Rewarding all the hard work of our local heroes
NORTH Kesteven's most community-spirited individuals, groups and businesses have been announced at the 2013 NK Community Champion Awards.
This year saw an unprecedented number of nominations made for community-spirited people, groups and businesses across the district.
A shortlist of finalists was whittled down by a panel of judges including officers from North Kesteven District Council, sponsors and members of the media.
Finalists were invited to an awards ceremony at The Venue, Navenby on Thursday, September 12.
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More than 150 people attended the event to cheer on and celebrate North Kesteven's community heroes and the ceremony also featured live music from The Sleaford Ukulele Orchestra.
North Kesteven Leader Cllr Mrs Marion Brighton hosted the event with Lincs FM's John Marshall who announced the winners and entertained the audience.
Young Achievers Award - Scott Wiseman, Digby.
Poised to start university within days, Scott has devoted a substantial amount of time over the last four years as the voice of young people in NK.
He is a founder member of the NK Youth Council and has been at the forefront of many campaigns and initiatives about body image, self esteem and voting.
Scott was so keen to promote the Pod playbus in his area that he attended several parish council meetings to beep them posted on progress and its programme.
Community Business of the Year - Running Imp, North Hykeham.
As a major supplier of trophies, supplies and equipment to the wider sports industry and a network of supplies in support of fundraising events and good causes, Running Imp has used its expertise to lead the running locally.
It has chosen St Barnabas Hospice as its charity for the year and will be donating 1p from every standard medal it sells. It is hoping to raise £16,000 from the initiative.
It also supports local initiatives including the Lincoln Santa Run for which it donates suits and medals, marketing and marshals.
Community Spirit Award - Jason McGlade, Navenby.
After the Navenby home of an older couple and their grandchild burned down in late 2011, local residents rallied round to ensure the boy had a bedroom for Christmas.
The family was devastated and unable to recover the situation without the community's help and while a number of local people were happy to lend a hand here and there, some serious professional work was needed to make the house habitable – but with no available funds.
Jason stepped in and spent considerable time doing the structural work. He asked for nothing in return, save the contentment of knowing he had made a huge difference to the lives of a small family in need.
He has now built on this and donates a day of his time a month, free of charge, to support vulnerable people in their homes.
Contribution to a Better Environment - Hill Holt Wood, Norton Disney.
Hill Holt Wood is a community based business and environmental project, which places better understanding and enhancement of the environment at the heart of all its operations.
The 34-acre woods are managed both as habitat and natural resource, but also as a learning resource to train woodland skills to the students taking part in courses and programmes.
Hill Holt's environmental outreach includes litter picking, grass cutting and woodland maintenance contracts, while there is also a new Woodland Hall for weddings and conferences and the onsite cafe and woodland walks.
Contribution to the Arts - Cliff Baxendale, Nocton.
Cliff's nomination comes as the chairman of the Nocton Arts & Heritage Trail group, which has overseen a remarkable number of community projects over the last 10 years, consistently improving the village and sharing the stories which make it so special.
Retired art teacher Cliff began his efforts by putting up a new entrance sign, which drew the admiration of artsNK. Since then, they've worked together on one project after another.
Contribution to Sport - Paul McCarthy, Cranwell.
As a keen sportsman who has run several marathons and half marathons himself, Paul's main motivation is in encouraging everyone to push themselves to the limit of their ability.
He is a coach at Sleaford's Laffletics sports club for both disabled and able-bodied participants, who gives his time freely every week.
By ensuring that all participants are able to join in with sports and games by adjusting the activities to cater for all abilities, including wheelchair and frame users, Paul maximises the fun so that everyone gets to have a good workout – including the helpers.
Contribution to Health & Wellbeing - Sam Grimshaw, Heckington.
Samantha has been the co-ordinator of the Heckington LIVES First Responder Group since its inception three years ago.
LIVES First Responders operate around the clock with an aim of arriving at an emergency and starting first aid and defibrillation if necessary within five minutes, which can be a few life-saving minutes before an ambulance or paramedic.
Sam is both as co-ordinator and responder and has helped her local community by responding to 999 calls on countless occasions - saving a patient's life on her very first call out.
Contribution to Sustainable Transport - Bert & Shirley Balding, Bracebridge Heath.
As sole driver of the voluntary minibus he has run for eight years, Bert dedicates around 25 hours a week to trips for elderly neighbours and fellow Council tenants.
Bert's Minnie Bus makes it easier, cheaper, more sociable and sustainable for people to get around instead of everyone taking their own cars, taxis or other simply not being able.
The bus is run entirely by Bert and Shirley, serving mainly Meadow Way in Bracebridge Heath; Clarke Avenue, Heighington; Caroline Road, Metheringham; and North Hykeham's Grinter House and Kesteven Court. Minimal fares just cover running costs and upkeep.
Proceeds from ticket sales for the third annual NK Community Champion Awards went to Chairman's Charity for 2013 – Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikes Service.
This year's NK Community Champion Awards were held in association with
Lincs FM, The Sleaford Target and Lincolnshire Echo and sponsors Duncan & Toplis, Pygott & Crone, Lindum, DPS, RG Carters, Leisure Connection, Access LN6, LN6 Active and Flowers by Suzanne.