Spirit of Corby celebrated at awards night

Corby mayor Judy Caine with Rick Allanson who won the overall 2013 Spirit of Corby Award and the Environmental Spirit Award
Corby mayor Judy Caine with Rick Allanson who won the overall 2013 Spirit of Corby Award and the Environmental Spirit Award

The dedication of unsung heroes was celebrated at the Spirit of Corby Awards night.

The ceremony was held at The Core theatre on Friday (September 13) when the town took the chance to say thank you to men, women and young people who work tirelessly to help others.

Kind, creative and full of energy, they serve the community and are first class ambassadors for the town.

Welcoming guests at the event Corby’s mayor Judy Caine said: “The awards are a small way to say a big thank you to the people who make Corby the great place that it is.

“There were more than 1,000 nominations for the awards and all the stories behind the nominations were fantastic and so inspiring.”

The overall 2013 Spirit of Corby Award, sponsored by The Core, went to Rick Allanson, who also won the Environmental Spirit Award, sponsored by Kier Street Services.

As chairman of the Friends of Thoroughsale and Hazel Wood group, he heads a team of volunteers who work to preserve and improve Corby’s ancient woodlands.

He said: “I was really surprised to win and proud to accept both awards on behalf of all the people involved because it really is all about teamwork.

“I love the woodland. That was my playground when I was a child and it’s important that we look after it.”

A special recognition award was presented to Barry Scholes who has run the boating lake cafe for eight years, opening 365 days of the year.

He has also raised funds for the mayors’ charities, helped stage Corby’s big Bonfire Night party, organised angling competitions and music festivals and been a tireless supporter of Corby carnival and community events at East Carlton Countryside Park.

He said: “I was really surprise to be given a special award. It’s wonderful.”

The Educational Spirit Award, sponsored by Tresham College, went to Annie Morgan, a learning mentor at St Patrick’s School, Corby.

She works with pupils to break down barriers to learning, helping children get the most from their education.

She said: “I was delighted to win. I’m very privileged to have a job I love.”

The Creative Spirit Award, sponsored by Quantum Print, was won by Stevie Rigsby, who works with children at Corby Library, helping them to read, and is involved in many music and creative projects in the town.

Winner of the Jimmy Kane Young Spirit Award, sponsored by BeLa Partnership, was Ross Dykes.

In July, the 17-year-old first-aider leapt into action when his stepfather Colin Stevens had a heart attack.

Thanks to his swift actions, Colin is now on the road to recovery and expects to return to work next month.

Ross, who has been a member of St John Ambulance since he was nine, said: “I’m over the moon and I want to thank my family and friends and everyone at St John Ambulance, especially my trainer Heather Crane.”

The Community Spirit Award, sponsored by Northamptonshire Police, went to Jolene Callan and Lisa Owen, who work tirelessly to organise events for Windmills charity, which helps the families of children with health issues and disabilities.

The pair have helped raised thousands of pounds and they also support other community projects.

The Club Spirit Award, sponsored by Wots the Big Idea, went to the 422 (Corby) Squadron Royal Air Force air cadets.

Cadet Jack Barker and Cadet Emma Beadsworth, both 14, accepted the award on behalf of the squadron.

Pilot Officer Kev Ritchie said: “They work hard to be involved in the local community, always smart, well-mannered and conducting themselves well.

“Corby can be proud of the whole squadron.”

Among the guests at the awards night were Corby MP Andy Sawford, the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, James Shepherd-Cross, Chief Supt Paul Fell and the chief executive of Corby Council Norman Stronach.

Corby’s community choir Deep Roots and Tall Trees entertained nominees and their friends, families and supporters in the interval.