Founder of community awards ‘sad’ to see annual ceremony come to an end

Cromwell Charter Community Champion, award to the Golden Knight Pub, from (left) Michael Bates.

Cromwell Charter Community Champion, award to the Golden Knight Pub, from (left) Michael Bates. - Credit: Archant

The annual Oxmoor in Bloom community awards are set to come to an end this year because of problems with funding.

Founder Michael Bates, who has been running the awards for 13 years, said: “It is sad to me that these awards are ending but it has become more and more difficult to get funding for the awards.”

Over the years, Mr Bates has given out more than 1,200 awards to a variety of individuals, organisations and charities.

“There have been some really brilliant people who have won the awards and definitely some worthy people,” said Mr Bates.

“I am proud of my achievements in helping people get recognised and it has been worthwhile for all these years.”

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The 64-year-old, who lives in Kent Road, Huntingdon, started the scheme because he felt that people living in the Oxmoor estate were not being acknowledged for their hard work .

“When I first started Oxmoor in Bloom there had only been three people living in the Oxmoor that were awarded by Huntingdon in Bloom so I wanted to recognise the residents,” added Mr Bates.

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The awards have recognised residents for everything from their well-presented gardens to outstanding Christmas lights, with a special award, the Cromwell Charter, recognising people who have dedicated themselves to the community.

“The final award I will give out will go to the Golden Knight pub, in Sapley Square, as they do a lot for the community and are really worthy of the certificate,” said Mr Bates.

Despite the award scheme ending, Mr Bates will continue the group as a campaigning organisation to improve the area.

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