Revealed: Meet the winners of Northamptonshire Community Foundation Awards 2022

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Each award shone a light on the hard work, commitment and contribution to the community

Last night (December 8), community groups, charities and social enterprises from across the county were celebrated for their hard work at the 2022 Northamptonshire Community Foundation (NCF) Awards.

Everyone gathered for an exciting annual evening in the charity world, which saw the winners of the eight categories announced at Royal & Derngate.

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NCF’s CEO Rachel McGrath said: “Congratulations to all our finalists and winners. It was a wonderful opportunity to pause and take time to celebrate our remarkable communities and say a heartfelt thank you.

All the winners at Thursday night's award ceremonyAll the winners at Thursday night's award ceremony
All the winners at Thursday night's award ceremony

“Our five-year strategy is built around the recovery and revival of our communities, supporting them at this extraordinarily difficult time – and recognising the huge scale of the challenge, and the economic and social impact that will be felt for many years to come.

“As a local community foundation, we cannot solve all the problems, but we can work with brilliant charities, organisations, donors and supporters who are the social glue that holds us all together.”

This was the first time the awards could be held in three years, and each category shone a light on the hard work, commitment and contribution of the voluntary sector to the local community.

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More than 300 guests attended the awards evening, who enjoyed catering from The Good Loaf and performances by the Northampton Musical Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Community Choir.

Meet the 2022 award winners:

Best Newcomer Award, sponsored by SugaRich:

Winner: Northants Litter Wombles

A community action group with a vision to create a litter-free county by 2030. This group, which has over 200 volunteers, supplies litter picking equipment to encourage engagement from local residents to take part in organised group litter picks.

Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Novacraft:

Winner: Sound Foundations Early Intervention & Psychotherapy Hub

A charity that works with parents and babies to provide a range of therapies and workshops. Thanks to a Foundation grant, this group has been able to deliver an eight-week project alongside Pen Green Children’s Centre in Corby – it combined infant massage with music therapy techniques to strengthen positive bonding experiences between parents and carers, and their children.

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Brilliant Group Award, sponsored by University of Northampton:

Winner: Power of the Mind Networks

Power of the Mind Networks works with widowed Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women. They set up a cookery course for BAME survivors of domestic abuse, which ran weekly in two-hour sessions. This project brought together women from a range of backgrounds and countries, and allowed them to form friendships with people who have experienced similar challenges.

The Edge Award, sponsored by Bambino Mio:

Winner: KidsAid Foundation

KidsAid Foundation uses creative therapies and wellbeing to support children who have experienced trauma. During the pandemic, their service was inundated with a surge of unfunded referrals. They applied for a Community Foundation grant to offer more support to children who desperately needed it. The grant funded 70 therapy sessions to 14 children and young people.

Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Wilson Browne Solicitors:

Winner: Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire

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Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire used Community Foundation funding to continue providing community transport for those who have no other means. Over the past 15 years, the group has delivered 16 successful Northamptonshire Community Foundation funded projects – and their recent recruitment drive helped them get another 13 volunteer drivers on board, with 118 new members joining the scheme.

Lady Juliet Townsend Award for Volunteering:

Winner: Vince Doherty, The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation

Vince helps to support a wide range of activities, including preparing food parcels, collecting supplies, helping with distribution, and supporting the social clubs. Vince is constantly looking for ways to help people and will go to immense lengths to ensure vulnerable people are supported.

High Sheriff’s Initiative Fund Award:

Winner: Growing Together Northampton

This group runs a summer programme aimed at children aged between four and 10 who live in the most deprived areas of Northampton East. Their playscheme provided a varied programme of outdoor activities for children who may not have the opportunity to go on holiday – such as forest school, sports activities, splash day and visits to local country parks.

The Inspirational Women’s Annual Award, in partnership with Avon:

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Winner: Teresa McCarthy-Dixon, The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation

Teresa established a foodbank during the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting individuals, schools, adult social services and other agencies across Northamptonshire. She went on to establish The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation as a charity, which provides a range of services to improve the lives of local residents, including social clubs and ‘doorstep buddies’.

Stay tuned for more stories on the winners of the 2022 Northamptonshire Community Foundation Awards over the next week from Chronicle & Echo.