Feathered friend helps to launch LOVE Awards 2017

The feathered friend of students at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus in Ashington was perched and ready to cluck about this year’s LOVE Northumberland Awards.
Children from the school’s gardening and wildlife group were the proud winners of last year’s award for the best urban project - and along with their chicken, Susan, helped to declare entries for the 2017 awards open.
The school’s garden area is a hive of activity with bug hotels, hedgehog houses, flower and vegetable beds that they developed themselves, and even a greenhouse made from plastic bottles.
Cllr Alan Sambrook, civic head of Northumberland County Council visited the school this week to declare entries for the 2017 awards open, and was fascinated by the garden area.
“The children help to look after four chickens and also have two rabbits that they care for and even read to.  They have been so creative with materials that I understand that they have begged and borrowed from the local community.  The teachers and staff are also extremely committed and I am not at all surprised that they have won a LOVE Northumberland award for each of the last three years!” he said.
The LOVE Northumberland awards mark a range of projects and initiatives which improve local areas or neighbourhoods for the benefit of members of the local community, and entries are now being accepted for 2017.
Clare Marriott, headteacher at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy, said:  “We’re so pleased that the LOVE Northumberland campaign has chosen our school as the venue to launch this year’s awards.  
“The children and staff were absolutely delighted to win the best urban project category last year – giving further endorsement for all the hard and worthwhile work.  I urge other schools and groups like ourselves to make an application, so that their work can be recognised in this way.”
The school’s gardening and wildlife group is made up of children from across the school and has been supported by the community through generous donations of equipment, soil and other resources.
Cllr Sambrook added:  “The LOVE Northumberland awards celebrate the work of the schools, community groups and individual volunteers whose endeavours preserve and enhance the environment of our great county. 
“We want to encourage people to get involved and make a difference in their area, and to celebrate all the fantastic voluntary effort that goes on up and down Northumberland each year, which supports the council’s aims to keep Northumberland clean and green. 
“I would encourage anyone with an environmental story to tell to get in touch and make an application for an award.”
Entries are invited for the categories of best children’s project; best young people’s project; best urban project; best coast or countryside project; best new project; best school recycling project; and an award for an outstanding individual.
The closing date for entries for the 2017 LOVE Northumberland awards is Wednesday 31st May. 
Winners will be presented by Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland at an event at The Alnwick Garden on Wednesday 5th July.
If you want to enter, or know someone who should, go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/love to find out more and download an application form.  You can also email carrol.hessey@northumberland.gov.uk or phone for an entry form or to find out more on 01670 622992.
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