See which Suffolk unsung heroes have been nominated for awards to recognise their inspiring work
PUBLISHED: 13:06 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 26 March 2019
They are some of Suffolk's most inspiring heroes who go above and beyond to help their communities and the most vulnerable in society.
And now these incredible nominees are due to get their just reward at a ceremony led by Suffolk’s High Sheriff to recognise the amazing work they do for others.
High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey invited nominations for volunteers, charities and community groups believed to be deserving honours for helping to make life better in the county.
There were many worthy entries which have been whittled down to a shortlist in several categories in this year’s High Sheriff’s Awards, such as Young Volunteer of the Year, Voluntary Organisation of the Year and the Inspiring Leader Award.
The winners will be unveiled at an awards ceremony hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk’s Lesley Dolphin and Tim Holder, from Suffolk Community Foundation, at Wherstead Park on Thursday, March 28.
Organisers have also hinted at an “excitement announcement” to be made on the day which will further enhance the profile of volunteers and charities in Suffolk.
Mr Vestey, whose year-long term as High Sheriff ends this month, said: “Not only have we had an exceptional number of nominations, over 150 in all, for this year’s High Sheriff’s Awards - the quality of entries has been just fantastic, and it has been so hard to choose winners for each category,
“The categories I chose for this year’s High Sheriff’s Awards now include one for health volunteers, one for volunteers in the police and armed forces, and one for the adult Volunteer of the Year, in addition to the usual Young Volunteer.”
Stephen Singleton, chief executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, added: “Year after year, this really precious occasion in the Suffolk calendar goes from strength to strength.
“Close to 300 people will gather on Thursday to say a huge thank you to our charities and community groups for all they do.
“Together we will raise vital awareness of need and support for them all to go out there and change lives so brilliantly.”
Sponsors for the awards include the East Anglian Daily Times, the East of England Co-op, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Vestey Holdings, Ashtons Legal, Shout About Suffolk, Birketts, Ipswich Building Society and Skinners.
High Sheriff’s Awards 2019 nominees
■ Suffolk Inspiring Leader Award - Rebecca Crerar (Suffolk Refugee Support), Fiona Ellis (Survivors In Transition), Ann Osborn (Rural Coffee Caravan), Emma Ratzer (Access Community Trust, Maureen Reynel (FIND - Families in Need) and Tara Somers (Home Start in Suffolk)
■ Suffolk Volunteer of the Year Award (25 years and over) - Jackie Hobson, Jill Brough and Ian Walters
■ Suffolk Young Volunteer of the Year Award (up to 25 years of age) - Bethany Levett and Chloe Pearson.
■ Suffolk Collaborative Partnership Award - Stowmarket Dementia Action Alliance, The Weavers Tea Room and ESNEFT
■ Suffolk Voluntary Organisation of the Year Award: Rebuilding Broken Lives - YMCA Trinity Group, Lighthouse Women’s Aid and Noise Solution
■ Suffolk Voluntary Organisation of the Year Award: Inspiring young people - The Mix, The Bangladeshi Support Centre and The B&B Young People’s Theatre Group
■ Suffolk Strengthen Your Community Award - Hour Community, WASSUP and Operation Camouflage
■ Suffolk Voluntary Health Care Award - The Memory Lane Café, Livability Icanho and The Phoenix Project
■ Suffolk Emergency and Armed Services Volunteers Award - Mark Brennan, Dr Jeremy Mauger and Paul Booker.