NK Community Champions identified

Date Published: 08 November 2022

The 33 exceptional individuals, groups and businesses celebrated as community champions within North Kesteven this year can be revealed.

Each one is a finalist within the NK Community Champion Awards 2022 which, across 11 categories, look to award and applaud those who make a significant contribution to life locally through their generosity of spirit, voluntary endeavour and community-minded consideration.

This is the 12th year of the awards which are only possible through the generous support and sponsorship of community-focused businesses and organisations which fund them, and the nominations made by appreciative District residents grateful for the difference their nominees make to their own and broader community life.

From around 110 nominations made across the 11 categories, a panel of judges made up of representatives from the sponsor organisations selected a total of 33 finalists: three in each category.

In order to both thank them for all that they do in contributing to our District of Flourishing Communities and also to inspire broader, similar consideration in support of our neighbourhoods, a celebration event at the Hub, Sleaford, on November 16, will shine a light on each one’s personal, voluntary, tireless and community-minded actions.

 The voluntary actions being celebrated include:

  • Decades of commitment to sports teams and community organisations;
  • Fresh approaches to support those in greatest financial and emotional need;
  • Investment of personal time and talents in motivating and uniting communities;
  • Pioneering or leading both individual and collective responses that improve the places we live, leading to cleaner, safer, stronger and more resilient communities;
  • Drawing neighbours together through caring, considerate and collaborative approaches;
  • Sharing musicality, creativity and wider skills for cultural enrichment;
  • Building on personal adversity to support and inspire others;
  • Inspiring meaningful climate action; and
  • Generally being helpful, considerate and giving of themselves.
Across the 11 categories, the 33 finalists in the NK Community Champion Awards for 2022 are:

Contribution to Arts & Culture – sponsored by Lincs Inspire, operator of the Hub, Sleaford

  • Chelsey Bamford, Take Note Choir – bringing together, motivating and leading the Take Note Choir and other community-based musical endeavours including RiverLight.
  • Chris Clark, Holdingham – connecting and inspiring people and promoting Sleaford through charitable musical endeavours.
  • Pauline Dobson, Sleaford – leading and participating in extensive and impactful artistic expressions throughout Sleaford, notably with community mosaics.
Contribution to a Better Environment – sponsored by Hill Holt Wood
  • Dawn Bell, Heckington – inspiring personal and collective endeavours in brightening up Heckington and improving the village environment.
  • Peter Dryburgh, Heighington – litter picking, improving the village environment and enhancing habitats for wildlife.
  • River Slea Clean Up team, Sleaford – collective efforts in enhancing the local environment focused on the River Slea.
Contribution to Climate Action – sponsored by Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant and Schroders Greencoat
  • Tim Grigg, Heckington – active engagement across many approaches in promoting a brighter climate-conscious future.
  • Moy Park, Anwick – adopting various measures at a business-scale to progress extensive carbon saving climate action.
  • William Alvey School Conservation Club, Sleaford – pupil-led, whole-school engagement in promoting a brighter climate-conscious future.
Contribution to Community Safety – sponsored by the Office of Police & Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire
  • Friday Night Social Club, North Hykeham – providing facilities and sessions to engage young people locally, ensuring a safe, warm space to socialise off the streets.
  • Moving Forward, Lincoln – supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse relationships in finding confidence to move forward with their lives.
  • Sleaford Women’s Safety Group, Sleaford – pioneering a collective approach to the creation of safer circumstances for the women and girls of Sleaford.
Contribution to Health & Wellbeing – sponsored by Branston Ltd
  • Sleaford Dementia Support, Sleaford – supporting those affected by dementia, through social contact, recreational outreach, and respite.
  • Karen Elliott, Sleaford – setting up a school uniform service out of consideration for, and in response to, families in greatest need.
  • Kevin Stow, Walcott – building on his own weight-loss experience to motivate and support others through their health & wellbeing journey.
Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Better, operator of NKDC’s leisure service
  • Metheringham Community Pool – for the committee’s tireless commitment to maintaining access to swimming locally.
  • Jenny O’Rourke, Sleaford – extensive work in support of Sleaford Town FC, in particular its junior teams, over 25 years.
  • Vance Tunnicliffe, North Hykeham – for longstanding commitment to community football with Rustons FC.
Longstanding Contribution to a Group or Organisation – sponsored by the Lincolnshire Community Foundation
  • Brian Davies, Washingborough – extensive commitment to veterans through SSAFA and its client group.
  • Susan Manders, Bracebridge Heath – extensive commitment to Bracebridge Heath, in particular as a parish councillor and champion of local history.
  • Mike Raw, Metheringham – extensive commitment to veterans through SSAFA and its client group.
Community Business – sponsored by BusinessNK
  • Duke of Wellington, Leasingham – building community cohesion through the pub and its extensive programme of events.
  • Shug Studios, Sleaford – supporting and developing a vibrant music scene within Sleaford, with particular emphasis in promoting the RiverLight event.
  • Sleaford Community Grocers, Sleaford – operating in the express interests of community wellbeing and sustainability.
Good Neighbour – sponsored by Ringrose Law
  • Beryl Foster & Jean Firmager, Great Hale – for the support, provision, and protection they afford their neighbours.
  • Pat Hayward, North Hykeham – for initiating a range of events and activities with neighbourliness in mind.
  • Robert & Gillian How, Heighington – for thoughtful acts in cheering up the community.
Young Achiever – sponsored by Duncan & Toplis
  • Joe Trofer-Cook, Billinghay – establishing a farm, exceling in stockmanship and keeping the community supplied with eggs and veg.
  • Isobel Johnson, Greylees – for determination to excel and inspire others to embrace their difference too.
  • Amelia Matson, North Hykeham – active, compassionate and empathetic support of other young people impacted by adversity.
Community Spirit – sponsored by Lindum Group
  • Craig Garner-Smith, Martin – for endeavours in motivating enhanced community cohesion, facilities and collaborative activity.
  • Fiona Lightfoot, Helpringham – initiating and operating a range of initiatives in support of those in greatest need locally.
  • Ian Taylor, Brant Broughton – for extensive, active and wide-ranging contributions to village life.

North Kesteven District Council Leader, Cllr Richard Wright, said: “Alongside some enthusiastically community-minded businesses, most of which have partnered these awards for many years, we are always keen to celebrate the huge amount of voluntary community endeavour and many acts of thoughtful kindness that make local life so special within North Kesteven; and to champion those individuals and organisations at the heart of our District of Flourishing Communities.

“Over the summer months people who have been impressed by and had their lives positively impacted by the volunteers and community-minded individuals who enhance our District - by running sports clubs, showing consideration for others, making communities safer, enhancing the environment, pioneering climate action, being a good neighbour or making things better through their business - have been thanking them by putting them forward for our annual awards. They are all champions of the community through what they do and now we look forward to celebrating with our finalists, thanking them on behalf of the entire District and championing them as an inspiration for all.”

To champion and thank others who improve life locally through their generous actions, volunteering and community spirit, nominations for 2023’s awards can be made now and at anytime at www.nkawards.org

The awards are only made possible through the generous sponsorship of the award sponsors – this year: Duncan & Toplis, Ringrose Law, Lindum Group,Branston Ltd, GLL/Better, Lincs Inspire, Hill Holt Wood, Sleaford REP / Schroder Greencoat, the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, the Lincolnshire Community Foundation andBusinessNK – and with the support of BBC Radio Lincolnshire, The Lincolnite, the Sleaford Standard, Peachy Events and Bright Spark Studios.

NK Community Champion Awards 2022
NK Community Champion Awards 2022