NK Community Champion Awards expand to 12 categories

Date Published: 29 June 2021

With two new categories for 2021, the scope for celebration and recognition of the astounding contributions made by individuals, groups and businesses to life in North Kesteven is being expanded.

In line with the emphasis placed on climate action by the District Council and all of the partner businesses who make the NK Community Champion Awards a reality through their sponsorship, the new Contribution to Climate Action award seeks to tease out the best examples of how people, schools, businesses and organisations in North Kesteven are taking bold and effective action in reducing their carbon outputs or changing practices in order to mitigate against climate change.

Additionally after featuring as pop-up categories last year in recognition of the phenomenal community outpouring of kindness, care and consideration, the spontaneous group and individual coronavirus response categories have been consolidated into a single Coronavirus Response Award from the outset for 2021. This will seek to celebrate and champion those individuals and groups who have stepped up or continued to make a massive difference in protecting and providing for people in the ongoing pandemic situation.

The NK Community Champion Awards are an annual celebration, based on community nominations, of the often-unsung heroes who make a massive difference to life locally through their quiet, selfless and tireless voluntary endeavour, community spiritedness or, in the case of businesses, a particular community-focus that goes way beyond the bottom line.

In addition to the two new awards, the 12 categories cover: young achiever, good neighbour, community business, broad community spirit, longstanding contribution to a particular group or organisation and contributions made to arts & culture, sports, health & wellbeing, a better environment and safer communities.

The celebration is funded by community-minded businesses who sponsor the awards and make up the panel determining the nominations put forward by grateful recipients of the nominees’ endeavours.

Deadline for nominations is noon on September 1. Nominations can be made on the NK Awards website where there are further details.  

Why not make the effort to make a nomination on the new national Thank You Day on July 4 which is an effort to encourage people to reflect on what’s going on locally, thank each other and build on the community spirit so many showed and experienced during the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 

Council Leader Cllr Richard Wright said: “If the past few months have taught us anything, it is that the worst of times truly do bring out the best in humanity. 

“Just as we have learned that we can only defeat the coronavirus by acting together, so too we have seen that through phenomenal personal sacrifice, compassion and selflessness, we can build up communities that are strong, resilient and responsive,” he said.

“Through these awards we seek to applaud and honour those who contribute so positively to our safe, strong, flourishing and increasingly climate-conscious communities.

“But we need your help in identifying those so deserving of praise. Please consider carefully those who you feel have contributed positively to your own life and the broader wellbeing of the District and nominate them at www.NKAwards.org as soon as you can. Don’t always assume someone else will; and it would be such a shame for their contributions not to receive the recognition the richly deserve.”

As sponsor of the new Contribution to Climate Action Award and previous Community Business winner, Hugh Unwin of Greencoat Capital – owners of the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant – said: “The NK Community Champions Awards recognises the very best, placing a well-deserved spotlight on individuals and organisations that contribute so much to the lives of people living and working in North Kesteven. 

“We are delighted to be a sponsor of the 2021 Awards and especially so to be championing expressions of climate action of which I am sure there are many wonderful examples among the schools, clubs, businesses and individuals in North Kesteven.”

The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at an evening reception on November 10 at Doddington Hall, sponsor of this year’s Contribution to a Better Environment Award.

Doddington Hall owner and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire for the current year Claire Birch said she was delighted to be involved in the 11th NK Community Champion Awards.

“I think there is so much scope for championing through these well-established and respected awards the vast amount of often unseen and unsung work that goes on, making North Kesteven the special place it is,” she said.

“These awards bring together so many of my own interests in showcasing the very best in voluntary endeavour, celebrating community contribution and encouraging people to think and act in ways that enhance both personal and environmental wellbeing. And I am so very pleased to be able to support them in order to bring to light and honour those putting themselves forward in so many ways across the breadth of the categories.”

In 2020 the awards went ahead in a virtual way, with livestream video presentation championing the contributions of 31 finalists. 

Winners were acknowledged for dedication to sports coaching, masterminding community cohesion through Covid-Lockdowns, being literal lifesavers, co-ordinating coronavirus response and emergency planning groups and preserving the District’s heritage and protecting its biodiversity. 

Further finalists were celebrated for making thousands of face shields, gallons of hand sanitiser and hundreds of home-crafted scrubs for health settings, running swimming and scouting groups for decades, picking tonnes of litter, identifying Norton Disney as the Iron Age equivalent of Scunthorpe and their general support of neighbours and strangers.

Which category is right for your nomination? 

Young Achiever (sponsored by Duncan & Toplis)

  • A young person aged 19 or under who has shown amazing bravery or excelled in any way, perhaps under adversity, through leadership or in pioneering a community project. 

Community Business (sponsored by Banks Long & Co)

  •  A company or sole-trader whose business initiatives and outlook makes a difference to their local communities. 

Community Spirit (sponsored by Lindum Group)

  • An individual or group who gives outstanding personal service to the community through hard work, dedication and commitment. 

Coronavirus Response (sponsored by North Kesteven District Council)

  • An individual or group which, through distinct or collective and sustained activity, has made a significant contribution to community health & welfare over the pandemic.

Contribution to the Arts & Culture (sponsored by Lincs Inspire)

  • An individual or group whose actions have made a positive impact on the cultural richness of the District. 

Contribution to a Better Environment (sponsored by Doddington Hall & Gardens)

  • An individual, group, club or business whose actions have a positive impact on the environment, locally or in a broader way. 

Contribution to Climate Action (sponsored by Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant / Greencoat Capital)

  • An individual, group, school, club or business whose actions contribute positively towards a carbon-neutral future, reduced energy use or greater environmental resilience. 

Contribution to Community Safety (sponsored by the Police & Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire)

  • A group, school, club, business or individual whose actions have a positive impact on community safety locally, helping to raise awareness and reduce crime in our communities.

Contribution to Health & Wellbeing (sponsored by Branston Ltd)

  • An individual or group that has contributed to the wellbeing of others or made positive healthy lifestyle changes – in physical or psychological - for themselves or others.

Contribution to Sport  (sponsored by BETTER)

  •  A group, club, business or individual whose actions have a positive impact on sports and physical activity locally. 

Good Neighbour (sponsored by Ringrose Law)

  • Someone who has gone over and above for their neighbours; generally being someone the neighbourhood couldn’t do without.

Longstanding Contribution (sponsored by Your Local Lincs Magazine)

  • An individual who has contributed a huge amount of their time and effort to a single charity, club, group or organisation.

Deadline for nominations is noon on September 1. Nominations can be made on the NK Awards website where there are further details. 

Logo: NK Community Champions Awards 2021