Heidedal hails its heroes

Gregory Werner at the launch of Heidedal Local Drug Action Committee. PHOTO: MOEKETSI MOGOTSI

The community of Heidedal held its ninth Heidedaller of the Year awards at the Kopano Nokeng Lodge in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Gregory Werner was named the 2016 Heidedaller of the Year for his outstanding work in highlighting some of the community’s biggest challenges and creating conversations around these issues.

Werner’s ‘Heidedal Enough is Enough’ campaign has challenged the government on a local and national level to look into ensuring that the community’s constitutional rights to live in a safe and healthy environment are met.

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Werner, who’s been living in Johannesburg for 18 years, says, “You don’t have to be in the community to be a part of the community.”

He says social media has made the world a smaller place. He used it as a tool to highlight things such as the abandoned quarry which has become a dangerous place because kids are always lingering around the unfenced space there. Other issues are sewage waste and poverty, for instance.

Heidedaller of the Year Organising Committee member, Brenda Buys, says the event has become a significant part of the community calendar.

“Heidedaller of the Year is a platform where we laud those doing great work within the community,”

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Another organising committee member, Rachel Scott, says two other categories were presented at the glitzy and glamourous award function.

The Angel Foundation won the award for Institution of the Year.

“What they do, is helping a lot of youngsters to reach their goals in life or their dreams. If they’re selected for any sport, for example, rugby, cricket, soccer or other things like modelling, and assistance is needed, the foundation tries to get them a sponsorship,” she says.

“Another category is Heidedal’s Friend of the Year, who is Mr Gary Goldstone. He is assisting Heidedal’s sports and he coaches a local team, Ocean XI.”

Buys says enquiries have come from neighbouring communities to host similar awards.

She adds that this year’s event was a huge success and they are looking to get the youth involved in every aspect of the awards going forward. – Moeketsi Mogotsi