For the second year, the Community Foundation for Calderdale has hosted the impressive Community Spirit Awards. The event attracted a sell out crowd of over 300 to the Venue at Barkisland to celebrate the selfless work of volunteers, charities and community groups.

The Community Foundation for Calderdale is its self a charity, which raises money to fund and support community activity across Calderdale.

CEO of the Community Foundation Steve Duncan said “We help local people do extraordinary things together. We fund and support a huge range of activities that help young people, older people and disabled people, as well as homelessness, sports, environmental, education, and mental health projects, plus everything in between. We work with our local communities to inspire and encourage projects that they want to see, to make their neighbourhoods happier, healthier and safer places to be. This makes us uniquely positioned to organise these awards.”

Each year the awards seek nominations from the public, beneficiaries and the community groups and charities themselves. This year over 60 submissions were received, and the judging panel, (Sian Rogers CMBC, Simon Walton Riley & Co, Steve Duncan Community Foundation, Judith Wright from Wright Angle Marketing) shortlisted 35 organisations and individuals. The event was compared by multi-award winning radio presenter John Foster and Pulse 2 host Chris Johnson.

The first award of the night, Outstanding Individual achievement, went to Headmaster of Ravensciffe High School Martin Moorman. Martin was honoured for his dedication to his students and his work to help raise £1.8m of funds to open Ravenscliffe@SpringHall. Below Martin Moorman with category sponsor Kath Johnston from Wilby Insurance. Photo credit www.chrislordphotography.co.uk

The second award of the night went to a shocked Roger Harvey OBE who was surprised with a Lifetime Service Award which was presented by The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson. Mr Harvey was given the award for significantly contributing his time, enthusiasm and money supporting a wide range of voluntary and community organisations. He has sat on boards at the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Northern Broadsides Theatre Company, Halifax Rugby League, The Calderdale Business Advice Centre and the Halifax 900 Trust.
He also chaired Action Halifax and the Victoria Theatre Trust, and he is currently Vice President of the Community Foundation for Calderdale.
He is passionate about a range of local organisations including Project Challenge, Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College, Halifax Choral Society and the Black Dyke Band. To support local organisations, he is passionate about he established a Fund at the Community Foundation which is now nearing £140,000, which awards grants to local organisations.

Mr Harvey said: “I was extremely flattered and surprised to receive my lifetime service award from the Community Foundation for Calderdale. “When I was in the company of so many people who were at the awards dinner who give their time and energy to the charities and good causes it makes the award even more humbling. “As I said on the evening, you get far more out of being involved in the community than you give, and if anyone has spare time to give to help by fundraising or helping with their time I can really say that it will be time well spent.”

Overgate Hospice scooped the third award of the night for Best Marketing, for the rebranding of the Midnight Walk. With the Hospice’s running costs reaching £3.5 million in 2017 the Hospice Fundraising Team needed to identify ways to increase fundraising income. The Midnight Walk has always been a popular fundraising event, however, the team at Overgate felt with a bit of work the event could be bigger and better.
Overgate identified new and established ways of marketing the event. New partnerships were formed with external media providers including The Pulse Radio Station, Exterion Media and JCDecaux. The Overgate Retail team used their prime locations throughout Calderdale to assist in marketing the event with innovative shop window displays. This led to an increase of £39,500 in donations.  Below Overgate Hospice with category sponsor Wright Angle Marketing

Followed by Healthy Minds Calderdale taking the award for the Breakthrough of the Year. Their innovative project to support people in Todmorden with mental health issues was praised for its partnership approach and dedication to its beneficiaries. Healthy Minds’ Todmorden Emotional Health & Wellbeing Project has developed specific support services and activities aimed at the core client group of people who were affected by the Boxing Day floods, the creation and sustainment of a wellbeing network and the delivery of a micro-commissioning fund aimed at directly supporting the work of local groups (10 groups have been supported directly in this process). Special recognition was given to Tamsin Walker’s contribution to the project. Below Healthy Minds with the category sponsor Heights UK.

 

The fifth award of the night Young Community Champion was scooped by seventeen-year-old Kevin Flanagan, who has volunteered with Orange Box for two years taking on many roles. Including developing sessions for young people, represented Orange Box on local radio and at Community events and has been given the responsibility of managing the Orange Box Snapchat account. Below Kevin Flanagan with category sponsor Julie Jenkins from Calderdale Council. 

Kevin Flanagan said “I’m really grateful for this award and the opportunities Orange Box has given me. Volunteering has really helped me decide what career I want to do in the future.”

Jamie Eagleton Development Officer at Orange Box young people’s centre, who nominated Kevin said “We are really proud of Kevin. It has been so rewarding to see him grow as a person and really gain a sense of himself and what he wants out of life. Kevin admits that before he started volunteering with Orange Box he wasn’t making the best choices and he’s glad that through volunteering he’s been able to build his confidence, skillset, realised his potential and gained a positive outlook for the future.”

Up next was the Great & Green award, which was scooped by Slow The Flow has worked tirelessly since forming after the Boxing Day Flood in 2015. Slow the Flow has a number of Natural Flood Management (NFM) projects, including a pilot project aided by The National Trust building leaky dams in Hardcastle Crags, River Level Monitoring which will measure the success of their work in the Crags, and promotion and education around the many benefits of Sustainable Urban Drainage. Below Slow the Flow with category sponsor Pulman Steel.

Adrian Horton from Slow the Flow said “Slow The Flow Calderdale are completely thrilled to win the Community Foundation Great & Green Award’ for the 2nd time. It is a testament to just how hard our teams of volunteers work and the achievements they have made over the last 2 year. The quest to reduce flood risk in the Calder Valley is a huge task stretching from Brighouse to Walsden and we have plans to develop more schemes in the coming years with more volunteers and groups who want to make a difference to their community. Our volunteers are certainly not passive observers, but local people who want to make a significant contribution to reducing flood risk.”

Brodstock Music Festival took the award for Best Fundraising Campaign, after raising over £75,000 for local charities via their annual music festivals. Calderdale’s Brodstock Music Festival had its biggest year to date in 2018 and is now firmly Yorkshire’s biggest annual benefit concert (in terms of the amount raised for good causes). This year Overgate and Yorkshire Air Ambulance each benefited from £15,000. Below Brodstock with category sponsor Nigel Cliffe from Value Exchange.

 

Hebden Bridge based Nova Collective took home the award for Arts & Culture after the judges were impressed with their Desperate Youth art installation. The project was produced in February 2018 and later re-commissioned for Hebden Bridge arts festival. Nova Collective is a collective of vibrant young artists based in Hebden Bridge who produce music and theatre events, craft events, exhibitions, and support creative entrepreneurialism. Below Nova Collective with category sponsor Vicky Nolan from Croft Myl.

Next up was the Volunteer of the Year award, the recipients of this award stole the show, with the audience astounded at the length of service and dedication shown by both women.
Peggy Bruce has volunteered with Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice for many years. Helping the charity make a massive difference to children and families and raising well over £12,000 from her famous tombola’s, placing and collecting collection tubs across Calderdale, selling Forget Me Not merchandise and holding stalls at events. Below winners Peggy Wilson and Peggy Bruce with category sponsor Liz Kenny from Skircoat Green Directory.

Nicky Armstrong from the Hospice said “Peggy is an instrumental part of our Forget Me Not family and has volunteered at our events, poured teas and coffees for visitors at our Open Days, has helped the fundraising team massively every Monday afternoon helping the team with research and has been a speaker – spreading awareness of Forget Me Not and inspiring others to support us. This is just a handful of things she has done for us.”

Peggy Williamson is over 90 years old and has for 25 years volunteered at Square Chapple Arts Centre, working on their outreach programmes, in the theatre and in the new cinema. Peggy also volunteers with Oxfam and Calderdale Careers project.

Peggy said “Thank you very much. I’m not sure I should receive an award for doing something so enjoyable! Square Chapel is a wonderful place and it is such a pleasure to work with the staff and other volunteers there”.

The award for Best New Charitable group went to the Puzzle Hall Community Pub, the group was set up as a Facebook page in April 2017 to judge the level of interest in purchasing the Puzzle as a community-owned pub. Since then they have carried out research and a feasibility study, and a wide range of community consultation and marketing activities, procured professional surveys and advice, negotiated with the vendors and developed a comprehensive business plan and share offer.   The group has successfully raised £270,600  with 219 investors in 64 days.
On top of this, nearly £7,000 has been raised at various fundraisers and from generous donations. They have also adopted a more than a pub ethos and have consulted with the local community to ensure the building offers something for the whole community. Below the Puzzle Hall group with category sponsor Martin Haigh from Lattitude7

Sam Irvine from the Puzzle Hall group said “We’ve had a tough couple of months as a team with the progression of the building scheme now picking up speed. Winning this award has reaffirmed what we all knew deep down, that the project is an important one, not just for us and the friends of the puzzle hall, but for the wider community. We feel overjoyed that the collective efforts involved from locals to folk that never set foot in the place has paid off and that we have the momentum bring the much loved gem back to life.

A new puzzle we must solve now is drawing up a rota for which team member is going to take the trophy home and tend to the sheep until the puzzle opens and it finds its place behind the bar.”

The final award of the evening, Charity of the Year went to Halifax Opportunities Trust.
Halifax Opportunities Trust is also known as HOT purpose is to create a vibrant multi-cultural and self-sustaining community. This is achieved this by working alongside people in Calderdale to find good jobs; to develop their knowledge, skills and qualifications; to address isolation and loneliness; to grow businesses and to give children a great start in life.
In the past 12 months, Halifax Opportunities Trust has received recognition for the exceptional quality of provision across its, multiple work streams. Including all 5 nurseries operated by Halifax Opportunities Trust have now achieved ‘Outstanding’ from Ofsted.

The Todmorden Children’s Centre nursery has received a national Good Food award in acknowledgement of their commitment to providing outstanding food and food education for children in their care and their commercial catering kitchen The Out-front Kitchen achieved a 5 star rating for food hygiene.
Within the last year, they were also awarded the Calderdale Kitemark for Volunteering, given to organisations who provide excellent quality volunteering opportunities.

Their apprenticeships, training and employment support has received Matrix accreditation for the 7th consecutive year for the quality of advice and guidance provided by HOT staff and we have just had an extraordinarily positive Ofsted monitoring visit for their apprenticeship provision.
Over 5000 families have used our Children’s Centres and we have provided daycare places for 488 children.
75 businesses have benefitted from the provision of office and conferencing space by HOT and we awarded over £18,000 in grants to start-ups in the form of rental subsidies.
HOT enabled £14m GVA to the local economy and supported 304 FTE jobs. They ensure that they ‘buy local’ to keep money circulating locally and they carried out an exercise which shows that for every £1 they spend as an organisation, £2.43 is generated within the local economy. This creates around £12m of spend in Calderdale. Taking in to account all of these accomplishments the judges were unanimous in awarding you the Charity Of the Year Award

Below The Halifax Opportunities tea with category sponsor Vicky Atkinson from Riley & Co.

The Community Foundation would like to thank Chris Lord Photography www.chrislordphotography.co.uk