In partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation, The High Sheriff, William Kendall held this year’s High Sheriff’s Awards for Suffolk last night at The Hoffman Building in Snape Maltings. It was hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Lesley Dolphin and Suffolk Community Foundation’s Development Director Tim Holder.
This year’s awards have categories sponsored by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Ipswich Building Society, The Westminster Foundation, EDF Energy, the East of England Co-op, Whiting & Partners and Muntons Plc!
There were eight overall winners this year and 11 grants awarded from the High Sheriff’s Fund administered by Suffolk Community Foundation. Grants recipients included:
- Level Two Youth Project
- Catch 22
- The Country Trust
- Porch Project
- Whitton Youth Partnership
- Home Start Mid Suffolk
- Home Start: East Ipswich and Coastal
- Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum
- Suffolk Young People’s Health Project
- Voices 4 Gainsborough Community Library
The Under 25 Young Volunteer of the Year Award was won by Hannah Harvey who volunteers with DreamworX Youth Project and has headed up many projects. Highly Commended were Mary Whittingdale and Millie Eddy who both volunteer for YOPEY– The Young People of the Year Befriending Scheme and Jonathan Sharp who is part of the St John Ambulance adult unit.
This year’s Youth Organisation of the Year winner was South Street Kids Radio, a free weekly project, running from South Street Radios in the Westgate Ward of Ipswich, and Highly Commended runners up were Access Community Trust who working with young people to address disadvantaged as early as possible.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was this year won by Grenville Clarke who has given a lifetime to volunteering, to his love of birds and the environment, and has encouraged 1000’s of others to join him. Well done also to David Overton, Sally Fogden and Pamela Bishop who were highly commended.
The Suffolk Corporate Community Partnership Award was won by East of England Co-op for their support of the Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance which works to enable local people and their families to live well with dementia. The Highly commended East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Start for their commitment as the main media partner to promote Suffolk’s Surviving Winter Appeal and Ipswich Building Society for their support of the ‘Shine A Light’ project, launched to showcase the work of eleven organisation addressing areas of particular need in our county.
The Volunteer of the Year category was the toughest decision for the judges this year. In the end, Joan Norman, who has been involved in Scouting for over 40 years, and Liz Rigby, who has been volunteering for Home Start for 15 years, were joint winners.
Highly commended in this category as runners up were Lesley Ashford-Smit for her fantastic work at REACH Community Project and Eric Sewell who has tirelessly motivated a team of volunteers as Chair and Lead of ‘Four Times Crime Prevention’.
The 2017 Community Group or Organisation of the Year was won by REACH Community Projects, a group with a commitment to tackle poverty in and around Haverhill by uncovering and resolving the root issues of people they help.
Highly commended were Fresh Start – New Beginnings who provide therapeutic treatment programmes for child victims of sexual abuse, Suffolk Artlink who deliver a hugely varied programme of projects including Rock Up, a music inclusion project in Lowestoft and Clown Around and Lighthouse Women’s Aid who support and empower women and children affected by or at risk of being affected by domestic abuse or violence.
The High Sheriff’s Special Award for the Environment was a new award introduced this year, and was presented to Green Light Trust who undertake environmental projects promoting the conservation, protection and improvement of the natural environment. Eden Rose Coppice Trust whose mission is to transform urban environmental disasters into beautiful, natural, high-bio diversity woodland settings, and East Anglian Sailing Trust for providing regular accessible sailing opportunities and related activities for disadvantaged, blind and otherwise disabled children and adults living in the area.
Each winner received a trophy and certificate, with a cheque of up to £1,000 given to the community group or charity involved in each category, other than the Volunteer of the year, where a joint winner was announced, receiving £500 each. Each winner was presented with a small salver to keep, with the larger salver to be returned for next year’s event.
The High Sheriff’s Special Award for the Environment was a new award for this year, kindly sponsored by Muntons Plc, to recognise individuals or groups whose voluntary work involves enhancing Suffolk’s natural environment.
Suffolk Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Corporate Community Partnership category of this year’s awards. John Dugmore Chief Executive at Suffolk Chamber, said: “These awards are a great occasion to highlight, recognise and thank those who undertake freely so much volunteering in this great county. It is a chance to recognise those unsung heroes in business who give their time to support their local community and link the world of business with the wider community, right across Suffolk.’’
Ipswich Building Society have sponsored the young volunteer category for several years. Ian Brighton helped to present the awards this year, and said: “We have a long history here in the county and are committed to supporting our local communities. The dedication of the award winners tonight to make a positive difference to the communities in which they live was both humbling and inspiring – congratulations to everyone.”
Whiting & Partners, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers sponsored the Lifetime Achievement Award category of the 2017 awards. Philip Peters, Chairman of the firm, said: “Whiting & Partners has been part of the Suffolk community since 1928 and this is something we value and nurture. By getting involved local projects such as the High Sheriff’s Awards, we believe it is important to recognise the dedication of those who devote so much of their own time to the improvement of their community.”
Sally Chicken President at the East of England Co-op, added: “We’ve been giving back to the towns and villages across the East of England for almost 150 years, we are very much part of the community and it’s wonderful to come together tonight to celebrate so many outstanding examples of people who really care”
EDF Energy supported the event again this year, their communications officer for Sizewell C, Nicola Corbett, said: “As a local employer EDF Energy is proud to support the High Sheriff’s Awards which recognise the good work of so many groups and individuals in Suffolk.”
Tim Holder, Development Director, Suffolk Community Foundation says:“Presenting the awards with Lesley Dolphin each year is a lot of fun and something we both really look forward to. The whole team at Suffolk Community Foundation have enjoyed working with William Kendall to bring The High Sheriff’s Awards to Snape Maltings this year. We are so proud of all the nominees and, obviously the winners on the night. There has been a lot of laughter and tears tonight, but most importantly 400 Suffolk people have come together to celebrate and say thank you. When people give so much of themselves, this is such an important thing to do.”