Winners have been announced at the Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Annual Awards evening, which was hosted, for the first time, at the Royal & Derngate.
Twenty-five groups from across Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Daventry were up for an award last night, across six categories including, Best Newcomer, Trailblazer, Brilliant Group, Edge Award, Lifetime Achievement, and the High Sheriff Initiative.
The nominations highlighted the outstanding commitment, passion and energy given by the volunteers and their value to the community groups they support.
Victoria Miles DL, chief executive of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “Our judges have had the most unenviable task of choosing tonight’s winners, the nominees were so very strong and impressive, it really is an massive undertaking, but they tell me that it is also hugely enjoyable, educational and heart-warming to hear about the wonderful work that people do to make things happen across our county.”
In memory of late Lady Juliet Townsend, former patron of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, Lady Juliet’s eldest daughter, Eleanor Bland presented a special award for volunteering.
The winner of this award, Arthur Daly, has been a volunteer at Kings Heath Boxing Club for more than 30 years. Anjona Roy and Mustafa El-Bayati were highly commended for the award for their valued work within the community.
The foundation announced the winners of its Capture your Community photography competition, the foundation asked the people of Northamptonshire to enter a photograph that they believe represents their community in Northamptonshire.
With a fantastic response and more than 100 entries the winner of the Judges’ Choice Award was Matthew Toresen with his photo of the Northampton Woolly Crew.
The winner of the People’s Choice Award was also revealed. This award was open to the public on Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Facebook page to choose their People’s Choice Winner out of a selection of photographic entries from the competition.
Emma Brennan’s photograph was crowned the People’s Choice Winner with her photo receiving a total of 185 likes.
Last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club, opened the ceremony with their Dhol Drumming performance.
Winners took to the stage, including a group that teaches the art of Breakdance in schools, a counselling service for young people, a group that helps the elderly and vulnerable stay safe within their own homes, a women’s development group promoting peace, respect and understanding between different faiths and a football community group delivering sports and education programmes to local communities.
During a short interlude from the awards, John Griff presented a Q&A session with the county’s emerging sports stars, who have all been supported through the Northamptonshire Champions Fund. The talented Gretton Silver Band, who received funding from the foundation earlier this year, brought the evening to a close.
Judges included Martin Sutherland of Royal and Derngate, Dr Debra Mattock of University of Northampton, Pindy Chahal of Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club, Paul Parsons, Trustee of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, David Summers, of Johnston Press Home Counties, Paul Mills, of Screen Northants and Hassan Shah of SP Law.