VIDEO and PHOTO GALLERY: NK Community Champions Awards 2016

A record number of awards have been made in recognition of the extraordinary levels of community spirit shown throughout North Kesteven.

A wide range of district residents, businesses and organisations were lauded, applauded and awarded for the difference they make.

The 26 finalists at last night’s (Thursday) NK Community Champion Awards 2016 were all told by NKDC Deputy Leader Coun Mike Gallagher of the deep esteem placed in them by their communities for the significant difference they make.

“This is our chance to thank you all for your hard work and commitment to making North Kesteven the wonderful place that it is. Although there always has to be a winner, the fact that so many nominations were made and that we had more finalists than ever shows the esteem in which you are all held and makes you all great achievers in all that you do,” he said.

“Each of the finalists and indeed all of the 120 nominees contribute to making North Kesteven the kind of place it is. They are critical to North Kesteven’s newly recognised status as the best place in the country for happiness and life satisfaction and, for a third year running, having the lowest crime levels.

“Every year North Kesteven District Council calls for people living and working in the District to nominate people whose endeavours carried out quietly, tirelessly and selflessly they feel are worthy of recognition.”

Coun Gallagher added: “We are very proud to make these awards annually in recognition of all the hard work carried out unstintingly and tirelessly by so many people in order to make a difference to the lives of others; whether through encouraging sports participation, environmental enhancements, contributing to cultural richness, making more sustainable transport choices or increasing individuals’ health and wellbeing.

“We celebrate businesses that go the extra mile in rewarding the communities which sustain them; champion young achievers; and identify that elusive characteristic of community spirit which is so hard to define but which runs deep through the daily endeavours of so many North Kesteven residents.”

In total ten Community Champion Awards were given, more than ever before, and there was also a new award made, the Chairman’s Award.

This was given to four Sleaford teenagers for their life-saving actions in support of a woman who was drifting in and out of consciousness in her car.

The evening’s compere Rod Whiting said that through the example of Connor Robson, Luke Callow, George Brickles and Oliver Self we should all

think twice before dismissing teenagers hanging around on a street corner as being nothing but trouble. “One day they might just be there when you need them most!”

It was a particularly emotional acceptance of a Community Spirit Award made to Barbara and Keven Roberts by their family as Mr Roberts sadly died earlier this year.

The ultimate winners were :

Young Achiever: Christina Creedon from Silk Willoughby – for her care, consideration and commitment in broad ranging ways to raise awareness of autism and stand up to bullies.

Community Business: Hill Holt Wood at Norton Disney – for extensive engagement in the provision of community resources and facilities and support of a range of community projects; and also Branston Ltd in Branston – for significant investment in children’s educational resources and local community projects.

Contribution to Sport: Angela Morley, from Dunston – for dedication and commitment in championing the Special Olympics and enabling broad sports participation.

Contribution to a Better Environment: Friends of Mareham Pastures, Sleaford – a small volunteer group which over 13 years has transformed and old tip into a much-valued nature reserve.

Contribution to Arts and Culture: John Crouch, from North Hykeham – for amazing voluntary contributions towards motivating young musicians through more than 30 years of dedication through the group Jazz Vehicle.

Contribution to Health and Wellbeing: Debbie Jones, from Sleaford – for her energetic dedication to the Beyond the Blues mental health wellbeing group.

Contribution to Sustainable Transport: Charlie Kinloch, for all of his promotion of all sustainable transport options among colleagues in North Hykeham.

Community Spirit: Ian Kendrick from Waddington – for an enormous range of expressions of community support ranging from low-key neighbourliness to leading health walks; and also to Barbara and the late Keven Roberts – recognising their joint commitment and mutual support in a range of charitable endeavours, notably North Hykeham Sailabilty and Sleaford Talking Newspaper.

Each received an engraved trophy and certificate.

The event held at The Venue, Navenby, was attended by more than 150 guests, including the sponsors who make the event possible. They were entertained by BBC Lincolnshire’s Rod Whiting, the evening’s compere, and The Lost Property All Stars.

As well as celebrating community spirit the night raised hundreds of pounds for NKDC chairman Coun John Money’s charity St Barnabas Hospice and heard from Paralympian Kieran Tscherniawsky from Heckington about his experiences at Rio 2016.

The Sleaford Standard was a media sponsor for the occasion.

Other finalists were:

Young Achiever

Keira Beeson, Sleaford – for enhanced commitment to raising funds and awareness of Chrons Disease, even whilst recovering from surgery.

Lee Croker, Sleaford – for his determination to engage in a normal school life and participate in sport despite significant physical disabilities.

Community Business

Elite Fish and Chips, Sleaford & Ruskington – for extensive charity fundraising initiatives.

Heckington Pre-school, Heckington – for the way it encourages children and parents to engage in the community and involves local businesses within its core operations.

Contribution to Sport

Jackie Creedon, Sleaford – for extensive engagement in local sports over 40 years and facilitating clubs in every way from cleaning toilets to organizing fixtures.

Hykeham Sailing Club, North Hykeham – in recognition of club volunteers’ hard work to maintain and run the facility.

Contribution to a Better Environment

Chestnut Street CE Primary School, Ruskington – for a deeply-rooted commitment to broaden awareness of environmental issues and energy efficiency.

Pauline Dobson, Sleaford – for leading on a wide-ranging of measures to brighten Sleaford through her artistic and green-fingered efforts.

Contribution to Arts and Culture

Joan Dalton, Branston Booths – for her work in increasing creative opportunities across the District and participation in community arts projects.

Eddie Double, Sleaford – for his massive contribution to art and culture in Sleaford as Civic Trust chairman, championing public art commissions and promoting the Carre Gallery.

Contribution to Health and Wellbeing

Evergreen, Sleaford – a group of 50-plus volunteers who offer a befriending outreach to elderly, vulnerable and isolated elderly people.

Volunteers of CAB Mid Lincolnshire – for the significant and extensive work carried out in helping the most vulnerable to access information, funds and support.

Community Spirit

Terry Audis, Timberland – for getting stuck into improving community facilities across Timberland and Martin.

Jean Straw, Canwick – primarily for organizing a community coffee morning which alleviates isolation and loneliness.

Jenny Wright, Norton Disney – for commitment to a range of village institutions and initiatives over many years.

* See more videos from the awards evening on our Facebook page.