UNSUNG heroes and inspiring people from all walks of life stepped into the limelight at the 20th annual Babergh Community Achievement awards on Wednesday, writes Elliot Pinkham.
Held at Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa, the event recognised the hard work that goes into making our communities what they are by handing out 25 awards.
The Porch Project at St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh won the judges’ special award. The project was started in 2009 by the Very Rev Martin Thrower and has grown to offer a safe meeting place and hospitality to more than 200 children.
Youth work co-ordinator Craig Hutton said: “It was a very humbling experience. We have been hearing people say they want us to talk about the project but it gets a bit embarrassing.
“It was really nice for people to recognise the work of the volunteers and everyone else.”
Mr Hutton, who joined the project in October 2010, said the project is continuing to grow and develop.
“We have just secured funding for an education suite on the top floor of the deanery tower, with six to eight Apple Macs for young people who have been excluded from school or who need more help,” he explained.
“We are also developing a section of our management team to look at employment for young people.”
The awards were presented by council chairman David Wood, Robert Audley, chairman of award sponsors Prolog, and guest of honour Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk.
Jill Barton, Babergh District Council’s development officer, said: “We had 120 people at the ceremony and the range of people receiving the awards was amazing.
“There is always someone behind the scenes of our communities and without these people they wouldn’t thrive and prosper as they do.”
Mrs Barton believes the recognition for the younger people who won awards is important for the future.
“If people start working in their school communities then they continue in other areas later in life and are on the right path,” she said.
Nearly 50 people were nominated by parish councils, community groups and schools for the 25 awards.