Meet this year's amazing Northamptonshire Community Foundation's award winners

A volunteer transport scheme, conker championship and a singing group for people with lung disease are just a few of the winners at this year's Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards.

Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 12:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st November 2018, 4:26 am
Best Newcomer Award Ashton Conker Club. The hosts of the World Conker Championships, putting Northamptonshire on the global map.

The Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards last night shone a spotlight on the incredible work that committed volunteers and community groups do across the county at their annual awards ceremony held at the Royal & Derngate.

The charity hands out grants to groups in the region and provides much needed and often life changing cash to some of the county’s most vulnerable, and in need people.

Victoria Miles chief executive at the foundation said: “Without these groups and the volunteers that run them Northamptonshire would be a very different place.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Trailblazer Award Groundwork Northamptonshires The Green Patch. A Kettering group, which targets people of all ages with mental health issues and disabilities, using gardening as a means to enabling people to meet and be supported.

"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.”

The 2018 winners are:

Best Newcomer Award – Ashton Conker Club:

This is an annual competition that puts Northamptonshire on the world map.

The Brilliant Group Award - Singing 4 Breathing. A singing class for people with lung diseases. Transport is provided to these classes, with people travelling to Northampton from across the county.

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:

The Edge Award - Re:store Northampton. A town centre-based group which provides support, a food bank and other crisis services for families on the bread line.

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:

Lifetime Achievement Award - Daventry Area Community Transport (DACT). A volunteer led transport scheme that supports older people and people with disabilities or a health condition, particularly during cold weather spells, so they can leave their homes and access services and activities across Daventry and the surrounding area.

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.

High Sheriff Initiative Award - Growing Together Northampton. A Blackthorn-based group which provides a nursery, holiday play scheme, breakfast club, youth activities and more to families on a low income, with a focus on tackling food poverty.

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 well being programme for people with secondary breast cancer.

Lady Juliet Townsend Award for Volunteering:

Jon Porter of Bellinge Community House.

Jon is a committed volunteer who inspires others and is a friend to many.

Inspirational Woman Annual Award, in partnership with AVON, presented to Suzanne Wright.
The Lady Juliet Townsend Award for Volunteering was presented to Jon Porter.