Community awards

Information about the organisations and individual volunteers who have won or received nominations in our annual community awards.

Community organisations and individual volunteers make a huge contribution to lives across North Yorkshire. Aiding the council in delivering critical services and providing social networks which reduce isolation and enable people to live independently for longer.

They help to deliver a wide range of critical services, from organising luncheon clubs and helping in schools, running cultural and social events, walking dogs and doing shopping for elderly neighbours, helping out at cub scout and brownie guide groups, managing animal shelters and community libraries, and so much more.

Community awards 2017

The awards were presented at the North Yorkshire wider partnership conference at The Pavilions in Harrogate on Friday 3 November 2017.

In all, there were 102 nominations for the awards from a diverse range of community groups, organisations and individuals across the county. Following visits from the judges to shortlisted nominees, finalists were selected.

The winners and runners up were:

Best community project

Winner:

Men in Sheds
Men in Sheds brings together men who may otherwise be isolated, to share and learn new skills. The group was initially set up two years ago for one year, and now two and a half years later the group is run by a volunteer who was one of the original attendees of the group. The group runs all day on a Thursday at Pickering, and at Kirkbymoorside on a Wednesday morning. Pop up sessions in the rural areas of Ryedale are planned. The men make models, do wood crafts, glass etching and go on fishing outings. The project tackles isolation, loneliness, mental health issues / stigma, transport issues and brings local men in their communities and surrounding villages together in a safe environment. Whilst the men are in their group there is support with any issue they wish to discuss with staff. The shed is based in a community centre or hub and, because there are other activities in the hub, the men interact with other local people and friendships are made.

Runners up:

Community Angels and Richmondshire Area Motorcycle Proficiency Scheme (RAMPS).

Best community group

Winner:

Yorkshire Coast Sight Support volunteers
Yorkshire Coast Sight Support is a user-led charity that supports visually impaired residents of Scarborough, Whitby and Filey. Established over 80 years ago, their aims and objectives are to support visually impaired residents in any way they can. They have 87 members, aged from 99 to 19. In the last 18 months they have looked closely at what their users want and have changed accordingly. They provide traditional core areas of support - form filling in, liaising with consultants and clinics, provision of equipment, arranging equipment demonstrations, booking travel assistance and the many more daily tasks that sight loss makes very difficult. They also now provide areas that users have asked for such as mentoring, emotional support, living with sight loss and advocacy and social activities.

Runners up:

Leyburn Arts and Community Centre volunteers and St John’s Community Centre volunteers.

Volunteer of the year

Winner:

Su Morgan
Su Morgan brought together a group of volunteers to enhance Tadcaster with hand crafted decorations to raise community spirit and promote local businesses struggling with loss of trade after the floods and bridge closure. She has developed the group, Tadcrafters, to address other needs in the community such as social isolation and confidence building.

She started a monthly community session for volunteers to work together and this group became Tadcrafters. Led by Su, the group decorated Tadcaster with hundreds of metres of bunting and helped Tadcaster celebrate the temporary footbridge, 2016 Tour de Yorkshire and Queen’s birthday. By summer 2016, activities extended far beyond bunting. Led by Su, Tadcrafters addressed a need in the community for more opportunities for social interaction. Su recognised volunteers were helping local and wider communities and benefiting themselves, developing skills and growing in confidence by learning and sharing their knowledge with others. In August 2016 Tadcrafters became a community interest company and received a grant from Selby District Council’s community engagement forum for the hugely positive impact on the town and surrounding community as many volunteers live in local villages.

Runners up:

Atmaram Dahal and Karen Murray.

Young people volunteering award

Winner:

Catherine Sawyer
Teenager Catherine has volunteered at Settle Stories for two years and has been instrumental in the delivery of their heritage lottery funded project Tom Twisleton 100.

She helped secure a Heritage Lottery Fund - Young Roots grant for the project. Her ideas were are the forefront of the grant application and, upon receiving the grant, she has been at the heart of the strategic thinking for the project and has been a key member and contributor to the steering group. She has managed to get her peers at school interested in engaging with local heritage. She has communicated on behalf of other young people and helped the project staff think about what will enthuse other local teenagers with the project.

Runner up:

Young Carers Youth Council, Scarborough and Ryedale.

Highly commended:

The judges also decided to award four ‘highly commended’ certificates to the following nominees:

  • Clapham Village Shop (community group category)
  • Goathland Community Hub (community project category) 
  • Samuel’s Rainbow (community project category) 
  • Sylvia Merrett (volunteer of the year category)

The winner of each category will be awarded £1,000 for the relevant project, group or nominated relevant local charity in the case of the volunteer awards. Two runners up in each category will receive £250.

Category Description
Best community project award Recognises a community project that has resulted in real benefits for their community in that year.
Best community group award Recognises an inspirational community group that has made a positive impact on a community and people's lives through ongoing, day-to-day activity in that year.
Volunteer of the year Recognises an inspiring individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their community through volunteering above and beyond their normal role in that year.
Young people volunteering award Recognises projects run by an individual or group aged 11 to 25 in that year. It is awarded to a young person or people who have made a difference to other people's lives by volunteering their time and skills to help to solve a problem or to provide a service.

The criteria for the community awards scheme are:

  • Projects or activities must have taken place or been completed between 31 July 2016 to 1 June 2017.
  • Nominated community projects must have had a positive impact on people living in the North Yorkshire County Council area.
  • Nominated community groups must be constituted, not for profit and operate in the North Yorkshire County Council area.
  • Community groups may be a branch of, or affiliated to, a larger regional or national organisation, as long as the volunteers started and developed the initiative for the activity locally, and the group's achievements go beyond what is expected of similar groups in the wider organisation's network.
  • Nominated individuals must volunteer within the North Yorkshire County Council boundaries in the area of work for which they are nominated.
  • Self-nominations will be accepted.

All nominations are judged on how the individual, organisation or project has:

  • tackled issues that affect people living in North Yorkshire and made a difference to their community;
  • helped get people involved and inspired others; and
  • had a lasting impact.

Community projects and community groups are also judged on how they have made the most of funds available.

The decision of the awards panel is final and the panel reserves the right not to make awards if there are no eligible nominations.

 View the terms and conditions for the community awards here (pdf / 278 KB).

Previous award winners and shortlisted nominees

The awards were presented at the North Yorkshire wider partnership conference at The Pavilions, Harrogate, on Friday 21 October 2016.

In all, there were 70 nominations for the awards from a diverse range of community groups, organisations and individuals from across the county. From these nominations, three nominees were shortlisted in each of the four categories.

The winners and shortlisted nominees were:

Best community project

Winner:

Thirsk Yarnbombers
A community knitting project encouraging tourism in Thirsk, initially during the Tour de Yorkshire, and raising money for charities. The group was approached by the Rotal British Legion to create poppies for Remembrance Day. The group has more than 200 members and continues to grow. All money raised is split between the group's chosen charities and future community projects in Thirsk.

Runners-up:

Chase Garth Park Project and Saxton Village Hall

Best community group

Winner:

WHISH - Whitby Hidden Impairments Support and Help
A group supporting families in Whitby and the surrounding rural area, whose children have a hidden impairment and disabilities, through sport, arts, social activities and clubs for children and siblings and advice and support for parents. The group supports more than 100 children with more than 40 different disabilities, and their parents. It helps to reduce social isolation, increase resilience and families' ability to support each other while reducing reliance on emergency health and social care interventions.

Runners-up:

The Bobbins Community Craft Centre / Beach Keepers and Helmsley in Business

Volunteer of the year

Winner:

Jane Lishman
Jane volunteers for a number of organisations: the Harrogate Easier Living Project (Opening Doors and Driving Force services), British Red Cross (Harrogate Community Connect scheme and Enhanced Home from Hospital in West Yorkshire service), Age UK Knaresborough (Home from Hospital scheme), REACT (Home from Hospital scheme) and at the Harrogate Fair Trade Shop in St Peter's Church, Harrogate. From time to time, Jane plays the piano at Oatlands Infant School for special services and also runs a music appreciation group from her home.

Runners-up:

Ruksana Mahmood and John Potter

Young people volunteering award

Winner:

Joseph Banks
Joseph initiated a youth club in his village in Ryedale, consulting young people in the area and working with the village hall committee to get a club up and running. The monthly club is now attended by up to 20 young people, who have taken part in many activities, including fund raising.

Runners-up:

Ripon Museum Young Volunteers and the Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Project

The awards were presented at the North Yorkshire wider partnership conference at The Pavilions, Harrogate, on Friday, 16 October 2015.

In all, there were 114 nominations for the awards from a diverse range of community groups, organisations and individuals from across the county. From these nominations, three nominees were shortlisted in each of the four categories.

The winners and shortlisted nominees were:

Best community group

Winner:

Osmotherley Community Group (Hambleton)

Runners up:

Pink Fluffy Ketchup Covered Flower Ponies (Craven) and Parish of Hemingbrough Historical / Heritage Society (Selby)

Best community project

Winner:

Corrina and Friends Homeless and Vulnerable Project (Harrogate)

Runners up:

The Hovingham Village Market (Ryedale) and Clapham Village Store / Clapham Community Shop Ltd (Craven)

Volunteer of the year

Winner:

John Scoble (Ryedale)

Runners up:

Kevin Axelby (Ryedale) and Ian Robinson (Richmondshire)

Young people volunteering

Winner:

Easingwold School Youthy Peer Mentors (Hambleton)

Runners up:

Lucy Taylor (Craven) and North Yorkshire Railway Junior Volunteers Group (Ryedale & Scarborough)

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