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Local charities become award winners at Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards

Six local charities and community groups and two individuals won awards for their commitment to their local communities at Northamptonshire Community Foundation's Annual Awards event, held at the Royal Theatre in Northampton on Wednesday 29th November.

Local voluntary association, Q Space, won the Building Better Communities Award for their work supporting the LGBTQ+ community in Northamptonshire, including hosting a prom for 32 young people so they could enjoy a night of being truly themselves.  

Outside in Theatre, a female-led non-profit organisation, won the Celebrating Culture and Heritage Award for their Bramble Ramble activity packs, which enabled 488 beneficiaries across Kingswood and Hazel Leys to get outside and enjoy affordable family activities throughout the summer. 

Using the values of rugby, Northampton Saints Foundation inspire, support and educate local young people. The charity won the Excellence in Education Award for their Engage programme, which got 37 students back into mainstream education following exclusion. 

Catherine Deans, Managing Director of Northampton Saints Foundation, said: "We, as a team, are delighted that Engage was recognised in the Excellence in Education category.  

“Engage is such as positive programme supporting some many of our local young people to make positive change.  We could not do this without the support of funders such as those that have supported us via Northampton Community Foundation.  

“Thank you to Northampton Community Foundation, and all those who have supported our work in this and previous years as we continue to give everyone the chance for a positive future."   

Joely Wright from Northants Youth Music 23 opens the event on stage at the Royal Theatre
Joely Wright from Northants Youth Music 23 opened the event

Re:Store Northampton works to address poverty through community projects. For their allotment project, which trained and equipped 16 vulnerable adults to grow their own vegetables in a community allotment, the team won the Happy and Healthy Communities Award. 

Located in the centre of Wellingborough, the Victoria Centre provides a safe space for all communities. The centre won the Tackling Inequalities Award for their work supporting Ukranian families and their hosts in Northamptonshire, benefitting 60 people.  

Each year, Northamptonshire Community Foundation works closely with the county’s High Sheriff and awards the High Sheriff Award to a local group working to reduce the potential of crime in Northamptonshire. This year, Home-Start Kettering won the High Sheriff Award for the help they provide to families with young children.  

The Lady Juliet Townsend Award for Volunteering celebrates those who give their time, energy and kindness to make a difference in their community. Steph Clayson, volunteer Counsellor at The Lowdown won this award and has supported the mental health charity for over five years. The Lady Juliet Townsend Award also acknowledged Lucy Smith, one of the founders of Thomas’ Fund who has volunteered with children, families and young people for over 16 years, as runner up. 

The final award presented at the event was the Avon Inspiration Woman Award, which acknowledges inspiration women in the voluntary sector. This year’s winner, Pat Manchester, is a Co-Founder and Trustee of Daventry Contact, a charity that redistributes furniture to those in need. Pat has supported Daventry Contact for over 40 years.  

The Songbirds Choir close the event with a performance on stage at the Royal Theatre
The Songbirds Choir closed the event

Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards was kindly supported by several local businesses, including Scott Bader Commonwealth, Rathbones, Tangerine Red, Wilson Browne Solicitors, Discover Northamptonshire, the University of Northampton, Bambino Mio, EMW Law and Avon.  

Hayley Sutherland, Scott Bader Commonwealth Office Manager, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were so proud to be the Headline Sponsors!” 

Northamptonshire Community Foundation is proud to work with a wide range of small charities, volunteer-led groups and community organisations. Rachel McGrath, CEO of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: "Our Annual Awards event is the highlight of our calendar, because it gives us and all our generous supporters the opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes, charities, volunteer organisations and community groups doing incredible work across the county, to better the lives of our most in-need residents.  

"We are very grateful to the local businesses who kindly sponsored the event, and to all our donors and partners who work with us throughout the year to enable us to provide funding to those who truly need it most.  

"Congratulations to each and every award winner and nominee, we are thrilled to be able to celebrate you and we look forward to continuing our work with you into the new year and beyond." 

Award winners and judges celebrating on stage at the Royal Theatre