Knutsford’s Town Awards were presented last night as part of the Annual Town Meeting. The Awards, sponsored by the Forum of Private Business, were launched in 2013 with the aim of celebrating the contributions to the community from individuals, community groups and businesses.
Nominations were sought from the community in January and February, with the decision panel facing tough decisions on the winners for this year’s awards. A shortlist of candidates were invited to the awards ceremony, with the awards being interspersed between community presentations and updates from the Town Council.
The Youth Award went to Nathan Brown for his dedicated volunteer work at the Welcome Café in Longridge. One of his nominees noted that he “shows his dedication and commitment to the welcome café by volunteer most days, always with a smile on his face”.
The 2017 Community Award was presented to the Knutsford First Responders Trust for the range of services they provide which include responding to 999 calls, providing free HeartStart training, providing defibrillators and cardiac screening for the under 35s as part of the CRY campaign.
A commendation went to the Secret Garden of Springfields which the panel noted as being an outstanding and inspiring project. Also shortlisted for the community award were the Canute Lunch Club and Knutsford Heritage Centre.
The winner of the Business Award was announced in true Oscars fashion with a video from MD of the Forum of Private Business, Ian Cass, who couldn’t be at the awards; he revealed that of the two businesses shortlisted, Julia Chard of Mr Simms Sweetshoppe and Erica Goggins of the Knutsford Directory, the award went to the Knutsford Directory for its support of the community publishing content and adverts to help promote community activities and events.
Ian Cass of the Forum of Private Business, sponsors of the awards, said “we are delighted to be involved in the Town Awards again. We are very lucky to live in Knutsford and it is great to see so many businesses and individuals putting back into their community.”
The first Civic Award went to Sarah Pownall for her work campaigning to protect services at the Knutsford Children’s Centre and her work as part of the Strong Women project. The panel had heard about how brave Sarah had been in revealing her challenges as part of both campaigning and working on the Strong Women project and one of her nominees cited her as an “asset to the Longridge and Shaw Heath area”.
The second Civic Award was presented to Brian and Sylvia Chaplin. Both had been nominated individually and as a couple for their dedicated engagement with the Neighbourhood Plan and planning matters in Knutsford. Sylvia’s nominations also detailed her work with the Town Council on the protection of the War Memorial Cottage Hospital, plans for the Centennial War Memorial and her work recording the history of the town’s servicemen and women.
The final Civic Award went to Tony Leadbeater for this life of service to the youth of Knutsford through the Knutsford Scouts. Tony had been awarded the Silver Wolf by the Scout Association, its highest accolade, in 2014 and the panel felt that it was time his dedication was recognised locally.
Also shortlisted for the award were Ian and Barbara Taylor for their work with the Hampers of Hope, Julie King for work as lay-pastor at the Welcome Church and Hazel Cussons for her work volunteering at the Welcome Café.
Speaking after the awards, Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Jan Nicholson said “The Town Awards show the strength of our community and it was an honour to be able to present these awards to the winners”
“The awards seek to remind everyone that supporting your community is always recognised, always welcomed and always appreciated. We hope the awards help inspire more people to play an active role in the community of Knutsford.”