Winners of the 2021 Knutsford Town Awards

Town celebrates its community heroes

Knutsford’s community heroes were celebrated this month at the presentation of the eighth Town Awards in St John’s Church (15th September).

The special awards evening started with presentations community organisations formed in the last twelve months: Crosstown Community Orchard, Friends of St John’s Wood and Friends of College Wood before the Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner announced the shortlists and winners of each category.

The awards, organised by Knutsford Town Council and sponsored by the Forum of Private Business aim to recognise the work individuals, community groups and businesses undertake for the Knutsford community. Nominations for the awards were submitted by the community over the summer.

The first award presented was the Youth Award, which recognises the work of those aged 21 and under. The award went to Duncan Jones for his work as a leader with Knutsford Scouts through which the Explorer scout supports the Beaver and Cub groups at both 2nd and 5th Knutsford Scouts. Duncan received multiple nominations which cited his positivity and praised him as a great role model for the children he works with.

Three Civic Awards are presented annually going to individuals who have worked to support the local community. The first Civic Award was presented to Russell Coulston for his work leading the youth activities at Toft Cricket Club through which his endless enthusiasm and inclusiveness is helping reinvigorate the club.

The second award was presented to Sarah Flannery for her work creating and managing the Knutsford Hosts. Sarah’s nomination highlighted the endless hours Sarah gives coordinating the diverse work the Knutsford Hosts do for the town and how valued Sarah makes the individual hosts feel. 

The final Civic Award went to Kevin Griffiths for his work improving the environment of Knutsford through a number of community organisations and projects. Kevin is a long-serving member of Friends of the Heath, played an integral role in setting up the Crosstown Community Orchard and co-leads a town wide tree mapping project. 

Russell Coulston receiving his award
Russell Coulston receiving his award from Cllr Stewart Gardiner and Ian Cass

Three people were shortlisted for the award: Maggie Clayton for her work at the Welcome Café, Paul Langley for his work with Knutsford Music Festival and LOL Cheshire and Ian Robertosn for his work with Hope Central.

The 2021 Community Award was presented to Knutsford Rotary Club for their work coordinating the marshalling of the COVID vaccination clinics. Thanks to this excellent support, Knutsford was notably ahead of other parts of the country in ensuring the community was vaccinated.  Also shortlisted for the award were the Fresh Start Baby Bank and Knutsford and District Talking Newspaper, with the Fresh Start Baby Bank receiving a commendation.

Four businesses were shortlisted for the Business Award which recognises the work businesses do to support the local community. In the running were Boxed Red Marketing for creating the Knutsford High Street website; TechnoType for their support of community initiatives and events; Dexter and Jones for their impressive expansion but the 2021 award went to The Tea Room in recognition of their wide involvement in community activity. Dexter and Jones received a commendation in recognition of their strong business growth over the last 12 months.

The final award presented was the Extra Mile Award, which recognises those who, in their paid work, go above and beyond the call of duty to the benefit of the town. Five people were shortlisted: June Curbishley in recognition of her long service at Boots, Sandra Curties, Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council for her support of the business community throughout the pandemic, Anthony Naylor, Watch Manager at Knutsford Fire Station for delivering wide community support through his role, Sarah Pownall for going above and beyond at the Welcome and Noey West for her role in supporting the local community at Waitrose. The award went to Anthony Naylor.

After the main awards were presented, Alison Hooper, Head of Egerton School presented the Knutsford Schools Award for Sustainability which aims to recognise the achievements of local businesses in supporting the environment through their business. This year two businesses received the award: Kanoa Living and the Bath House.

Speaking on the evening, awards sponsor Ian Cass of the Forum of Private Business said “I sometimes don’t think we realise just how lucky we are, this community really is fantastic. I deal with lots of communities across the UK, who struggle to get engagement, struggle to get projects off the ground, can’t get funding for things or have businesses which don’t support the community.  We are so lucky in Knutsford that we have this great community, with great people in it and great businesses in it. It’s my absolute pleasure to support the awards.”

Kanoa Living receiving the Knutsford Schools Sustainability Award
Kanoa Living receiving the Knutsford Schools Sustainability Award from Alison Hooper and pupils of Egerton School.

Nominations for the 2022 awards will open in January.

Town Mayor Cllr Gardiner with Ian Cass outside the Council Offices

Nominations open for the 2021 Town Awards

Nominations are sought for the 2021 Town Awards with the community encouraged to put forward their unsung heroes for consideration.

The awards, which are organised by the Town Council, were launched in 2013 and aim to shine a spotlight on those who make Knutsford a better place to live. The awards cover five categories recognising the efforts of individuals, businesses and community groups for their service to the wider Knutsford community.

The Civic Award which is presented to individuals who give their time voluntarily to undertake work in the community. Previous winners in this category have included Beryl Jenyons for her voluntary service at the Welcome and Gary Davies for his role supporting Knutsford and District Scouts for over 40 years.  Three Civic Awards are presented each year.

The Business Award goes to a business which has supported or worked with the community, last years winner were the traders of Knutsford Market Hall for their work supporting the most vulnerable in the community during the first coronavirus lockdown.

The Youth Award is presented to someone aged 21 or under who early in their lives have already started supporting the community. Previous winners have included Lillie Bryers and Lucas Cronan for their litterpicks on the Moor and Emily Coffey for her voluntary work with the Kntusford First Responders.

The Community Award recognises the importance of the various voluntary organisations operating in Knutsford with awards having previously been presented to We Are Knutsford (2020), Knutsford Lions (2013) and Knutsford Beer Festival (2015).

The final category is the Extra Mile Award which is presented to someone who as part of their paid job is going above and beyond to the benefit of the community. The first award went to Knutsford’s Town Ranger Bob Garner in 2019 with former PCSO Chris Pountain receiving the award in 2020.

The awards have been sponsored by the Forum of Private Business since inception. Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum said: “The Forum of Private Business are delighted to be sponsoring Knutsford’s town awards again after what has been a very difficult year for the town and the businesses in it, but Knutsford is a great community which works together, innovates to get through tough times like these, the Forum have been part of this community for over 40 years and are proud to support the town and the awards!”

Presented as part of the main Town Awards is the Knutsford and District Youth Council School’s Sustainability Award. The Youth Council introduced the award in 2020 and are looking for businesses which demonstrate environmental awareness in their products and supply chain and work to minimise their carbon footprint.

Nominations for all awards are open until 31st July and can be here: Town Awards Nomination Form or in writing to Council Offices, Toft Road, Knutsford, WA16 6TA. Nominations need to be accompanied by a citation outlining why the nominee deserves an award. All nominations will be reviewed by a panel with awards presented at a special awards evening in September.

2020 Town Awards Winners

The winners of the 2020 Knutsford Town Awards have been announced in a special video created by Knutsford Town Council.

The Town Awards aim to celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations that help to make Knutsford such a special community. The awards have been running since 2013, organised by Knutsford Town Council and sponsored by the Forum of Private Business.

An awards ceremony is usually organised where the winners can receive their prize in person, presented to them by the Mayor of Knutsford and Ian Cass, founder and director of the Forum of Private Business. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was not possible to hold an award ceremony with all of the winners and so organisers at the Town Council decided to get creative.

A special video has been created, put together by Rachel Bishop Consulting, where the Mayor of Knutsford presented the seven awards, plus a special award presented by the Knutsford and District Youth Council, to the deserving winners.

Ian Cass, director of the Forum, said: “The Forum of Private business has been part of the Knutsford community for over 40 years, based in our offices in the Ruskin chambers since 1977. We are very proud to be the sponsors and supporters of the Knutsford Town Awards again and look forward to supporting them for many more years.

We have a brilliant community here in Knutsford, one that supports each other, promotes the town and keeps coming up with new and innovative ideas, this is driven by people and those people have stepped up again, particularly during the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have a community who deserve to be recognised and celebrated for another year of great achievements, something the Forum are delighted to be part of!”

Three Civic Awards were awarded; to Mark Radcliffe for his work with Knutsford Music Festival curating the popular folk nights, Ian Robertson for his work with Hope Central and Garry Davies for his work with the Knutsford Scouts.

The Youth Award was presented to Lucas Cronan and Lillie Bryers who spend their Sunday mornings litter picking on the Moor whilst their mums attend bootcamp classes.

The Community Award was presented to We Are Knutsford, a community group formed in response to the first national Covid-19 lockdown to provide support to those who are self-isolating or otherwise in need, for their work in supporting the Knutsford community throughout the pandemic.

An Extra Mile Award, which was first launched in 2019, was presented to Chris Pountain for his time spent as a PCSO in Knutsford until summer 2020. Chris supported many town events and initiatives and worked with the Beat team to keep Knutsford residents safe.

The 2020 Business Award was presented to the traders of Knutsford Market Hall, for their commitment and hard work in supporting the community during the first nationwide lockdown providing vital food and supplies to many residents, including offering delivery services to keep residents fed.

A new Sustainability Award was launched by the Knutsford and District Youth Council, designed to celebrate businesses who have taken strides to promote eco practices in their day to day operations. The award was presented by Alison Hooper, headteacher at Egerton Primary School, to Serenity Designs for their hard work to make sustainable changes and stock eco friendly products for their customers.

Cllr Andrew Malloy, Mayor of Knutsford, said: “The Knutsford Town Awards for me is one of the most important things we do as a Town Council. It is a direct representation from the people of the town acknowledging the amazing things that so many people do to support individuals within the town, as well as communities and businesses.

It has been a real thrill for me to meet the winners, hear their stories and present them with their awards of recognition. I really look forward to the 2021 Knutsford Town Awards and what they will bring for us.”