Groundwork is asking the public to nominate community groups to receive a national award at an awards ceremony recognising their work in making their local areas better places to live.
The charity has launched the Groundwork Community Awards as a way of honouring small community groups making a big difference to everyone’s quality of life in their local area and to celebrate and reward groups who often get little recognition and support.
The deadline for nominations is 25 August and the awards are simple to enter via an online system where community groups can highlight their own achievements – or can nominate a project to receive an award in one of 10 categories reflecting the huge diversity of projects and services being delivered by community volunteers.
Shortlisted community groups will be invited to attend a national awards ceremony in central London on the evening of 2 November.
Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:
“There are fantastic examples of community groups who work selflessly and tirelessly to improve their neighbourhoods. Thanks to their efforts our parks and open spaces are better looked after, libraries and heritage centres are being kept open, food banks and furniture projects continue to help people meet their basic needs and communities are blazing a trail in recycling and renewable energy.
“These achievements are seldom noticed beyond the neighbourhood or the people directly benefiting. We thought it was time to change that and to celebrate the power of community action.
“Whatever political change and challenge we see in the next few years we believe that we need to prepare our communities to be more resilient and better informed about how things happen in their neighbourhood and better supported to take control of local assets and services. The Groundwork Community Awards will shine a light on what’s already being achieved so that even more communities might be encouraged to get organised and get active.”
Respected BBC Broadcaster and Landscape Designer, Mark Lane, will be hosting the awards on 2 November. Mark, who also acts as Groundwork’s Health, Wellbeing and Community Ambassador, commented:
“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents, groups, workers, charities, volunteers, and individuals to be recognized for the extraordinary work they put in to improving, sustaining and building their own health and wellbeing, by taking positive action, achieving goals, supporting one another and becoming an integral part of a community. It is these people that uplift and make a difference to their own and to the life of others.
“We all live busy lives and the Awards are a way of championing, thanking and highlighting the amazing contributions made. As Groundwork’s Ambassador, I am truly honoured to be hosting the Awards and I wish everyone all the very best.”
Explaining their decision to sponsor the ‘Community Group of the Year’ award, Jindi Pank, Community Partnerships Manager at Marks & Spencer, added:
“Community has been a big part of our Plan A efforts for a number of years and we have worked with and learnt from some truly inspiring community groups. We’ll continue to do this through our Plan A 2025 programme which aims to help play a transformative role in communities.
“We want to enable local economies to thrive by helping to build socially connected communities and improving local environments, an important part of this is recognising the great work that’s already going on which is why we’re proud to sponsor Groundwork’s award for Community Group of the Year.”
About the awards
There are 10 award categories, each reflecting the huge diversity of projects and services being delivered by community volunteers:
- Best community group contribution to health and wellbeing
- Best community group contribution to environmental sustainability
- Best community group contribution to community cohesion
- Best community group contribution to education or employment
- Best community project on a social housing estate
- Best community partnership with business
- Best community garden or green space
- Community leader of the year
- Young community leader of the year
- Community group of the year – all round achievement award