“With commitment and dedication changes can be made” - North Norfolk Big Society Award winners celebrate in “Oscars” night
- Credit: Archant
People who have shown dedication and commitment in working tirelessly for their community were honoured in an 'Oscar-style' awards evening in north Norfolk.
From providing meals on wheels to organising a games area for youngsters, the chosen people, businesses and organisations were shortlisted and invited to the North Norfolk Big Society Awards in North Walsham.
The Tuesday night event at the Atrium also provided an opportunity for EDP editor Nigel Pickover to give a special award for an outstanding contribution to the community following the tidal surge in December 2013.
It was won by Lighthouse Inn landlord Steve Bullimore, who opened the doors to his coastal pub to welcome those who had to leave their homes and provided a base for the clean-up effort.
Mr Pickover, who presented Mr Bullimore with three bottles of champagne, said it had been a moving night.
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He said: 'Steve became a beacon of hope. The Lighthouse became a rescue centre, Steve housed individuals and families, stayed up through the night playing games and then housed the emergency response team. He was a true emblem of Big Society.'
Mr Bullimore, 58, has worked in the pub for 25 years, and said he was surprised and proud to have been recognised. But said he was only doing what he 'normally did'.
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He said: 'You are there for the community and your neighbours.'
The evening was hosted by district council chairman Trevor Ivory, and invited finalists and guests to see awards presented in four categories.
The categories were Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Local Business, Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society-Funded Project, Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person to a Big Society-Funded Project and Community Project of the Year.
John Lee, chairman of NNDC Big Society Fund grant panel that has overseen the award process said it had been a hard task to select the winners from an outstanding group of nominees. 'The award winners have each demonstrated that with commitment and dedication, changes can be made, and communities become stronger as a result.'
Three Fakenham rugby players, including a much-loved 18-year-old who died earlier this year, have won an award for their outstanding contribution to the local community.
The selfless efforts of Craig Prior, pictured, who died after collapsing at his Fakenham home on February 10, Adam Lingwood and Rory Singleton, both 18, have been recognised in North Norfolk District Council's new awards scheme. The trio were named joint winners of the Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person to a Big Society Funded Project.
The award was in recognition of their work behind the scenes at Fakenham Rugby Club.
Fakenham Rugby Club's director of rugby Alan Young said: 'I'm very proud of them all. Craig was one of those lads who always had a smile on his face. He did a lot for the club and he meant so much to many people. All three are really nice kids who have been coming to the club since they were eight, nine and 10 years old who have made their way up to the first team.
'It's great to see youngsters like this showing such commitment to the club and doing so much behind the scenes.'
The trio were joint winners of the award with George Warner from West Runton Scout Group.
Finalists were Jacob Thornberry at Aldborough Community Centre and Robert Murphy from the Atrium.
Dawn Hulbert, 77, attended the evening to accept the award for outstanding contribution to a Big Society-funded project.
Her work in the transformation of Edgefield Village Hall was recognised when she was presented with an award from Ann Moore, leader of the Liberal Democrat group.
Dawn Hulbert, who lives in Edgefield with her husband Terry, 83, said: 'It was quite a surprise, I really didn't expect it.'
Finalists were Jim Whiteside for Norfolk and Suffolk 4 x 4 response; Pamela and David Connolly-Hart for Cromer food bank; Bob Cumber and Sylvia Levete for Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society; and Doreen Wright for the Poppy Centre charity shop in Stalham.
Local business award
The winner of outstanding contribution to the community by a local business award was presented by district council chief executive Sheila Oxtoby to The Cockerel in North Walsham.
The meals-on-wheels service is run by Claire and Mark Rushen, pictured, from their restaurant on North Street who, with a team of volunteers, deliver up to 50 meals a day.
Mr Rushen said he was pleased to receive the award. He said: 'It was really nice to have the recognition and I am overwhelmed to have won.' Finalists were the Lighthouse in Walcott and Trunch Post Office and Shop.
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