Burnley Council leader column | Above and Beyond Award a fitting tribute to town's unsung heroes
It was an honour to be part of the inaugural Burnley Above and Beyond awards.
Held at Victoria Mill on the UCLAN Canalside Campus, the Burnley awards recognised and celebrated the hard work and dedication of our voluntary, community and faith sector.
Volunteers are a valuable asset to any community, and their efforts often go unrecognised. They selflessly give their time, energy, and resources to make a positive impact on the lives of others, without expecting anything in return.
It was therefore humbling to be in the presence of such wonderful individuals and groups, and learn about the great work they do across our borough. It was overwhelming to hear about the sheer number of projects being delivered, benefiting a wide range of people and creating a ripple effect of positivity in the community.
Contributions ranged from delivering meals to the elderly, mentoring disadvantaged youth, cleaning up local parks, tree planting, fundraising for local and national charities and much more.
It was only right that the great and good of Burnley and Padiham came together to recognise the efforts of people and groups that work quietly but relentlessly away in the background to make a real and significant difference to the lives of others. They do it without any fanfare and this was our opportunity to say a massive ‘thank you’ for their hard work and dedication.
Burnley is fortunate to have a strong culture of volunteering, and the community is undoubtedly better off because of it. By recognising the volunteers and expressing gratitude for their work, the Burnley Above and Beyond Awards went a small way towards valuing the difference that normal people make on a daily basis.
I would like to thank the judging panel who had the unenviable task of picking the winners across 10 categories since all the nominees were truly inspirational. As far as I am concerned every single one of the nominees was a winner and it was inspirational to meet them and be a part of their story.
The event was a huge success, and I would like to thank all our partners including UCLAN, Burnley Pendle and Rossendale CVS, Burnley Express and Urbaser who kindly sponsored the event.
All the award winners along with the highly commended will be celebrated in the Burnley Express over the coming days. Hopefully this will not only acknowledge their efforts but also inspire others to get involved in community service.