Unsung heroes honoured at awards ceremony

Published June 29, 2018 at 10:09

Groups and individuals doing outstanding work to tackle loneliness and isolation in Rossendale were honoured at an awards ceremony.

A community cafe, a luncheon club, a toddler group and community greenhouses were among those recognised at the Living Well Living Better Awards at the Riverside Centre, Whitworth.

Honours were handed out in four categories:  most innovative project of the year, volunteer of the year,  group/organisation of the year and lasting contribution. The standard of entries was so high that the judges chose more than one winner in some categories.

Rossendale was one of the local authorities chosen by the Government in 2016 to receive funding to pilot new ways of improving the health and wellbeing of local communities.

The council set up a partnership which chose to focus on the issues of isolation and loneliness, establishing the Living Well Living Better project.

Grants of up to £1,000 were awarded to 68 community groups and organisations to fund a range of activities such as toddler groups, luncheon clubs, tea dances, dementia friendly events, Christmas parties and even water skiing. Churches, libraries, community associations and others got involved and a group was also set up to promote volunteering in the borough.

Councillor Barbara Ashworth, Rossendale Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing, Communities and Customer Service, said:

These awards were an opportunity to celebrate the success of the pilot project but more importantly, to thank our local groups and volunteers for the valuable work that they do.

Their work is often unsung but it is vital in helping to tackle loneliness and isolation, which we know can have a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing. It is clear that there are many dedicated individuals and groups in the Valley who are doing innovative and creative things.

The winners were:

Most Innovative Project of the Year

  • Friends of Whitworth Library – Community Activities and Performance Opportunities for Wellbeing (Capow).

Group/Organisation of the Year

  • Irish Democratic League – Senior Members Luncheon Club, Haslingden
  • Flowers ‘n’ Friendship – provides flower arranging and singing sessions in  care homes and day centres.

Volunteer of the Year

  • Trisha Bernard – Harvey Longworth Court retirement housing, Crawshawbooth.
  • Leigh Jackson –  Positive Start Food Group community café and food distribution group, Rawtenstall.
  • Rossendale Refugee Asylum Support Services volunteers.

Lasting Contribution

  • Stubbylee Community Greenhouses/East Lancashire Recovery College – offering volunteering and training opportunities to a range of people.
  • St Anne’s Church, Edgeside – Mini Me Time parent and baby and toddler sessions.

See the photos from the awards ceremony on Flickr

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