Nominations are wanted for annual awards

A call has been made for nominations for the North Northumberland Voluntary Forum's annual voluntary and community awards.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 19 May, 2018, 07:59
North Northumberland Voluntary and Community Awards 2017 recipients.

The awards, supported by Simpson McCreath Trust, has been launched in recognition of the achievements and hard work carried out by volunteers and community groups.

Local charities, voluntary and community groups will take centre stage this year for this unique invitation-only award evening which will be held on Thursday, July 5, at The Black and Gold, Tweedmouth.

The evening will acknowledge the amazing contribution made by volunteers and community groups and celebrate the tremendous work that is carried out by individuals, groups and organisations in north Northumberland.

Jane Pannell, chairman, explained: “We’re proud to be presenting these awards. This is a real opportunity to raise the profile of community and voluntary groups and to celebrate the achievements of volunteers throughout north Northumberland.

“Please think about the people and organisations that have made such a contribution to our communities. There’s a range of categories – hopefully one to fit every nomination.

“We look forward to receiving your nominations – individual, voluntary and community groups.”

Nominations are welcome from charities and voluntary and community groups of any size.

The awards will be decided by a panel of judges from the North Northumberland Network and trustees of the Voluntary Forum. If you would like to nominate any group or individual for these awards you can do so online by 5pm on June 4, at www.nnvforum.org.uk

The awards, for which nominations are now open, are for the following categories): Grassroots award; Project/organisation of the year; Volunteer of the year; Youth volunteer of the year; The Lady Rose Crossman lifetime achievement award; Local business support award.

Jane added: “Last year’s awards were a huge success and the standards of entries were extremely high making judging very difficult. Age has no barriers when it comes to volunteering and being part of the community. This was proven last year when we awarded Youth Volunteer of the Year to Jaques Doolan who was aged 18 years old and the Life Time Achievement Award to Grace Friar who is 96 years young!

“This year’s new award is dedicated to Lady Ross Crossman who sadly passed away in August 2017. Lady Rose was our first President and she supported numerous charities both locally and nationally. The Lady Rose Crossman Life Time Achievement Award will be given to an individual who for the last ten years or more has made a major contribution to the voluntary sector and is a true inspiration to others.

“Nominees must have displayed an outstanding contribution to charitable causes, going significantly beyond the normal expected involvement. This award recognises someone who has dedicated their time and made an exceptional effort to advance the profile and raise funds for a particular concern. They might be a true community hero who is always there, willing to do whatever has to be done to keep things going.”

The North Northumberland Voluntary Forum VCO Awards have proved that there is a need to acknowledge the valuable work carried out behind the scenes by voluntary and community groups, as this will only strengthen communities and encourage more people to work together.

Jane continued: “This year we are delighted to have received support from Simpson McCreath Trust acknowledging the value they place on the voluntary sector within the community. I would therefore strongly encourage individuals or groups to enter or nominate a group for this year’s awards. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by voluntary and community groups by thanking them for the tremendous work that is carried out within the community.”

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Grassroots Award

The Grassroots Award is a new award for those groups who have volunteers only with no paid staff; they must operate within North Northumberland (former Berwick Borough) and have been established for at least 12 months. Examples include scouts, junior football clubs, luncheon clubs etc. We want to celebrate the smaller groups who turn up week in week out to coach, support and enable others, and operate within a limited budget.

Project/Organisation of the year

The organisation will need to have been established for at least 12 months; it must operate within North Northumberland (former Berwick Borough) and can have both paid and unpaid staff and volunteers.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Awarded to an unpaid individual who has made a major contribution to the local voluntary sector in North Northumberland (former Berwick Borough) within the last 12 months, this is demonstrated by the level of commitment and the impact their volunteering has made within the sector. Previous winners of this award will not be considered.

Youth Volunteer of the Year Award

To celebrate intergenerational work this new award will be presented to an unpaid individual who has made the greatest contribution to the local voluntary sector in North Northumberland within the last 12 months. The youth volunteer needs to be 18 years of age or under and can demonstrate commitment and the impact their volunteering has made within the sector. Examples include regularly helping with sports coaching/training, various after school clubs (cubs, scouts, brownies and guides), community/environmental campaigning or various fundraising activities within the local community.

NEW – The Lady Rose Crossman Life Time Achievement Award

The Lady Rose Crossman Life Time Achievement Award is given to an unpaid individual who for the last ten years or more has made a major contribution to the voluntary sector and is a true inspiration to others. Nominees must have displayed an outstanding contribution to charitable causes, going significantly beyond the normal expected involvement. This award recognises someone who has dedicated their time and made an exceptional effort to advance the profile and raise funds for a particular concern. They might be a true community hero who is always there, willing to do whatever has to be done to keep things going.

Local Business Support Award

Local Business Support Award is awarded to the commercial business which has demonstrated outstanding support to the voluntary sector both financial and/or practically. The business must operate in North Northumberland.