THERE has been a tremendous response to our search for the very best of all those community groups, volunteers and local organisers who work tirelessly to make Ryedale a fabulous place to live and work.
They are the beating heart of a rural community like ours, and to mark their achievements and celebrate our rural life, the Gazette & Herald, Ryedale Voluntary Action (RVA) and Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY), have launched the Ryedale Rural Community Awards.
The aim of the awards is to recognise and reward rural voluntary and community groups in Ryedale for their tremendous efforts in helping to build happier, stronger and more sustainable rural communities.
“We at RVA and RAY work with a large number of rural voluntary and community groups in Ryedale and have seen the impact these groups have in their local communities and the vital services that they provide,” said Sarah Lally-Marley, funding advisor for RVA.
“With many rural areas experiencing problems with loss of local services such as shops, pubs and post offices, it is the hard work and determination of these small voluntary groups that ensures their communities thrive and are sustainable for future generations.”
There are six awards, are all sponsored by local businesses and organisations. Anyone can enter, or nominate someone for an award, outlining how they fit the criteria and why they are so deserving.
Village Hall of the Year, sponsored by Rural Action Yorkshire
How does your hall benefit the local community? Do you hold regular events, training or provide vital services? Have you found a unique way to fund your hall? What makes your hall special or unique?
Rural Community Group of the Year, sponsored by Rural Voice
How do you make a difference to the lives of those in rural areas? Have you provided a service or done something to address a need in your community?
Rural Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by the Gazette & Herald
This award is about encouraging rural groups and communities to nominate someone who they feel has played a vital role in their community through volunteering their time and energy to a particular project, cause or the community in general.
Rural Youth Group of the Year, sponsored by McClarrons Insurance Ltd
How has your group improved the lives of young people in rural areas? Are young people actively involved in the group?
Community Project of the Year under £10,000, sponsored by Johnsons Accountants Ltd
Community Project of the Year over £10,000 and under £50,000, sponsored by HPE Printers Whether the project cost £100 or £50,000, the judges are looking for projects that provide real value for money in rural areas and can demonstrate how they have met a need in the community. It is amazing what some groups have been able to achieve with just a few hundred pounds that has had a lasting benefit on their community.
The winners of each award will receive £250 for their organisationfrom the sponsors.
Judging will take place in September and finalists will be announced at the end of September and featured in the Gazette prior to the awards evening, sponsored by Howardian Hills AONB, at Terrington Village Hall on Friday, October 21.
Entry forms and further information on the criteria for each award are available to download from both the RVA and RAY websites – www.ryedaleva.org.uk/www.ruralyorkshire.org.uk – and the closing date for entries is Monday, September 5.
Phone Maggie Farey, network officer for Rural Voice, or Sarah Lally-Marley, on 01653 600120.