People’s Choice Award

This special extra category was introduced in 2018. All of the shortlisted projects were eligible and the winner was selected by a vote open to the public.

Location: Waterlooville, Hampshire

Hannah’s Holiday Home provide free respite, memory making family breaks to children with cancer and life limiting illnesses.  Since 2006 the fantastic team have fundraised to grow and become successful.  Due to the team’s dedication and work – organising events such as annual balls, golf days, sponsored events, collection and awareness days – they have raised awareness and flourished. 

The Holiday Home Appeal is inspired by Hannah – who, when staying in hospital as a small child seriously ill with cancer, noticed how stressed and worried all the parents looked.  Brothers and sisters were coming in to visit their siblings and all looked sad and unhappy.  Hannah knew this too well as she really missed her brother Adam when she was spending long periods of time in hospital.  Hannah wanted to help all the families and fundraised to buy DVDs for families to watch together in the family room.   Hannah wanted to fundraise to give them holidays too so they could all have fun together again away from hospital and gruelling appointments.  Sadly, Hannah passed away peacefully at home without this dream being fulfilled. 

To continue Hannah’s passion and drive – family and friends decided to fundraise and in 2006 a small luxury caravan was purchased and in that year helped 12 families. Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal was born.

Hannahs’ Holiday Home Appeal has since flourished and now owns 2 luxurious lodges as well as a luxurious caravan and supports over 120 families every year.

Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal has been running for 11 years now and have supported over 960 families.  Seriously ill children and their entire family enjoy a wonderful break in their luxurious homes based on wonderfully equipped parks with amazing surroundings and environments.  Families can make some wonderful memories out of hospital and medical environments, whilst local hospitals are a short distance away allowing peace of mind to the whole family as the majority of the children are still receiving chemotherapy and other gruelling medication.

Find out more: www.hannahsappeal.org

Waterlooville, Hampshire

Community Group of the Year

This award was kindly sponsored by Marks and Spencer.

Location: Barrow-in-Furness

Love Barrow Families is a needs-led, grassroots organisation, co-designed by local families and supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our community ranging from teenage mums and their babies to people at risk of homelessness, ex-offenders, substance misusers, people having experienced domestic abuse and the long term unemployed. 

The work is both formal and informal. It may be planned, working towards agreed and measured outcomes or may be a quick response to someone in crisis.  The group’s ‘open door policy’ creates opportunities for people to come into an environment where they can socialise with other people or find a quiet, safe space to be alone.  Everything happens under one roof; an alternative service delivery model that people choose to access.

Formal work involves therapeutic assessment and an agreed plan of support.  Individuals may be offered one-to-one sessions, counselling, play therapy, practical help with a wide range of needs including benefits advice, Food Bank vouchers, a hot meal, help with GCSE revision, help to write a CV, help to access other specialist services etc.  The Love Barrow Families Growing Together project on the group’s allotment, Local Residents Meetings, family lunches and holiday activities provide structured group activities where everyone’s needs are met through connecting with others with a common purpose.    

Find out more:  www.lovebarrowfamilies.co.uk

Location: St Helens, Merseyside

Thatto Heath Crusaders is an amateur rugby league club situated in St Helens.  Originally founded in 1981 the club has gone from strength to strength both on and off the field since being founded, having a large social and intergenerational impact within a local community characterised by low employment and poverty.  

The club and its volunteers offer a wide range of activities to tackle these issues including all age Rugby, Pensioners Luncheon Club, Charity Family Fun Days job clubs, youth training programmes.  It has also set up an ‘aspire programme’ – a scholarship for young players who miss out approaches from professional clubs to raise their aspirations through a variety of activities and prepare them for the world of work. 

Thatto Heath Crusaders has also been involved in identifying community-led solutions to longstanding local issues, including a recent project aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and a rise in crime in the local community. The club did this by successfully applying for government funding to deliver a 12-month project to use Rugby as an alternative while also providing an education programme looking at personal and social development leading to a reduction in crime in Thatto Heath by over 50%.   

Visually it has transformed a once run down area known more for its Anti-Social behaviour into a vibrant community resource. This resource includes a Club House, changing facilities, 2 Ruby pitches, 1 training pitch, indoor training barn and children’s play area. Environmentally this has enhanced the area and provides a popular venue for the local community, which 10 years ago was a waste land.

Find out more:  www.thattoheathcrusaders.org

Location: Liverpool

The L6 Community Centre opened in 2005 to support a community portraying high levels of deprivation and social need and aims to ensure families living in poverty or situations of deprivation are supported and recognise factors that can impact upon parenting.

Community workers and volunteers provide financial support, advice services, lunch clubs, youth clubs, a foodbank, tea dances, short breaks away for the elderly and children and work closely with local schools, local churches and community police who refer disadvantaged children to us on a daily basis, they identify children in need through networking with other agencies.

Over the last six months the L6 Centre has been very busy fundraising and working with local partners to open a laundry. Local residents came together to raise over £5,000 to purchase the goods for this vital project, benefiting over 100 families a week who use the laundry free of charge.

Find out more: www.l6centre.com

Community Leader of the Year

Location: Bassingstoke, Hampshire

At the age of 35, married with a two-year old son, David’s life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with meningitis.  Told by doctors his sight would never return and he may never walk again, he defied expectations through sheer determination and learned to walk again and live in complete darkness.

What David found through this illness was strength to carry on but also an inner desire to help others.  He decided that having gained so much information about computers, training and Guide Dogs that would set up a local organisation in Basingstoke which would help others like himself through this life changing process.

Despite having no funds and being unable to work, David set up a local group and was determined to pass on what he had discovered by setting up a local network where people could actually meet others like themselves.

He found temporary accommodation and through hard work and raising awareness the members started to arrive.  It soon became necessary to find larger premises as the group grew both in numbers and strength. David set up links with business, other charities and those involved with helping the blind and partially sighted. The new group Helping Hands for the Blind was formed.  They offered coffee mornings, events, outings, tackling transport problems with their own mini bus.  The group put on training session and invited experts who provided support and advice.

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Tony is an Armed Forces Veteran, who has invested his efforts and working life in advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals categorised as having the most complex and chaotic lifestyles. He has had continued success in engaging ‘hard to reach’ groups and positively influencing the quality of their lives though access to mainstream services. Many previously, marginalised individuals have gone on to take up employment positions acting as change activists supporting others less fortunate than themselves. Many of his initiatives have been described as ‘cutting edge’ and ‘best practice’. 

Tony recognised that Veterans were a forgotten population and community with little direction or support and are often disenfranchised with society. Tony spent time asking veterans what would help them using drop ins to gather the information creating an organic, person centred, needs-led approach.  The veterans Tony worked with have all suffered trauma in one way or another, with their past and recent experiences taking their toll when returning to civilian life. Social isolation, loneliness, physical illness coupled with psychological distress results in veterans self-medicating with alcohol and drug misuse.

Tony started addressing these difficulties by becoming an inspirational advocate.  Tony’s skills shine through during times of need by acknowledging the impact of current events and emotional landscape. The better and more supported veterans feel, the better they can focus on the task at hand, post traumatic growth. Tony has devised a unique service that focuses on the ability to draw upon the strengths that are often hidden within veterans. Tony supports veterans to explore their life, leading to being, belonging and becoming.  Tony has employed several veterans within the charity with sustained employment.  Tony often gets thanks for ‘saving my life’. Tony has a unique ability in being able to get veterans to open up and trust him, trust often being a barrier to engagement.

Location: Wetherby, Leeds

Sandringham Park was plagued by anti-social behaviour, resulting in families avoiding the area. There was evidence of drug taking and alcohol use and items such as asbestos pipes and aerosol cans littering the park. Graffiti covered the children’s play area and dog waste was left in the field area

Friends of Sandringham Park were formed in December 2010 and Kazia became the group’s Chairperson. She organised skips and volunteers to clean up the park and started working with the residents and the local youth. Kazia felt that organising an event in the park for everyone would help to inspire a greater sense of community cohesion and as the group went from strength to strength, antisocial behaviour slowly started to reduce. The group has subsequently held 12 events and gained 6 Green Flag Awards, a Silver and Silver Gilt in the Yorkshire in Bloom awards.

Kazia has enabled her community to be strong again and have a real pride in its town. By helping residents to take back their park, she has helped to create a much needed cohesive community identity. Kazia is much respected in Wetherby and the surrounding area for what she has achieved in leading Friends of Sandringham to reduce anti-social behaviour and bring her community together.

Young Community Leader of the Year

This award was kindly sponsored by Firmdale Hotels.

Location: Colindale, London

Temi is a truly remarkable young person. Driven by the tragic death of her close friend, she set about starting a truly youth led initiative where young people affected by serious violence can get support and be at the forefront of change in their local communities. 

Temi created ‘The 4Front Project’ a youth-led social enterprise on a mission to empower young people and  find solutions to serious youth violence. She has designed many intervention programmes that seek to improve the mental health and well being of young people.  At just 23-years-old, she has already received a Cosmopolitan magazine ‘Ultimate Women Award’ and the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, in addition to being named IARS Peacemeaker of the Year.  She achieved all of this while studying full-time for a law degree at the London School of Economics (LSE). She is passionate about utilising peer legal education as a   mechanism for catalysing change.

The 4Front project aims to empower young people and communities to improve their lives while understanding and reducing serious youth violence and the systemic conditions that cause it. Through their work, they hope to reduce serious youth violence by raising awareness of its causes and possible solutions. The 4Front project also aims to provide a platform for authentic voices to be heard and empower people to take control of their lives and positively impact their communities.

 

Location: Brixton, London

Liam has a disability which effects his vision and is registered blind. However, Liam is an inspiration to the estate as Chair of the Blenheim Gardens Resident Management Organisation (RMO) youth forum which meets each month to direct services for young people living on and surrounding the Blenheim Gardens Estate.  One example of this was the introduction of a ‘Xbox challenge evening’ so that young residents can compete against each other in a secure environment. 

Liam introduced a traditional games night as a means of a social event for his peers. He is part of the estate football team and when called upon is only too happy to help out. He is excellent at marketing what is being provided on the estate and is frequently seen door knocking to let people know what is happening on the estate and encouraging them to get involved.

Liam’s sister is also disabled and recognising there was a gap in the estate for children aged between 5 – 10 years, helped to introduce a Saturday play scheme. The play scheme has been a success and attracts 15-20 children each week.  Liam also volunteers to help out the qualified play leaders and shops for residents with mobility issues when the weather prevents them from doing so themselves.  

Location: St Andrews, Scotland 

Charlotte founded, led, publicised and taught at UH Community Garden over four years. The garden provides the opportunity for volunteers learn the principles of gardening, soil science and care for food crops. Through careful leadership and passionate conviction, Charlotte created an open and informal environment in which volunteers produce their own food, grow in confidence and recognise the inherent aesthetic and social value of the garden. This season, the garden produced over 34,950g of food with 356 volunteer hours from students, staff, local school children and residents.

Charlotte collaborated with Student Minds, St Andrews and other therapeutic gardening groups. She also held events and skill share sessions and created a green space into which volunteers can come and escape the stresses of their lives. For some, this has led to employment or apprenticeships, and for others, the garden provides therapeutic respite. Most have gone on to become active environmentalists and vocal about sustainable food issues.

Charlotte collaborated with external organisations such as Transition, St Andrews, St Andrews Botanic Garden and local caterers to host events, share resources and create resilience. She also collaborated with academics researching grassroots community projects, urban farming, and sustainable development. The University has pledged to include community gardens in plans for all upcoming residence developments and Charlotte’s project has inspired several other community gardens in the town: an endorsement of the value of the project to the wellbeing of the community.

Find out more:  www.weedsandwellies.tumblr.com

Best Community Group Contribution to Community Cohesion

This award was kindly sponsored by the John Lewis Partnership.

Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire

The CDA Herts community garden in St Albans has been developed for communities to have their own garden areas to provide a safe space to enjoy working and support of each other.  It also welcomes other organisations to provide advice and support to garden users and use the garden to support other charities.

The group have been selected as a community partner for the National Citizens Service (NCS); with the community garden being selected as one of the community projects during the social phase of the program. NCS teams get involved in a number of tasks from general garden maintenance, painting, planting and pond maintenance, providing a great experience for students and great benefits for the garden groups.

The diverse communities work together, share information and support each other – not only in the world of gardening but in other areas of life. 

Find out more: www.cdaherts.org.uk 

Location: Southampton

Awaaz FM started in 2008 and has worked to engage the local community in heritage, arts, culture and theatre projects through activities, workshops and community events.

The organisation has strong understanding of the issues faced by the public, private and voluntary sectors at grassroots level.  They have an understanding of the community’s needs; its languages, dialects, ethnic make-up, diversity, and challenges and names arts, heritage, culture and theatre as four things that will motivate a community who may otherwise be unresponsive.

The station provides theatre leadership including coaching, presentation training, communication and inspiration; bringing the theatre to life using the power of performing arts to create confidence, ignite passion, release insight and shift understanding to bring about a culture change.

Find out more:  www.awaazfm.co.uk

 

Location: Glasgow

Grow 73 is a community gardening group who have recently been awarded charitable status for their work to bring the different generations together through shared gardening activities, environmental improvements and events.

Grow 73 secured funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help to create a sculpture trail incorporating themes of art, heritage and environment ‘the Ruglen Ropewalk’ – a project entirely led by Grow 73 volunteers and involving local people from two care homes, a library heritage group, seven primary schools, Grow 73 volunteers and the Community Payback Team. 

The project  brought together care home residents and local schoolchildren during the story gathering sessions with storyteller, Amanda Edmiston; and Grow 73 volunteers and the community payback team to undertake preparatory works in the park e.g. clearing undergrowth and creation of pathways, prior to the installation of the sculptures by sculptor, Rob Mulholland.  Grow 73 volunteers also worked with an illustrator to create a map to accompany the trail which highlights stories of Rutherglen’s heritage and suggests activities which can be based around the sculptures. 

The Ruglen Ropewalk sculpture trail and accompanying map has created a fun and educational highlight in a much loved local park for all to enjoy.   

Grow 73 are now working with the local council to take on 3 disused bowling greens in Overtoun Park to create a large community garden.

Find out more: www.grow73naturetrail.wordpress.com and www.grow73.org.  

Best Community Group Contribution to Health and Wellbeing

This award was kindly sponspored by Avison Young.

Location: Southampton

Mayfield Nurseries is a charitable social enterprise supporting people with mental health problems and dementia through horticultural therapy, peer support, work experience and training.  The group use horticulture as a platform for change and improvement, offering people the chance to build their resilience and to improve their confidence and wellbeing in order to lead a more active role in the community.

The ethos of the charity comes from personal experience of staff having their own mental health problems.  Supporting the whole person, means you can encourage and enable them; which is the thinking behind the charity.  Their ambition that no one in the community needs to face a mental health problem alone has driven their ambition to increase the range and accessibility of services  including peer support, GP referral schemes and dementia support.

Many of the people supported have moved through their services to become peer mentors, volunteers and ultimately moving on to paid employment; giving people the support and encouragement that they were afforded.  Through their work, the group have improved beneficiary’s wellbeing by an average of 80%, improved their confidence and self-esteem by 96%, and have reduced the isolation people feel by 100%.

Find out more: https://youtu.be/H0P08gEl3Tk

Location: Brighton

Livestock is a charity that works within the community running arts groups, events and performances to support, connect, educate and entertain.  The charity’s primary project is Mothers Uncovered, which helps participants reconnect with the women they’ve always been and provides a support service through workshops and arts projects, giving participants the chance to talk honestly about their feelings and experiences, without fear of judgement.

Post Natal Depression affects between 70,000 – 100,000 women and their babies each year.  At least 20% of all new mothers are likely to suffer depression, and for between a third and a half of these it will be severe.  Many women attending the groups do not necessarily wish to identify themselves as depressed; however, they often feel lonely, isolated and are struggling to cope with the demands of motherhood.  Mothers attending Mothers Uncovered make contact with women they would not normally meet – creating an understanding of others’ lives, building a strong community, and forming strong peer support networks for themselves.  

While the work of Mothers Uncovered is centred in the Brighton area, the impact is felt far beyond that. Because the project has been running for ten years, past participants have moved to other areas and several have set up their own support groups, inspired by the groups they have attended.  Additionally, the company has just brought out a book, ‘The Secret Life of Mothers’ – a compilation of over 50 mothers’ first-hand stories and experiences taken from writings and interviews with group members, with foreword by Caroline Lucas, MP

Find out more:  www.mothersuncovered.com

 

Location: Waterlooville, Hampshire

Hannah’s Holiday Home provide free respite, memory making family breaks to children with cancer and life limiting illnesses.  Since 2006 the fantastic team have fundraised to grow and become successful.  Due to the team’s dedication and work – organising events such as annual balls, golf days, sponsored events, collection and awareness days – they have raised awareness and flourished. 

The Holiday Home Appeal is inspired by Hannah – who, when staying in hospital as a small child seriously ill with cancer, noticed how stressed and worried all the parents looked.  Brothers and sisters were coming in to visit their siblings and all looked sad and unhappy.  Hannah knew this too well as she really missed her brother Adam when she was spending long periods of time in hospital.  Hannah wanted to help all the families and fundraised to buy DVDs for families to watch together in the family room.   Hannah wanted to fundraise to give them holidays too so they could all have fun together again away from hospital and gruelling appointments.  Sadly, Hannah passed away peacefully at home without this dream being fulfilled. 

To continue Hannah’s passion and drive – family and friends decided to fundraise and in 2006 a small luxury caravan was purchased and in that year helped 12 families. Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal was born.

Hannahs’ Holiday Home Appeal has since flourished and now owns 2 luxurious lodges as well as a luxurious caravan and supports over 120 families every year.

Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal has been running for 11 years now and have supported over 960 families.  Seriously ill children and their entire family enjoy a wonderful break in their luxurious homes based on wonderfully equipped parks with amazing surroundings and environments.  Families can make some wonderful memories out of hospital and medical environments, whilst local hospitals are a short distance away allowing peace of mind to the whole family as the majority of the children are still receiving chemotherapy and other gruelling medication.

Find out more: www.hannahsappeal.org

 

Best Community Group Contribution to Environmental Sustainability

This award was kindly sponsored by Peel Land and Property Group.

Location: Plymouth

Environment Plymouth (EP) are a strategic community network who have only been going for a year but have achieved a great deal in that time.  EP coordinate a network of 80 local groups and 300 individual members in Plymouth representing ‘green and sustainability’ issues.  Over the past 12 months EP has been led by a Steering Group of five dedicated and tenacious volunteers who, working with the network’s co-ordinator, organise monthly meetings on various topics including air quality, Fairtrade, plastics and trees and green spaces.

Thanks to their work Plymouth’s Waterfront achieved Surfers Against Sewage ‘Plastic Free Community Status’ in June 2018 – the first city in the UK to achieve this.  The project was inspired by a network meeting held by Environment Plymouth in December 2017 on marine plastic; which happened to be day after the last in the series of Blue Planet II.  By January, they had secured  funding from South West Water to take a plastic free coastline initiative forward and they had contacted Surfers against Sewage to register to use their Plastic Free framework, a challenge that required extensive work in the local community.

EP have worked tirelessly, contacting businesses, organisations and individuals on a campaign that has since recruited nearly 80 Business Pioneers and over 60 Community Ambassadors.  Members of both groups have all committed to removing three plastic items of single use plastic from everyday use and identify an action to reduce plastic use in the future, leading to Plymouth’s achievement of securing ‘Plastic Free Status’ for the Waterfront in just 5 months. 

Video and information: www.plymouth.gov.uk/environmentandpollution/plastics

Location: Lake District, Cumbria

Fix the Fells (FtF) Volunteer Lengthsmen are a group of 120 trained volunteers who support full-time National Trust upland path teams to undertake routine path maintenance and repairs to protect the spectacular Lakeland fells from erosion and damage.

The core work of the volunteers involves ‘drain runs’ – maintenance patrols which ensure paths are kept clear and their water drainage is working effectively.  Last year, volunteers spent 2237 days in the fells, looking after the mountain paths – a record number of volunteer days for the Fix the Fells volunteer scheme since it began 10 years ago.  A well maintained path is far less likely to deteriorate to the point where it will need larger works, so in the long run these patrols save an enormous amount of work.

The drain run process is organised and managed by the volunteers themselves who have developed and organised their efforts into an exemplar scheme which is now being copied across the country. 

Find out more:  www.fixthefells.co.uk

Location: Felixstowe

Founded in February 2018, Plastic Free Felixstowe have quickly grown their membership to over 1000 members, have gained charity (CIC) status, gained financial support from the local councils and forged close links with the Port of Felixstowe.

The group’s objective is to reduce the use of plastics in and around the town in response to the damage it causes to oceans and marine life through events, education and business engagement. 

Plastic Free Felixstowe are encouraging local shops and supermarkets to conduct business differently, engaging with local primary school children in school assemblies to raise awareness of the catastrophe which is imminent unless we change attitudes towards plastic consumption.  The group also organised a fun awareness day aimed at children, local councillors and press.

Find out more:  www.plastic-free-felixstowe.co.uk

Best Community Group Contribution to Education or Employment

This award was kindly sponsored by Buzzacott.

Location: Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire

Gloverspiece Minifarm is an established Community Care Farm that rescues and rehabilitates animals as therapy for adults with learning difficulties.  In September 2017, the Minifarm opened a school to respond to local needs for primary special education needs.

The minifarm and school are run on the ethos that nature, animals and gardening are at the heart of a happy life and have immense power to heal, to nurture and to unlock potential. Everybody gets time on the farm, which surrounds the classroom and is the centre of everything.  A community garden was also created and now doubles as a playground garden to enable sensory and food growing activities, as well as bug hunts and conservation.

Many of the staff in the school and on the farm started as volunteers or learners themselves.  The school is committed to enabling and empowering our learners and staff to achieve their goals, with a full programme of support and continuous professional development.  The school’s founder, Lynne Duffy, volunteers as CEO and head teacher – recently winning ‘Head Teacher of The Year’ in the Worcestershire Education Awards, and Volunteer of the Year in the Wonderful Worcestershire Awards. 

Find out more:  www.gloverspieceminifarm.co.uk

Location: Abingdon

TrinityLearning began as an outreach of one church but has grown to a team of around 70 volunteers from 12 churches and eight denominations.  The team regularly liaise with other statutory and voluntary agencies in the area to ensure as many needs as possible are met and now offer advice to other community organisations across the country, from a group wanting to offer cooking sessions in primary schools to basic mental health awareness training.

Mental health is an increasing problem for society, yet full school curriculums and heavily assessed learning leave little opportunity for staff and students to learn coping skills. TrinityLearning has been helping school communities in Abingdon to improve their quality of life since 2009.  In that time, they have worked with 22 primary schools, three secondaries and the local Special School, offering a combination of practical help for busy staff and educational interventions to help student confidence and emotional literacy.

TrinityLearning’s work helps far more than school staff and pupils. Parents remark on the impact we have had on their family-life, while volunteers learn stilling techniques alongside the children. Many of our volunteers are elderly and are delighted to find they are still able to help, while community groups are delighted to become the subject of our community newsletters. Recently we have been working to link school classes with groups for the elderly, such that they share in learning experiences on a regular basis, to the benefit of all involved.

Find out more: www.trinitylearning.org.uk

Location: Bridgend, Wales

The ROOTS project began in September 2017, to support young adult carers (YACs) to stay engaged with or re-enter education or employment.  The project tailors their approach to the client’s needs and works alongside education and employment professionals to ensure they are able to identify and support young adult carers at the earliest opportunity.

Since the beginning of the project in September 2017 the ROOTs Project have worked with all nine comprehensive schools in Bridgend along with 12 primary schools, supporting young carers and schools, educating children, young people and staff about the role of a young carer and what additional support is available to them. 

The project also provides training for staff and support schools to identify young carers champions and runs a young adult carers monthly group to give young adult carers the life skills they need to succeed.  The ROOTS Project also worked with 10 young carers aged 9 – 23 to write a book that can be used in primary schools to help young children. The book, ‘The Bear Who Struggled to Care’ was launched in May 2018 and has so far sold 111 copies in Wales, England, Scotland and Germany. 

Find out more:  www.bridgendcarers.co.uk

 

Best Community Project on a Social Housing Estate

This award was kindly sponsored by B&Q.

Location: Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire

In 2015, Ongo Communities inherited The Viking Centre, which had a very poor reputation for being an area rife with crime and anti-social behaviour.

With a little support and a lot of determination, a small group of staff and the local community have challenged criminal behaviour through a Neighbourhood Watch, raised funds for CCTV coverage and worked with the Police to increase Police patrols.  As a result, local people no longer tolerate dangerous criminal behaviour and are much more likely to report it.

The Viking Centre project has transformed the community, which is reflected in the proven social return on investment. For every £1 spent on the project, £14.19 is reinvested into the local community.

Location: Dundee

Kirkton estate, Dundee, where The Attic Project is based is in the 5% most deprived for the whole country.  

The Attic project moved to the estate six years ago and has since developed from a purely child and youth service to a more comprehensive youth, family and community support for the estate. 

Providing free services including community lunches, creative workshops, community gardening, home visit befriending schemes, weekly sessions in welfare rights, adult literacy and opportunities for training and volunteering, the Attic works closely in partnership with the community, the City Council, and others to identify and tackle community need. 

Find out more:  www.theattic.btck.co.uk

Location: Oxford

Dovecote Children & Families project is a community led, parent managed scheme delivering various services to support the development and wellbeing of children, children with disabilities and families experiencing complex issues, poverty and social exclusion. We work to empower and support local families to develop and co-deliver services meeting crucial community needs.

The project offers a friendly, welcoming focus point in which local residents can access support, training opportunities, employment, volunteering opportunities, a friendly face just to chat to, access to resources such as internet, use of a computer, admin support and much more. Project breaks down barriers reducing access and isolation by offering experiences and opportunities that build and enhance their confidence, knowledge and aspirations. Children and young people are encouraged and supported to play a lead role in the planning of activities, events and to make suggestions about club policies and procedures. The Dovecote Children & Families project helps build, encourage and develop self-esteem and life skills in a community of low expectations and achievements.

Twelve local volunteers are involved in the design and delivery of its services, with three young people acting as Trustees.

Find out more:  www.dovecoteproject.com 

 

 

Best Community Project in Partnership with Business

This award was kindly sponsored by Givewith.

Location: Wolverton, Milton Keynes

Bridgman & Bridgman are a commercial landscape and living roof services provider based in Wolverton, Milton Keynes.  The company lead on the Don’t Rubbish Wolverton campaign, which engaged over 20 resident volunteers during the first clean-up back in 2013, as well as the local council and refuse contractors to help clean up the streets.  In one weekend over six tonnes of waste were removed.  Since then, they have established a network of Volunteer Street Monitors, providing them with necessary equipment to help stop fly tipping and keep the streets cleaner and safer. 

In 2017, the company sponsored and organised a week-long illumination event within the local Secret Garden, which was free to the public. The event engaged a world-renowned light artist to illuminate the woodland, formal gardens, canal boats and artwork, attracting over 6,400 visitors and raising over £1,890 for the Garden.

Director Chris Bridgman also secured support and funding from environmental charity Hubbub to introduce the first ever ‘Community Fridge’ in Milton Keynes, which resulted in 11 tonnes of food being diverted from landfill. Unlike a food bank, the Fridge is available to everyone. In the same year, they also pledged to make a big difference in Wolverton, home of the Directors and the company’s HQ, for MK50 – 50 years of Milton Keynes.  In celebration, the company funded colourful MK50 flags for the shopfronts and bunting. To enhance its visual appeal, the town has entered the RHS Britain in Bloom competition for 11 years, only to receive its highest ever recognition – a silver-gilt.  Last year the company put in their own team, and resources valued at over £6,000, to win the town its first ever GOLD award.

Find out more:

Location: Penryn, Cornwall

Cultivate Cornwall CIC are helping hundreds of people in severe deprivation by providing opportunities that bring the community together, overcoming social isolation, building confidence and growing skills all using industry surplus textiles.

The company have recently set up a project that combines business and the community and has helped provide a solution to the waste problem faced by business. The project called TeX – ‘Textiles with a Difference’ since it started at the beginning of the year has already helped divert over 4 tonnes of industry surplus textiles from landfill, which is used in a number of ways: including workshops where new skills are shared across generations, a makerspace; where people can come together be sociable, creative, make things, learn and have fun as well as supporting the circular economy by re-purposing the waste into new and innovative products.

Partnering with Seasalt, TeX is addressing the gaps in education that have come about since the removal of Textiles from the core curriculum.  Other partnerships include working with BJ Sherriff to create packaging out of their waste materials and eliminating their use of single use plastic while supporting the circular economy and providing a sustainable use for their waste within the circular economy.

Find out more:  www.cultivatecornwall.com

Location: Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

In March 2017 EE committed to working closely with Cwm Wanderers AFC to establish a football Academy and social club for children with Autism.  From that point EE has provided everything that the academy would need to launch and establish itself as an essential community project which has dramatically changed the lives of all associated with it from the Swansea valley.

From the outset EE has listened to and fully understood the daily challenges of children on the ASD spectrum and the impact on their families lives. In setting up the academy in partnership with Cwm Wanderers AFC, the support from EE has been invaluable and has forged a strong bond between the local community and approximately 900 people who work at EE Merthyr who voted for the Academy to become adopted as the site charity for 2018. 

Every member of the EE community has either volunteered their time on a weekly basis, their expertise in helping us to develop an APP to support the football training and general health and wellbeing of the children, or have been involved in fundraising activities which are taking place each week across the entire site, which has made a hugely significant difference and enabled the academy to establish itself as the single most important community project within the area.  An entire community has been galvanised in this venture and each week the number of active volunteers grow.

 

Best Community Garden or Green Space

This award was kindly sponsored by Tesco.

Location: Sudbury, Suffolk

Brickmaker’s Wood (BMW) is a 3.5-acre urban community woodland in the centre of Ipswich, Suffolk.  Until 2015 it was unmanaged, being used for illicit actives with decades’ worth of drug related paraphernalia and fly tipped rubbish. Waste has been removed and long-term regeneration is underway.

Over 1000 volunteers spent just over 6000 hours helping to transform BMW into a tranquil, natural community green space.  They have helped install a large wildlife pond, outdoor cooking and seating areas, disabled persons’ compostable toilet with solar powered lighting, a multitude of wildlife habitats and a grassed amphitheatre area for drama therapy sessions. Volunteers are made up of a mixture of groups from the local community.  Some young adult volunteers and students are directly involved in gang culture or know people who are.

The Eden Rose Coppice Trust have also worked with nearly 300 young adults with mental health challenges, behavioural problems and those that are disengaged with society, teaching them woodwork, conservation, horticulture, forestry and life skills, whilst they help us to restore and maintain the community woodland.  The sessions have imparted feeling of self-worth, boosted their confidence, and strengthened their sense of pride and belonging, – improving life outcomes. 

Find out more:  www.brickmakerswood.com

 

 

Location: Prestwich, Greater Manchester

The Fed has been providing social care support since 1867, delivering social care services including: supported housing, mental health support, carers’ breaks, community cafe, groups for children with special needs, social work, residential, nursing and day care, including end of life care.

Heathlands Village, The Fed’s residential and nursing care home, provides care to 160 people.  Typically, 75% of residents have dementia; a condition which can affect functioning, behaviour, independence and, ultimately, quality of life.  In 2017 The Fed created a large seaside themed garden.  Previously the outside space had hardly been used as it was not secure or fit for purpose. There was nowhere for families to spend time when they came to visit. 

The group transformed this neglected space into a fantastic dementia friendly garden. The garden is safe, secure and beautiful, with an inspired design incorporating a boat, pier and beach-huts – evoking memories of summer holidays; enhanced by ‘rock’ speakers, hidden amongst beach objects, which play a soundscape of seaside sounds, crashing waves and children’s laughter.

The garden can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is open to the community.  The number of visitors to Heathlands Village has increased from 750 per week to 1,000. Children have a place to play when visiting relatives, providing them with fun and enjoyment. 

 

Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire

The Oasis Community Centre & Gardens opened seven years ago with the aim of becoming the hub of community life in an area which had lost its identity as a result of a lack of facilities on the estate and surrounding area.

The Oasis is now a thriving community hub with projects for all ages, needs and interests with several community enterprises and major projects attracting attention and praise in lots of ways.

The Oasis Community Centre now has over 30 different projects for people of all ages, interests and needs from babies through to elderly, over 10 major events for the community each year, established three Community Enterprises, adult Educational courses, Oasis ‘Night of Honour’ event celebrating local unsung heroes and the ‘Tomorrow People’ awards for Youth volunteers.

The Oasis continues to add many new additional projects, activities, events and enterprises to the project, which is providing the estate with so many new things, increasing community stability, reducing isolation, creating opportunities for all restoring community pride.  It has also enabled many other organisations to work in the heart of the community by using the centre for their work. 

The Oasis Community Gardens have won several awards and now have more than 30 different areas of interest and work bringing an Oasis of nature and green space into the heart of a grey community. The gardens are packed with beautiful trees, plants, seasonal flowers and features providing a place for people to come together and enjoy, learn about gardening and nature conservation and create memories.  It has truly become and OASIS of life in every way.