Celebrating best local work in Calderdale at Community Foundation's awards

Community Spirit Awards 2017
Community Spirit Awards 2017

It was a cold and rainy evening but that didn’t stop hundreds of people flocking to the Venue at Barkisland to attend the Community Spirit Awards 2017.

The Community Spirit Awards, which are organised by the Community Foundation for Calderdale, recognise the work that is carried out by charities, community groups and volunteers across the borough.

Steve Duncan, CEO of the Community Foundation, said: “We didn’t have an awards ceremony last year, so we wanted to bring it back with a bang.

“We are blessed with brilliant community groups in Calderdale and they deserve recognition for their work.

“Thanks to our main sponsors we were able to offer a quality award ceremony, including unique bespoke awards for each of the winners which we commissioned from artist Rudi Holmes from Calder Forge.”

The events ceremony was the biggest yet, with more than 90 nominations across 14 categories, and attracting a record-breaking 389 people to the ceremony, which was hosted by BBC 5 Live presenter Anna Foster, and Pulse radio presenter Chris Johnson.

Vicky Ledgwidge, from St Augustine’s Centre, winner of the Charity of the Year Award, said: “We’re thrilled to win both the Charity of the Year and Outstanding Individual Achievement awards (awarded to Denise Keenan).

“It’s a huge testament to Denise’s hard work over the past 50 years. St Augustine’s Centre has always employed dedicated and passionate staff, who lead an incredible team of volunteers, serving the most vulnerable in our society.

“We couldn’t carry on without our partner organisations, CFFC, CMBC and our funders - so this award is genuinely for everyone who believes in our cause and is working with us to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to Calderdale.”

Neil Taylor, from Dementia Friendly Todmorden, who won the Social Care and Advice Award, said: “We were honoured to achieve the award as we are only a small group, especially as there were many other amazing groups there on the night who all do fantastic work within the voluntary sector in Calderdale.

“Our group includes representatives from West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, along with several other local businesses. I think that it has been the ability of us all to work in partnership effectively that has made our small group so successful.

“We work really hard to be able to offer help and support to people in Todmorden living with dementia, along with their families and their carers, and to raise awareness and understanding about dementia for all who live in our town.

“We hope that the award will enable us to raise the profile of the group so that more people will hear about the help and support that we provide.”

Zach Schofield-Lea, young tuba player from Elland Silver Band who won the Arts and Culture Award, said: “It was like being at the Oscars. We certainly didn’t expect to be chosen as winners.”

Meanwhile, band secretary Kathleen Harrison added: “It’s wonderful to receive such recognition for our work as a charity and the impact we make on young people. It’s also great for all community organisations to be recognised and thanked for their hard work.”

Here is a full list of winners:

Best use of Technology: Inspire Independence Project Scope.

Great and Green Award: Slow the Flow Calderdale.

Best Fundraising Campaign: Square Chapel Arts Centre.

Breakthrough of the Year: Next Step Trust; Commendation was awarded to Visits Unlimited.

Best Marketing Campaign: Get Trevor Mobile Appeal (Tim Foulds).

Arts and Culture Award: Elland Youth Silver Band; Commendation was awarded to Verd De Gris.

Social Care, Advice and Support Award: Basement Recovery Project and Dementia Friendly Todmorden.

Governance Award: Age UK Calderdale.

Corporate and Community Partnership: Eureka Nursery, Dean Clough Foundation and Trinity Fold Care Home; Commendation was awarded to Next Step Trust and Wilkinson Woodward.

Young Community Champion: Saskia Uttley and Jake Moorman.

Volunteer of The Year: Dan King.

Outstanding Achievement Award: The Founder of St Augustine’s Centre, Denise Keenan (below).

Best New Charity: Grow Big.

Charity of the Year: St Augustine’s Centre.