

Christine Voyle, Terry Govier & Christine Hipkiss, Mountain Ash
Pat Winterbottom, Prestatyn
Gwenda Evans, Cardigan
David Price, Merthyr Tydfil
Joanne Edwards, Bridgend

Green Fingers Award, sponsored by Contour Showers         

Winner: St Mellons Community Gardeners, Cardiff

Hanover Court Gardening Group, Whitchurch
Robert Smith, Ceredigion
Cwrt Andrew Buchan, Rhymney
Richard Whittaker, Ystrad Mynach

Fresh Start Award, sponsored by Anwyl Construction

Winner: Kosar Darwish of Cardiff

Lisa Jones from Connah’s Quay in Flintshire
Rachel Parker, Wrexham
Andrew Evans, from Rhondda

Steps to Success Award, sponsored by Envirovent

Winner: Cheryl Litchfield-Payne of Merthyr Tydfil

Natalie Rohman, St Mellons, Cardiff
Jade Evans, Aberystwyth
Jodie Payne from Waun Fach, Cardiff

Local Hero Award, sponsored by Solar Windows

Winner: Lily Whitley of Nant y Mor extra care scheme in Prestatyn.

Nicola Smith Blaengarw, near Bridgend
Gemma Garbett-Davies, Bridgend
Jenny Burgess, Sydney Hall Court, Connah’s Quay
Debbie Walker, Sandra Crawford and Ann Buckley, Queensferry

Community Project Award, sponsored by CJS Electrical

Winner: Llys Jasmine Community Tuck Shop

Crafty Tuesdays, Hanover Court, Barry
Tŷ Curig Tigers football team, Capel Bangor, Ceredigion
Police Community Support Officer Cherylin Pryor and Shelley Bird, from Age Connects Morgannwg

Rising Star Award, sponsored by Thorlux Lighting

Winner: Peter Bentham of Aberystwyth

Thomas Collins, Merthyr Tydfil
Dominic Hughes, Henllan
Rhys Rogers, Merthyr Tydfil