Award given to ‘unsung hero’ of Gunville community

A Spectrum Medina resident from the Isle of Wight who has worked tirelessly to help elderly people in Gunville near Newport has received a special award from the association.


Ursula Gray yesterday became the very first recipient of the Spectrum Housing ‘Community Hero’ award in recognition of her extensive work within the neighbourhood, including assisting the elderly and vulnerable by organising and cooking an annual post-Christmas meal for the elderly at Carisbrooke and Gunville Methodist Church Hall.

 “Ursula really is an inspiration to others – nothing is too much trouble and no problem is unsolvable” said Diane Huskisson, the Neighbourhood Housing Officer for Spectrum Medina who nominated Ursula for the award.

“She will help and assist you without question which is a rare quality in a person in this day and age. She also gives her time freely to organise and put on a wonderful weekly tea and chat session, but what strikes me most is just how humble she is about winning this award. She does not think that she has done anything special – but as everyone would agree it is well deserved”.

Ursula, who regularly visits older people in the community to make sure they are safe and well, was presented with a special grass trophy by Paul Swain, branch manager of award sponsors Jewson the builders merchant, and Yasmin White, Resident Network Director for Spectrum Housing Group.

“The award means a lot to me and it is lovely to be recognised even though I feel that I don’t deserve it” said Ursula after receiving the award.

“Helping people comes very naturally to me and I’m so grateful to all who support this and feel that I deserve to win it, as it was totally unexpected.”

In addition to the trophy, Ursula also received a cheque for £250 for the cause of her choice:

“I have chosen the stroke unit at St. Mary’s Hospital as they are wonderful” added Ursula.

“Not only have I have experienced two strokes myself and received the support and care from the staff there, but many of the people that I help have also had strokes and received excellent care and support whilst in the unit. They work extremely hard so this money is going to an extremely good cause”.

Alongside supporting the elderly, Ursula also won the award after organising a litter clean with local youths alongside Isle of Wight Council’s environmental officer Bob Nelson.

“If all of the neighbourhoods that I patrol and deal with had an Ursula, my job would be a lot easier” said Bob.

“She takes pride in where she lives and is always willing to help others, and to change things for the good of the all. Gunville would not be the same without her”.

Monica Niblett, a close friend of Ursula, also described her as:

“One of the kindest people I know. She will do anything to help anyone.  I am so glad that she has received this award”.

Residents and staff of Spectrum Medina were asked last year to nominate ‘Community Heroes’ in their local area for these awards, as Spectrum looks to publicly recognise residents that have gone the extra mile, coped with adversity or generally achieved something worthy of recognition. Spectrum will be recognising the achievements of several other residents across the South West with awards in the coming weeks.

Yasmin White, Resident Network Director for Spectrum, said that Ursula was a great example of what the ‘Community Hero’ awards are all about:

“She looks out for everyone on the local community, makes crafts to support local activities as well as funds a great deal of these activities from her own pocket. In short, she is a really active citizen in her community and is tireless in her efforts to help local people”.

To find out more about Spectrum Housing, visit

Notes to Editor

For further information, please contact:

Diane Huskisson, Neighbourhood Housing Officer, Medina Housing Association
T: 0800 783 7837 or T: 0300 777 7837

Photo caption:

From L-R: Environment officer Bob Nelson, Jewson Branch Manager Paul Swain, Ursula Gray, Neighbourhood Housing Officer Diane Huskisson and Spectrum Housing Resident Network Director Yasmin White.