Community champions from West Suffolk who go the extra mile to help their neighbourhoods and those in need took top honours at an awards ceremony.
They were recognised for their selfless dedication at the High Sheriff’s Awards with winners scooping a trophy, certificate and £1,000 for the community group or charity they represent.
Organised by the High Sheriff Judith Shallow with Suffolk Community Foundation, there were eight overall winners with three special commendations in the ceremony at the Museum of East Anglian Life. West Suffolk show-cased its trailblazing community spirit after topping several categories.
Bury in Bloom and landscapers Pro-Scape were joint winners of the Suffolk Corporate Community Partnership of the Year with the NSCRC Community Payback and Broomhill Pool Trust. They each received £500.
Striving to make the town awash with floral colour, Pro-scape has been involved with the Bury Society group on projects such as the Flowerheads art installation in the Abbey Gardens, creating eye-catching roundabout displays and a garden at St Peter’s House care home.
Matthew Plume, contract manager at Pro-Scape, said: “Our work with Bury in Bloom is about making where we live look better and it’s fantastic to be recognised for it.”
Melanie Lesser, of In Bloom, said: “Without Pro-scape we couldn’t do a lot of the things we do - they’ve always been there and are keen to work with us.”
The High Sheriff’s Special Award for the Arts was a new accolade introduced this year and went to Artheads, in Bury, which helps those with drug, alcohol and mental health issues by expanding their creativity.
Tamar Irvine, project manager of Artheads, said: “It’s just lovely that people have looked at the work we do and recognised us. There are 80 to 90 people recovering from addiction who come to us every month of which 51 are members. We are delighted to have won this special award.”
Andrew King, chairman of Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue, was named Volunteer of the Year. Mr King, of Mildenhall, is a mountain bike enthusiast and oversaw the introduction of bike searches into the team, which has been adopted nationally in all lowland search teams.
He said: “I can’t believe I won. It was great to have other members of the team there because this award is as much theirs as it is mine.”