Community Champion Awards finalists announced

Community Champion Awards finalists announced

Date Published: 30 August 2018

Some of the best examples of voluntary community endeavour which characterise life within North Kesteven community are to be rewarded through the annual NK Community Champion Awards. 

In total 107 nominations were made by appreciative residents highlighting the thoughtful, community-spirited actions of individuals, couples, groups and organisations across an expanded range of nine categories for the 2018 community awards

Following judging by the sponsors, the 28 selected finalists are this week (Aug 29) all learning of the esteem placed in them by the grateful recipients of their thoughtful actions.

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

The quality and diversity of the often life-changing work and neighbourly contributions they represent was clear from the entries, with each and every one illustrating the depths of community minded activity which contributes to North Kesteven’s characteristic strong community cohesion, high levels of happiness, wellbeing and self-worth.

With such community spirit underpinning life locally it is not surprising that North Kesteven remains the safest place in Britain for a fifth successive year.

All of the finalists, their guests and nominators are invited to a celebration evening on Wednesday, October 10, at the International Bomber Command Centre, hosted by Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of the District Council, and compered by BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Rod Whiting.

Judges 2018.jpg

Cllr Wright said: “We are very proud to present these awards in order to applaud and award some of the many people who give so much through their voluntary and charitable endeavours. These are the unsung heroes of our communities who, through their selfless motivation and quiet inspiration make an enormous difference within our District and these awards are a small but heartfelt thank you on behalf of the District for that.”

“The individuals, groups and businesses selected as this year’s finalists are but a small selection of the immense amount of quiet, tireless and selfless voluntary work that provides a foundation to the District’s flourishing, strong and vibrant communities and I thank everyone who goes out of their way in this way.

I also thank the community-minded businesses who through their sponsorship and support make these awards possible as a further expression of the wider appreciation of such endeavour.

This year these are – Ringrose Law, Duncan & Toplis, Lindum Group, Your Local Lincs Magazine, Branston Ltd, DBS Internet Marketing, Lincs Inspire, Better and the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant; with further support from The Lincolnite, Sleaford Standard, BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Flowers by Suzanne.

The full list on nominees can be found at where further information and ticket ordering can also be found.

The shortlisted finalists are:

Good Neighbour

  • Susan Brown, Osbournby – Vigilant     in her care of all neighbours in her cul de sac, even staying overnight      and liaising with undertakers when needed.
  • Makayla and Karly Dimaio, Washingborough – Aged nine and eight, the girls looked in on vulnerable neighbours during bad weather and bought essential supplies.
  • Sally Jacobs, Anwick – Consistently ensuring no-one goes hungry, baking, making and scouring shops on neighbours’ behalf and hosting a wedding party

Community Business

  • AF Blakemore – Through a corporate ethos of charitable support and donations, Metheringham School was provided with £2,000 worth of help and endeavour
  • Leadenham Teahouse – At the heart of the village, the tea room does all it can for residents and smaller businesses, providing drinks when the village was beset by flooding.
  • Ringrose Law – An ongoing annual commitment to charities has raised tens of thousands and provided support to countless colleagues’ personal charitable challenges.    

Community Spirit

  • Lincolnshire Emergency Medical Response – A dedicated group of 45 volunteers, serving and former Armed Forces personnel, who provide a rapid and dynamic 999 response countywide.
  • Derek Robinson, Bracebridge Heath – Over 25 years Derek has raised over £33,000 through wide ranging initiatives, from country music nights to plant sales, and carries out countless kind deeds
  • David Russell, North Scarle – Cooking a monthly three-course lunch for 40, hedge cutting, picking up medicines, hospital transport and bring comfort to mourners are just a few of David’s endeavours.
  • David and Karen Warren, Leasingham – The driving force and inspiration behind efforts and fundraising to secure the community’s purchase of the village pub.     

Contribution to Arts and Culture

  • Nadim Aziz, Sleaford – through his work with the Sleaford Islamic Community Centre, Nadim is broadening cultural awareness and minds and building community cohesion.      
  • Kenneth Garfield, Swineshead – musical director of the Sleaford Training Band, over 18 years Ken has given tirelessly and weekly in support of young people’s progress and other groups’ fundraising.
  • Andrew Key, Heckington – Instigator of Heckington’s poppy installation for the WW1 centenary and many other creative expressions, musical, theatrical and artistic.

Young Achiever

  • Harry Ratcliffe, Sleaford – Nine-year-old cub Harry aims high with his hiking and fundraising aspirations, but not prepared to be defeated he aimed higher an harder to inspire his peers
  • Paige Spoor, Ruskington – At seven years old Paige’s tireless support of eight or so causes saw her donate 10 inches of her hair to make wigs for sick children and crochet hats for premature babies.
  • Thomas Talbot, Metheringham – At 14 Thomas doesn’t let his cerebral palsy, re-constructive surgery or gruelling rehabilitation stop him in his tracks to secure medals at international events and motivate others. 

Contribution to Health and Wellbeing

  • Evergreen, Sleaford – Reaching out to more than 120 older people, Evergreen’s 40 befriending volunteers enhance wellbeing and challenge social isolation through the simple act of friendship.
  • Lyn Gardener, Ruskington – With Lyn at the wheel the local hospital voluntary car scheme ensures patients reach medical appointments and their loved ones get to visit them.
  • Sleaford Striders – With over 250 members from 6 to 73 the club consistently raises fitness and attainment, inspiring 300-plus people off the couch to 5k runs and beyond. 

Longstanding Contribution

  • Michael Cullen, Heckington – Church warden at St Andrews, Heckington over 28 years, Michael has made an immeasurable difference to the church and village.
  • Michael Maidment, Ruskington – Voluntary case works for Forces charity SSAFA for 24 years Michael has positively impacted of 100s of military veterans’ lives.
  • Christine and Alan Pywell, Scredington – For 20-plus years this couple have been tireless in their fundraising and organisation to keep both church and community centre open. 

Contribution to Better Environment

  • Branston Junior Academy – Growing      and selling their own produce supports the children’s education and the    broader community, putting down roots for future sustainability.
  • Ian Callaghan, Skellingthorpe –      Having created an outdoor space, Ian maintains it, keeps footpaths and     cycle ways accessible to users and holds events based on nature and      seasons.
  • Tracey Stevenson, Great Hale –     Committing her time 24/7 365 days a year to a hedgehog rescue service that helps to address population decline and educates others in best caring practice.

Contribution to Sport

  • Malcolm Fenton, Quarrington – A national athletics coach, Malcolm invests time and money in helping local youngsters to excel in their sport and improving facilities locally.
  • Simon Hutchinson, North Hykeham – Club secretary of Lincolnshire largest football club Greenbank FC, Simon ensures the efficient operation to keep 400 children and 80 volunteers active.
  • Julie Norman, Leasingham – Sensai of Acorn Judo Club, Julie does all she can to run the club twice a week and achieve the best for her students.