Community work honoured in LOVE Northumberland awards
17 Sep 2021
The Duchess of Northumberland has helped to celebrate the very best in community and voluntary environmental work across the county at a special LOVE Northumberland awards ceremony.
Thirteen groups, organisations, schools and individuals were honoured with winner, runner-up or highly commended awards across six categories in what is now the event’s 11th year. Unfortunately due to Covid it was not possible to hold the awards in 2020.
Representatives of all shortlisted entries were invited to attend the event at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Anna Foster.
In the Schools Go Smarter Sustainable Travel Award there were two exceptional entries and judges said it was impossible to choose between them.
Allendale Primary School and Stannington First School have both gone above and beyond in encouraging pupils and their families to think about and use other methods of travel on their journeys to and from school – such as walking, cycling and scooting.
The Best Children’s & Young People’s project winner was Cowpen Quay Community Association for the Buffalo Youth project - a group of over 50 young people who go out litterpicking in their local area at least once a week. They also have a plot in the local park which they’ve planted up with flowers and look after a community yard which is used by all ages and abilities.
Eight-year old Rayer Waddell was Highly Commended for her ‘Save Flip the Whale’ project, while the Duchess’ High School in Alnwick were named runners-up for their Pride Club - sending a clear message of inclusivity to the wider community of Alnwick and Northumberland.
Best Urban Project was awarded to Morpeth Litter Group for their sterling work throughout the pandemic. Already well-established, during Covid the group set up various community litter picks in the town and now have more than 70 volunteers in their “Adopt a Street” initiative organised through social media.
The runner-up was Friends of Morpeth Floral Clock who brought the famous timepiece back to life through fundraising in 2018 and now each year raise money for its upkeep and flower planting through various events.
And in the Best Coast or Countryside Project, Bamburgh Heritage Trust won first prize for the ‘Accessing Aidan’ project which celebrates the remarkable Anglo-Saxon heritage of Bamburgh. It revolves around the Bamburgh Ossuary, which holds 110 Anglo-Saxon skeletons excavated from the sand dunes to the south of Bamburgh Castle.
Highly Commended was the Vyner Park Charity, which has worked tirelessly to enhance the recreational facilities available to the people of Swarland and Newton-on-the-Moor.
Also Highly Commended was Newton by the Sea Parish Council which has been busy planting trees and flowers to enhance the visitor experience for people visiting the local area.
Runner up was Berwick-upon-Tweed u3a Environmental Group for their Tweed and Coast Nature Trail - a 2.8-mile nature trail on one of the most scenic parts of Northumberland.
This year saw a new category - Best Community Response to Climate Change Emergency – won by Cramlington Town Council for their Cramlington Wild Spaces Hub.
This collection of local community groups and organisations have worked to reduce their carbon footprint and encourage others to reduce theirs by bringing more trees, wild flowers and wildlife into their green spaces.
The Hub has also been promoting wildlife development and nature trails, encouraging education and knowledge, developing a closer working relationship with nature and improving the biodiversity of the area.
The final award for an Outstanding Individual went to Dr David Cowen, who has worked tirelessly for years to maintain the grounds of five main hospital sites across Northumberland as well as his full-time job as an anaesthetist for Northumbria NHS Trust.
Every day, before and after work, David picks litter around the site he is working on that day and undertakes general maintenance to ensure the sites are clean and tidy
. Over the last two years alone, David has planted over 8,000 daffodil bulbs and d
ozens of saplings at the Northumberland Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington including the large “Thank You NHS” plantation beside the main entrance.
The annual awards were developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign, with the aim of promoting the work of the council and its many partner organisations, community groups and volunteers who all help to preserve and enhance the environment in the county.
ty Council Leader Glen Sanderson opened the event, saying: "All of the shortlisted entries should be very proud of all of their work - there are some fantastic examples of communities working together across our beautiful county.
“The LOVE Northumberland awards are all about celebrating what individuals and groups do, largely in a voluntary capacity, to keep their local areas green and clean right across Northumberland. I have been extremely impressed by the quality and breadth of the work highlighted through the awards - and thank them all, on behalf of the residents and visitors who benefit.
Cabinet Member for Local Services John Riddle added:
“These awards recognise the true heroes of our county, and provide a great opportunity to showcase all that has been achieved in the last year, in what has been a very trying time, in helping keep our communities environmentally friendly.
“We would like to congratulate each and every finalist for what they have achieved in their work and projects.”
Each winning entry in the awards received a £250 prize, each runner-up £100 and highly commended finalists £50, with the money to go towards their project or other work within the local community. Outstanding individuals also received a small cash prize and a trophy.
To find out more about LOVE Northumberland go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/love