Burnley's unsung heroes, volunteers and those who champion the town thanked and honoured in first ever Above and Beyond awards
Developed in partnership between Burnley Council, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) the Burnley Express and UCLan, the host for the evening was East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce director Simon Brierley and the VIP guest was the Mayor of Burnley Coun. Cosima Towneley.
A series of unique trophies, based on the design of Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree, were presented to the winners and those highly commended each received a framed certificate. The lead sponsor of the glittering event , held at UCLan’s Victoria Mill, was Urbaser, which provides waste collection and street cleaning services for the borough.
Council leader Councillor Afrasiab Anwar said: “There is a whole army of unsung heroes in our borough who go ‘above and beyond’ day in, day out to help others around them and they never ask for or get recognition for their services.
“But tonight has given us the chance to show them how valued they are and it was wonderful to see how much they appreciate it and what it means to them.”
Entertainment for the evening was provided by violinists and twin brothers Manveer and Harjeet Wilkhu who are both students at UCLan and guests enjoyed a street food style buffet and drinks served by Classic Cuisine.
John Deehan, editor of the Burnley Express, said: “"What a fantastic night! Burnley really is an incredible place full of incredible people, and nights like this show just how lucky we are to call our little town home.
"If you were to add up all the hours the people in that room have devoted to helping others, you’d be looking at decades. Every single one of them is an inspiration.”
Mick Cartledge, chief executive of Burnley Council, said: "It's always so humbling at events like this because all these people, all these groups, put in so much time, so much effort - in their own time - and are so committed to the town and its people; it always just blows me away."
Mr Cartledge was also one of the recipients of the trophies on the night in a surprise award to mark his retirement from the council after 21 years.
And Tracey Noon, who is health and wellbeing officer at the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale CVS said: “This was a fantastic awards ceremony which recognised our wonderful and vibrant community, voluntary and faith sector without whom our communities would not feel as supported as they do.
"Our fabulous community organisations always take up the mantle and the current economic climate is no exception. Without funding our volunteers could not do what they do so a big thank you to all of our funders who also recognise the value of our sector.”
Here is the list of the winners and those highly commended.
Highly commended: Jordan North and the Bishop of Burnley the Rt Rev Philip North
Howard and Nancy Mitchell
Highly commended: June Evans and Chris Keen.
Highly commended: Scarlett Lees and Grace Bradshaw
Highly commended: M S Angling and Sam Wright, The Period Coach.
Trees for Burnley
Highly commended: Pennine Lancashire Community Farm and Sustainability Innovators.
Volunteer of the Year
Highly commended: Val Murgatroyd, Vivien Storey, Amanda Grahame and Barry Beaumont.
Small community group
Bangladeshi Welfare Association
Highly commended: Padiham on Parade and Burnley Junior Parkrun
Medium to large community group
Highly commended: Burnley Youth Theatre and Horse and Pony Protection Association (HAPPA)
Fundraiser of the Year
Highly commended: Ivor Emo, Claudia Laird and Burnley/ Pendleside Rotary Club
Burnley Community Grocery
Highly commended: Janis Chisnall, Ghausia Mosque and West End Community Centre