Instead, the awards were presented by the Mayor, Coun Anthony Brand, and sponsors during periods of easing in the pandemic restrictions during the summer of 2020 and spring of 2021.
Two organisations came in for Mayor’s Special Awards, as they were too deserving to go unrewarded. These were Ringrose Law for its support of local good causes and Rainbow Stars, having just opened a new hub in the town for young people with autism and other special needs and their families.
Jane Peck said she felt there had been a need for a disability hub in Sleaford and surrounding villages and they had carried on visiting people during the pandemic in a socially distanced way as well as running quizzes and bingo online. “I’ve got a great team of 15 volunteers that come in and give up their time and we have a great management team,” she said.
“It has been a challenging year having lost all the events we do in the community. We have definitely got busier too.”
Julie Atkinson, a partner and head of the Ringrose Law office in Sleaford, said they have some very socially minded members of staff only too pleased to help. They have done cake sales, supported the food bank and done sponsored events.
The Community Award went to the Sleaford Be Litter Free Facebook movement. Amy Scotney from the group thanked all the litter pickers who give up their time, saying: “We do enjoy it and take a lot of pride in our town.”
Bob Stanley from the group added that they have a lot of children coming on board litter picking too. “We have lost count of the number of bags we’ve picked around playing fields generally.”
They got a grant to clear litter around railway land and lobbied the railway companies to do more, as well as helping to renovate old iron street name signs.
The Carer of the Year award went to young Leo Ridley, who has looked after his wheelchair bound mum and saw his dad’s health deteriorate to needing full-time care. He has also been supportive of a classmate who lost a parent. He said: “It is a different case when it comes to your parents needing help.”
He does a lot of the chores around the house such as cleaning, with his least favourite being the vacuuming!
The Young Community Volunteer Award went to Tobias and Arabella Shaw for delivering pictures, cards and gifts to combat loneliness among elderly residents.
The Overcoming Adversity Award went to Joe Colehouse, a 21 year old with cerebral palsy who has achieved his goal to become a racing driver with Team BRIT, a competitive team of disabled drivers.
Joe said: “When I go driving or go to work I’m just like anyone else without a disability, but it is nice to be recognised for the work I put in on a day to day basis. I had to prove I am medically safe to race, but I haven’t had any crashes yet. I would love to race with the team at Le Mans, but ultimately I would like to be in race team management.”
The Environmental Award went to Anthea Ashmore for more than 20 years of dedication and activities as secretary of the Sleaford area group of the Lincolnshire Wioldlife Trust.
Charity of the Year went to Sleaford Community Larder, run by Rod Munro and Anna Maltby, for their work providing food and medication for people in need during the pandemic lockdown.
Employer of the Year went to Grunwald UK for their work with local schools inspiring children to take up STEM subjects and careers.
Sports Team of the Year went to St George’s Academy Green Power Team who built three ‘green’ powered cars and raced them against teams from around the world, coming third.
Sports Individual of the Year is Stephen Morgon for being the driving force and founder of walking football team Sleaford Academicals.
Sports Coach of the Year award was shared by Matt Evans and Kerry Swarbrooke for launching and leading the hugely popular Junior Park Run events in Sleaford on Boston Road Recreation Ground.
Kesteven and Sleaford High School pupil Lottie Wells was Young Sports Individual of the Year, having played for Doncaster belles under 16 regional talent team.