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 2020

The 2020 awards were launched on 16 March 2020 and are now open for nominations.

Details on how to nominate can be found in the nominations section below.

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 group Awarded to groups carrying out ongoing voluntary activity/activities in North Yorkshire.
Volunteer of the year Awarded to individual volunteers over the age of 25 carrying out voluntary activity/activities in North Yorkshire.
Young people volunteering award Awarded to individual volunteers aged 25 or under, or to groups or projects run by volunteers aged 25 or under, carrying out voluntary activity/activities in North Yorkshire.
Making a difference – helping rural communities to flourish Awarded to individual or groups who have through their voluntary activity/activities made a real difference to a rural area / rural areas of North Yorkshire. This award recognises unique, innovative, enterprising or resilient approaches to overcoming rural issues, challenges or disadvantage.

The 2020 awards are now open for nominations. Nominations close on 25 May 2020.

Make your nomination

Nominations for Best Community Group, Volunteer of the Year, Young People Voluteering Award and making a difference to flourishing rural communities are considered by a judging panel which includes the council's Chairman and Deputy Chairman, council staff and representatives from the voluntary sector. Nominees will be shortlisted by the judges based on information provided in the nomination forms. Short listed nominees will then be visited and finalists chosen.

Finalists will be invited to the North Yorkshire Wider Partnership Conference on the morning of Friday 16 October 2020, where the winners will be announced and presented with their awards.

If you have any queries please email

The criteria for the community awards scheme are:

  • Projects or activities that have taken place or been completed from 31 July 2019 to 1 June 2020;
  • 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; and
  • Self-nominations will be accepted.

 Winners and runners up may not be considered for award in the same category in the following three years.

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

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

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 / 661 KB)

Previous award winners and shortlisted nominees

The awards were presented at the North Yorkshire wider partnership conference at The Pavilions in Harrogate on Friday 25 October 2019.

Best community group - The Sporting Memories Foundation

Best community project - The SMILE Project

Volunteer of the Year - Natalie Davis

Young people volunteering award - Amirah Stones

The awards were presented at the North Yorkshire wider partnership conference at The Pavilions in Harrogate on Friday 26 October 2018.

In all, there were 66 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.

Best community project - Great Ayton Discovery Centre


Runners up:

Ripon Museum Trust Refurbishment Team and Parents4Parents.

Volunteer of the year - Tim Kirkup


Runners up:

Lisa O’Brien and Helen Sykes.

Best community group - Exclusively Inclusive


Runners up:

Oatlands Community Group, Sleights Area Men’s Shed (SAMS) and TEMPT.

Young peoples volunteering award - SELFA


Runners up:

Cameron Osburn / Adversity United Football Club and Josh Atkins / Catterick Garrison CLEAN up Crew SELFA.

Highly commended:

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

  • Sessay Community First Responders (community group category)
  • Little white Bus (community group category)
  • Sleights Scout Hut Community Garden (community project category)

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


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


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


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


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)