Gallery: Awards gala recognises Cambridgeshire's volunteers

THE volunteers who keep Cambridgeshire s communities thriving were recognised for their efforts on Tuesday night at a gala awards evening. The ACRE Community Life Awards – which included the announcement of the 2008 Calor Village of the Year – saw hundre

THE volunteers who keep Cambridgeshire’s communities thriving were recognised for their efforts on Tuesday night at a gala awards evening.

The ACRE Community Life Awards – which included the announcement of the 2008 Calor Village of the Year – saw hundreds of the most dedicated and spirited volunteers gather at The Burgess Hall in St Ives to discover the winners of this year’s awards.

The winners were chosen from groups, villages, towns and organisations from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – each was thoroughly deserving of their recognition.

The first winners to take to the stage were those entered into the Community Life Awards. The winners were:

Commitment and Inspiration:

Patricia Tickner for her fundraising activities and the time she dedicates to community life in Benwick.

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Freddie Kramer, a volunteer at Flag Fen who takes on numerous roles and responsibilities to help make it the popular attraction what it is today

Patrick Bennett for his efforts at the Fenland Project organising day trips, producing booklets and quizzes and ensuring all members are included and involved

Steve Thorpe for founding and running the Free Kicks Foundation which enables deserving Cambridgeshire children to have a day out watching their favourite football team

Heather Merryweather, of Horton, for her various roles and activities and for the support and encouragement of young people through a sports leadership course

Tony Goryn who runs sports facilities and clubs within Great Wilbraham, teaching and coaching young people at cricket and also assisting with the upkeep of the grounds

Impact on others:

Kim and Beth Waterhouse for the impact they have made on the lives of villagers in Dullingham

Douglas Adams for the very impact he has had on Huntingdon’s sports community

Derek Moore, the driving force behind much of the success of Fenland Disability Sports Forum, which seeks to raise awareness and make improvements in sports provision for people with disabilities

Carol Hebbard for her tireless efforts in developing a youth club in Little Downham

Rodney Vincent for the huge impact he has made in Stuntney, setting up and maintaining the village website, encouraging involvement and inclusion

Community Groups

Hunts Mind: Alan Parker, Sharon Cox and Kay Baxter have dedicated a great deal of time to set up and facilitate groups at Hunts Mind and supported and encouraged others, building confidence and providing positive role models

Cherry Hinton Branch of St John Ambulance: Volunteers give their time to provide first aid cover for activities benefiting all members of the community in the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire area. They enable many activities to go ahead in a safe environment and have made a huge impact on the lives of many people.

Fridaybridge Senior Citizens Club: The committee and members of Fridaybridge Senior Citizens Club worked tirelessly to create a happy and friendly club which offers activities such as curling, bowls, board games, entertainment and days out.

In the Aspect of Community Life section, the winners were:

Children & Young People in the Community, sponsored by Archant, published of The Hunts Post, Ely Standard, Wisbech Standard and Cambs Times.

Winner: Little Downham Youth Club

The group has made a real impact on the village by giving young people an outlet and somewhere they can get involved in positive activities. The club has built strong relationships with the young people who attend, leading to the development of a youth council, giving the young people a voice and input into the wider community.

Older People in the Community, sponsored by Age Concern Cambridgeshire

Winner: Burwell and District Day Centre

The centre impressed the judges by providing the older village residents with a stimulating environment and wide variety of entertainments throughout the year. Although funding is frequently tight, excellent freshly cooked food is provided in a relaxed atmosphere. Members are encouraged to try new experiences such as Scottish dancing and also given the opportunity to reminisce and look back at days gone by.

Environment and the Community, sponsored by CPRE Cambridgeshire

Winner: Chatteris Town In Bloom

The group has worked with businesses, other community groups, residents and local authorities to make the town a more attractive place to visit, live and work.

Volunteers create and maintain floral displays and permanent planted areas around the town as well as creating areas to encourage wildlife and leisure.

Highly Commended: Parson Drove Street Pride Group

A great variety of projects have been undertaken by the group with the assistance of residents and organisations, including litter picks, weed clearing and bulb planting to name but a few.

The group have formed links with the village primary school, youth club and police to assist with the environmental enhancements and ensure as many people as possible are involved and aware of the issues facing the village.

Sport in the Community, sponsored by Living Sport

Winner: Werrington Joggers

The joggers group is totally inclusive and is open to anyone regardless of age or ability. The judges were impressed by the community focus of the group and the safe, fun and friendly way in which everyone is encouraged to appreciate the benefits of exercise.

Community Building of the Year, sponsored by Sanctuary Hereward

Winner: Over Community Centre

This building offers a great space and sports facilities that are used by numerous clubs, societies and associations. All ages of the community are catered for with a free Christmas lunch available to village residents aged over 65, and treasure hunts and colouring competitions for the younger members of the community.

Clubs can also get one free hire of the building per year.

Calor Village of the Year

Runner up: Abbotsley

Winner: Elton