North Kesteven

Richard Wright: Celebrating our district’s community champions

Every day, in every place across the district an immense difference is made to all of our lives by an incalculable number of people through inestimable acts of kindness.

Carried out quietly, tirelessly and selflessly, in both paid and voluntary capacities, this represents an immeasurable depth of community spirit, care and compassion.

It marks out our residents, businesses and a general way of being in North Kesteven.

The periodic picking of litter, the co-ordination of a club, the regularity of a rota’d LIVES responder, or nipping round to a neighbour with a hot meal; such thoughtful acts strengthen the foundations of, and the connections within, our communities.

Communities are as broad as a bunch of people, a church, a cul-de-sac or a club as much as an entire villages or even the whole district.

And the connectivity of our communities is borne out in the district enjoying the highest levels of life satisfaction, quality of life, contentment, happiness and a sense of wellbeing and, for a fourth year, the lowest level of crime of anywhere in the country.

And every year North Kesteven District Council seeks to celebrate this – to award it and applaud it – through its Community Champion Awards.

Made possible through the generosity of community-minded local businesses – such as The Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Reporter as expressed through their ongoing support – these awards rely wholly on appreciative residents bringing such deserving champions to wider thanks and recognition.

With just three weeks left until the nominations deadline on September 8, I implore you to nominate those individuals, organisations or businesses making that difference daily.

All it takes is a few words and examples of what they do at www.nkawards.org, or click through on the advert on these pages. (if applicable)

There are eight categories celebrating Community Spirit, Young Achiever, Community Business and Longstanding Dedication to a single cause, as well as contributions to Arts & Culture, Health & Wellbeing, a Better Environment and Sport.

Across these categories we are looking to honour those people who – in a voluntary capacity, or over, above and beyond any paid work – go out of their way to inspire, motivate and enable; who display care and compassion and make a difference locally within North Kesteven.

These could be:

  • Businesses putting something back into their community as shown by Branston Ltd and Hill Holt Wood last year;
  • Young people operating beyond the restraints of physical or circumstantial difficulties such as Christina Creedon who stood up to bullies and fights for parity and fairness;
  • Individuals who use their time to enrich lives through arts, culture or heritage initiatives, exemplified in 2016 by John Crouch’s commitment to youth music;
  • Those who devote time, effort and energy to facilitating access to sport, such as Angela Morley who organises participation in the Special Olympics;
  • People who devote themselves so singularly to a particular group or organisation that it’s hard to imagine it without them. Who pick litter, broaden environmental awareness and generally maintain a clean and tidy location, transforming a place as with the Mareham Pastures group in Sleaford;
  • People, groups or organisations for whom the health and wellbeing of individuals and broader society is critical, as with Debbie Jones who crusaded on a range of mental health measures;
  • A broad display of community spirit which shows thoughtful neighbourliness, hard work, diligence, dedication and commitment, exemplified last year by Ian Kendrick of Waddington and Barbara and the late Keven Roberts from South Rauceby.

Hundreds of people express care, compassion and community spiritedness in so many ways, operating alone or in groups, working unstintingly and tirelessly on behalf of others and creating the vibrant and flourishing places we enjoy so much.

Without them, all of our lives would be poorer and North Kesteven would not be the wonderful place it is.

As grateful neighbours, beneficiaries and complete strangers whose lives have been touched by such kindness, please apply your own thoughtful consideration to making a nomination.

And in the meanwhile, I thank you all for your contributions and acts of kindness – large and small – which give strength and vibrancy to our communities and make North Kesteven so distinct.