Champions of the community honoured at South Norfolk Community Awards

The South Norfolk Community Awards 2016. The Topcroft Cricket Club, winners of the Community Wellbei

The South Norfolk Community Awards 2016. The Topcroft Cricket Club, winners of the Community Wellbeing Champion or Group of the Year. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Community champions and unsung heroes from south Norfolk have been recognised at a special awards evening.

South Norfolk Council hosted its Community Awards at the John Innes Centre, in Norwich, where more than 250 people attended and nine worthy winners were awarded for going above and beyond for their communities.

In choosing their winners the judges were encouraged to judge on whether the work done by the person nominated over the past year gave them goose bumps, warmed their hearts and made them feel the person deserved to be recognised.

Among the winners was Ray Youngman, who was given the Special Recognition Award.

Mr Youngman, who lives in Woodton, near Bungay, has dedicated 63 years to helping Hempnall Football Club.

The 78-year-old said: 'I'm very pleased. I didn't expect anything. I've helped out with the football club since I left school in 1952. I played for them until I broke my leg when I was 27. I then took up refereeing.

'It's nice to get the recognition.'

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Martin Wilby, deputy leader of South Norfolk Council, said: 'We were incredibly impressed by both the record numbers and the quality of the nominations we received.

'Volunteers are the shining stars of our community, inspiring others and helping to make South Norfolk a great place to live.

'It is so important that we as a Council recognise their work and that local businesses continue to give their support.'

All the winners received a grant of £250 to put towards their chosen local charity or organisation.

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