Congratulations to our Northamptonshire Community Foundation award winners

Posted 8th December 2022

A charity supporting children who have experienced trauma, a group tackling litter and a group’s cookery course for survivors of domestic abuse  – just a few of the winners at this year’s Northamptonshire Community Foundation Annual Awards.

The awards, which took place at the Royal & Derngate on Thursday, 8th December, have again thrown a spotlight on the incredible work that committed volunteers and community groups do across the county.

Rachel McGrath, CEO of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “Congratulations to all our finalists and winners tonight – a wonderful opportunity to pause and take time to celebrate our remarkable communities and to say a heartfelt thank you.

“Our five-year strategy is built around the recovery and revival of our communities, supporting them at this extraordinarily difficult time, recognising the huge scale of the challenge and the economic and social impact that will be felt for many years to come. As a local Community Foundation, we cannot solve all the problems, but we can work with our brilliant local charities, community organisations and our donors and supporters who are the social glue that hold us all together.”

Meet the 2022 award winners:

Best Newcomer Award, sponsored by SugaRich

Winner: Northants Litter Wombles

A community action group whose vision is to create a litter-free county by 2030. This group, which has over 200 volunteers, supplies litter picking equipment to encourage engagement from local residents to take part in organised group litter picks.

Trailblazer Award, generously sponsored by Novacroft

Winner: Sound Foundations Early Intervention & Psychotherapy Hub

A charity that works with parents and babies to provide a range of therapies and workshops. Thanks to a Foundation grant this group has been able to deliver an 8-week project, alongside Pen Green Children’s Centre in Corby, combining infant massage with music therapy techniques to help strengthen positive bonding experiences between parents/carers and their children.

Brilliant Group, sponsored by the University of Northampton

Winner: Power of the Mind Networks

Power of the Mind Networks works with widowed Black African and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women. They set up a cookery course for BAME survivors of domestic abuse, which ran weekly in two-hour sessions. This project brought together women from a range of backgrounds and countries and allowed them to form friendships with people who have experienced similar challenges.

The Edge Award, sponsored by Bambino Mio

Winner: KidsAid Foundation

KidsAid Foundation uses creative therapies and wellbeing to support children who have experienced trauma. During the pandemic, their service was inundated with a surge of unfunded referrals. They applied for our grant to allow them to offer more support to children who desperately needed it. The grant funded 70 therapy sessions to 14 children and young people.

Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Wilson Browne Solicitors.

Winner: Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire used Community Foundation funding to allow them to continue to provide community transport for those who have no other means of transport. Over the past 15 years, the group have delivered 16 successful Northamptonshire Community Foundation funded projects, and their recent recruitment drive helped them to recruit a further 13 volunteer drivers, with 118 new members joining the scheme.

Lady Juliet Townsend Award for Volunteering

Winner: Vince Doherty, The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation

Vince helps to support a wide range of activities including preparing food parcels, collecting supplies and helping with distribution, and supporting the social clubs. Vince is constantly looking for ways to help people and will go to immense lengths to do so to ensure vulnerable people are supported.

High Sheriff Initiative Award

Winner: Growing Together Northampton

This group runs a summer programme aimed at children aged 4 – 10 years who live in the most deprived areas of Northampton East. Their playscheme provided a varied programme of outdoor activities for children who may not have the opportunity to go on holiday, such as forest school, sports activities, splash day and visits to local country parks.

May I welcome the current High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Crispin Holborow DL to the stage.

Inspirational Woman Annual Award, in partnership with AVON

Winner: Teresa McCarthy-Dixon, The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation

Teresa established a foodbank during the Covid-19 pandemic supporting individuals, schools, Adult Social Services and other agencies across Northamptonshire, and is going on to establish The McCarthy Dixon Foundation as a charity which provides a range of services to improve the lives of local residents including social clubs and “Doorstep Buddies”.

More than 300 guests attended the awards evening, with performances by the Northampton Musical Theatre Company and by the Royal & Derngate Community Choir.

Catering was provided by the talented team from The Good Loaf.