More than 20 local community groups and charities have been shortlisted for the prestigious Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards, which take place in Northampton this October.
This year’s awards boast an array of finalists - from food banks, community magazines and a volunteer led transport scheme to festivals and projects which support families in poverty, the elderly and isolated, new mums and people with disabilities.
Victoria Miles, Chief Executive at the Foundation, said: “Our annual awards are an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our groups, whose achievements are possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. This is a chance to celebrate all the wonderful work taking place in Northamptonshire.”
Each week, in the lead-up to the awards, which take place on Tuesday, 30th October, we will be focusing on the finalists.
This week we introduce you to the finalists in the Lifetime Achievement category, sponsored by MHA McIntyre Hudson …
Daventry Area Community Transport (DACT)
This volunteer led transport scheme supports older people and people with disabilities or a health condition, particularly during cold weather spells, so they can leave their homes and access services and activities across Daventry and the surrounding area.
Established in 1993 DACT’s aim is to provide community transport and mobility services for such of the inhabitants of Daventry District and bordering areas who are in need of such a service.
In 2000 the group also established DACT mobility, which loans manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and powered mobility scooters to members of the public who have either temporary or permanent disabilities or limited mobility. This service is available to anyone regardless of age.
Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation
This group is committed to community cohesion and raising cultural and religious awareness. One of its big achievements has been a Diwali event, the winter festival of lights. This has become a landmark event, involves a number of schools and community groups and culminates in a ‘celebration of light’ which takes over the streets of Northampton town centre.
The group has a network of 150 volunteers and also provides educational outreach, with a focus on community cohesion through arts, music and performance.
The group is noted for its partnership work including Northampton interfaith networks.
Northampton Black History Association
This group collects, preserve and shares local history, working with African, Asian and African Caribbean communities. Their research has been used map 800 years of Black British history in Northamptonshire, which has been pulled into a database and used to create publications, exhibitions, education workshops, projects and learning packs for schools, families and adults.
The group came through a challenging period to sustain its services and re-launched its activities and projects in 2014 bringing on new partnerships, funding and activities.
The group are also providing an outreach provision of storytelling workshops delivered by elders for a younger audience on local Black history
Growing Together Northampton
This Blackthorn-based group provides a nursery, holiday play scheme, breakfast club, youth activities and more to families on a low income.
There is a focus on tackling food poverty, with the group joining forces with local social enterprise Hope Enterprises to provide a social supermarket for families and residents on a low income to shop at.
Established in 1998, the group was previously known as Blackthorn Good Neighbours. Today it continues to have a positive impact on people’s lives and is committed to making communities better places to live.