We are now in our 21st year of the prestigious City of Southampton Award. The Award Scheme was set up to recognise individuals or organisations who have given particular service to the City.
2023 award winners
Archie Parsons joined The Royal British Legion (RBL) after being introduced to it by some work colleagues some 35 years ago. This led to him being involved with the Welfare Section, helping those who were less fortunate and down on their luck.
As time went by, he then became involved with the Poppy Appeal and eventually took over as Poppy Area Officer of Southampton.
He has built up the many collection points around Southampton over the past 25 years and raised an incredible amount of money thanks to the generosity of the public. Over those years he has persuaded many members of the RBL, family, friends, Army, Navy, and Air Force cadets to volunteer their time and energy to help.
Archie has been a huge support to the Lord Mayor’s Office over many years and has given advice and help with many of the military events that have been organised in the city.
After 35 years, Archie has decided to step aside and let a younger person take over. He has had many happy memories from his time as Poppy Appeal Officer.
Paul is a local leader who in giving his time has contributed to the creation or implementation of among other local initiatives:
- The rent deposit scheme
- Organised the Blitz Commemoration Event with others in the City
- Involved with the Mayflower 400 project writing resources for schools
- Set up the Young Life Project Southampton promoting youth work in the city
- For 10 years ran a regular kids club for children in the East of the city
Paul also runs the Chaplaincy at three Oasis Academy schools in the city, supporting staff and children alike. He is also the Chaplain to Rose Road, a community run organisation supporting local children who have special educational needs and disability.
Paul has been a stalwart supporter of a range of community initiatives, having been active in the city for more than 15 years. His successes include the organisation of new community initiatives to support refugees and the homeless, as well as more recent support in the pandemic, to organise support for the most vulnerable people.
Over the last three years Paul has drawn churches together to create winter beds for the homeless at the coldest time of the year. When homelessness looked to be an increasing problem in Southampton Paul initiated the homeless conference, 'Beds, Businesses & Begging' drawing council members, the Police, other welfare agencies, business owners, and churches together, to see how they could partner for change.
Paul also founded and initially managed CLEAR (City Life Education & Action for Refugees) in response to the need of asylum seekers arriving in the city when it became a designated city for refugees (DCR).
Paul developed a 'Families for Forty' scheme and set about recruiting people in the community to respond to the children's needs. This was a successful campaign, recruiting many more foster families than usual and the campaign moved to other regions on account of it.