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This is what a team of real superheroes looks like

The stars in Northampton’s voluntary sector have been highlighted at the Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards.

As well as recognising the unselfish contributions of different people and organisations, the awards also cast a light on the wide variety of projects supporting the community, from the world famous conker championships to independent transport schemes.

Northamptonshire Community Foundation released the following statement:

A volunteer led transport scheme, conker championship and a singing group that helps people with lung diseases to breathe more easily – just a few of the winners at this year’s Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards.

The awards, which took place at the Royal & Derngate on Tuesday, 3oth October, has again thrown a spotlight on the incredible work that committed volunteers and community groups do across the county.

Victoria Miles, Chief Executive at the Foundation, said: “Without these groups and the volunteers that run them Northamptonshire would be a very different place. These awards enable us to celebrate, to say thank you and to also recognise the generosity of our donors – families, businesses and organisations that are determined to give back locally into the communities in which they live and work.”

Group Winners

Meet our 2018 award winners:

Best Newcomer Award Ashton Conker Club: This is an annual competition that puts Northamptonshire on the world map. Despite the poor weather this year the Ashton Conker Club’s championships pulled in the crowds, typically attracting more than 3,000 spectators to Northamptonshire ever year. The event, supported by more than 200 volunteers, raises funds for good causes county-wide, with the Foundation’s grant helping to fund the 2017 event.

Finalists: Rushton Parish Council’s ‘The Triangle’, Crick Scarecrow Festival, Montagu Moment’s at St Edmund’s Church

Trailblazer Award – Groundwork Northamptonshire’s The Green Patch: Green fingered staff at this Kettering group support and bring together people of all ages with mental health issues, physical and learning disabilities. This group, founded 12 years ago, runs gardening groups, health walks, environmental art therapy and a disabled children’s short breaks service.

Finalists: Buddies of Becket’s, Bellinge Community House, Royal & Derngate, HD Media CIC 

The Brilliant Group Award – Singing 4 Breathing: This singing group in Northamptonshire helps people with lung diseases breathe more easily, thanks to the natural lung exercise singing can bring. Funding from the Foundation was used to expand Singing 4 Breathing from one class in Northampton to several throughout the county – and members all say they can breathe more easily.

Finalists: Deafconnect, Mounts Mums Minis Group, Krush Klub, from IDID Adventure

The Edge Award – Re:store Northampton: This year the Foundation funded ‘Nest’, a new project from Re:store Northampton, which is for vulnerable families with babies and children up to the age of five. The project provides a community drop-in for pre-school families. There is a focus on positive play and at the same time there is specialist health provision and advice and access to free healthy meals and other basic necessities.

Finalists: Brookside Hall, Live at Home Northampton, Citizens Advice, Corby and Kettering 

Lifetime Achievement Award – Daventry Area Community Transport (DACT): A simple but also such an important and essential concept – a volunteer led transport scheme which enables older people and people with disabilities or a health condition to get out of their homes and directly to where they need to go – whether this be to a friend’s, the doctors, the shops or an activity. This group was set up in 1993 and has since been helping people in Daventry District and bordering areas.

Finalists: Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, Northamptonshire Black History, Growing Together Northampton.

High Sheriff Initiative Award – Growing Together Northampton: This award-winning community group turned charity was first set up in 2001 and runs a host of music projects for disadvantaged children, young people and adults in Northamptonshire. Projects combine youth work, digital media and IT with music to help beneficiaries grow in confidence, independence and resourcefulness.

Finalists: Performing Room, Bridge Substance Misuse Programme

Inspirational Woman Annual Award, in partnership with AVON – presented to Suzanne Wright, a committed volunteer at Breast Friends Northampton. Suzanne has developed a wellbeing programme for people with secondary breast cancer.

Lady Juliet Townsend Award for Volunteering– Jon Porter, Bellinge Community House. Jon is a committed volunteer who inspires others and is a friend to many.

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