Sudbury and Hadleigh organisations and volunteers have won three of this year’s eight Community Action Suffolk Awards.
Eve Brooks-Parkin, 15, who volunteers for the Eden-Rose Coppice Trust – a woodland retreat opposite The Granary in Sudbury – won a community award for her work with children with learning difficulties. She has also raised money for the charity.
Fran Moore, from the trust, nominated her. She said: “Eve has volunteered for Eden-Rose Coppice Trust for the past five years, using her precious free time during school holidays.
“She supports children with learning difficulties at the charity’s holiday clubs and leads a group of young volunteers who help to restore woodland for the benefit of the local community and wildlife.
“Eve connects with the children in a very special way that seems to bring out the best in each child, many with profound learning disabilities.”
The Roddy Macleod Award for youth club of the year went to FortKnights, a small group for six young people with learning disabilities in Sudbury, which is part of The Befriending Scheme.
The group meets every two weeks – hence the name chosen by the members – to do fun and exciting activities, such as go-karting and dodgeball.
Judges said FortKnights was an exceptional group, helping to break down social isolation and making a profound difference to everyone who attends.
The Colonel Probert award for community initiative was won by The Hadleigh Steering Group, a forum involved in the running and wellbeing of the town.
Several community initiatives have been instigated, including a tidy town group, membership of the Wool Towns Group, a festival legacy group, a Christmas event, a gardens group, town guide training and pop-up visitors’ information.
Judges said the town looked tidier, cleaner, well-maintained, cheerful and welcoming.
Pete Richardson, Community Action Suffolk chief executive, said: “We really do have some amazing projects on our doorsteps.
“Often this work goes unnoticed by many but, without it, vulnerable people wouldn’t be given the support they need and communities wouldn’t be the social centres that they are.”