Vote for Rossendale in Britain Has Spirit Competition

Published May 20, 2016 at 9:19

Rossendale has 3 representatives in the North West Regional Finals of the Britain Has Spirit Competition.

The Britain Has Spirit competition is a national award scheme to recognise the Community Hero of the Year and Local Initiative of the Year.

The campaign was launched in response to research by Together Mutual Insurance, which highlighted the lack of community spirit across the nation. Clearly Rossendale bucks that trend by having a staggering 3 nominees in the North West finals.


In in the Individual Category Rossendale’s Darren Horsnell has successfully been short listed for the North West region as a Community Hero.

Darren has been a volunteer with Veterans in Communities since its inception in 2012. As a veteran himself having served in Ireland, the Falklands War, Belize and Cyprus, Darren has struggled with PTSD for a number of years. He has made great progress personally and has committed himself to helping those experiencing similar situations.

Darren gives unstintingly of his time to Veterans in Communities:

–       Arts and Crafts Co-ordinator running the twice weekly Art Groups at the VIC Centre, the weekly art group at a local sheltered housing scheme, sharing his art skills, supporting and encouraging others

–       Volunteer Outreach Worker supporting ex-services personnel on a one to one basis

As a person Darren has a wonderful sense of humour which he shares with others, is self-deprecating and humble. He shares his expertise in art, living with PTSD and supporting others with anyone who needs it regardless of how much time it takes, or whether it cuts into his personal time at home. He also has a wonderful facility for getting to know people and making them feel at ease.

Darren has contributed so much to VIC and its on-going success and I’m asking everyone to follow the link below and vote for him. This is the second stage and the regional winners will then go through to the national competition. If Darren wins the overall national competition he will receive £25,000 for local good causes.

Vote for Darren here and click on then click on the tab marked Individual, select Darren and click submit.

In the Groups Category Rossendale has two fantastic entrants, HAPPI and The RAFT Foundation.

HAPPI have been nominated as North West Regional Finalists as they are a group of volunteers committed to re-furbishing and re-opening the local swimming baths in Haslingden. It is a community initiative and has already inspired lots of positive community spirit. The project has brought together like-minded people, committed to seeing the baths restored and able to be utilised once again by the local community. The group HAPPI has become an umbrella for other groups empowering them to make changes where they can. Recently they were at the forefront of helping with local flood hit areas. If HAPPI wins they will be awarded £1,000 towards a street party and automatically go through to the national stage.

The RAFT Foundation have also been nominated. They are s a 100% donation based volunteer run food bank, delivering over 1,000 meals including fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and cheese, nappies, toiletries and pet food to households in neighbourhoods every week. The food bank and associated projects have developed based on constantly listening to supporters, volunteers and people who access it and get involved. In December 2015 alone, 85 Christmas comfort food parcels were issued to 77 Households across Rossendale. That is 99 adults and 92 children residing in households which received a seven day food parcel, plus a gift for every adult and child resident there.

What’s next? It’s now down to the public to choose its winners.

If our Rossendale nominees win the North West Regional Finals then they will go into the National Finals where they could be in with the chance of winning a humongous £25,000 towards a local good cause.

Vote for HAPPI or The RAFT Foundation here and click on the Group tab.

Start voting for your Rossendale favourite, one vote per day! Voting closes on June 17th. For more information please visit


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