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The winners of the Craven Community Champion Awards 2014

A special prize evening was held at The Coniston Hotel last Thursday to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Craven's communities. The awards ceremony paid accolade to some amazing people who help to make the district special. Winners of the awards were given their moment in the spotlight when the third annual Craven Community Champion Awards were announced.

The winners in each award category were:

SKIPTON EMBROIDERERS' GUILD - WINNER OF THE CIVIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Presented by Craven District Council)

Skipton Embroiderers' Guild is a group of people with an interest in textile art and embroidery. The group is open to anyone whether they have been sewing their whole life or would like to learn. Skipton and Grassington Embroiderers' Guild, along with many members of the community, created a 135cms x135cms piece of textile art depicting the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the route of the Tour de France. It was displayed in the main window of the shop Fat Face on Skipton High Street, where it was seen by thousands before, during and after the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. It was also exhibited at Kettlewell MayFest, Ingleton Festival, Grassington Festival, The Dales Museum. The British Wool Weekend and Yarndale. The guild carried out over 15 workshops with the community to complete the piece including workshops with Broughton Road women's group, Christ Church School and Padiham

SKIPTON EMBROIDERERS' GUILD - WNNER OF THE ART AND CULTURE AWARD (Sponsored by Peel Entertainment)

The Guild has recently completed a series of outreach projects known as Start, meaning Stitched Art in the Dales. The project was to celebrate the Tour de France; Grand Depart coming to Craven. A large piece of felted wool was prepared with a textile artist, and then 48 squares were added to the sides. Members of the public, community groups and members of the Skipton and Grassington Embroiderers' Guild all contributed to the squares, which depicted images of Dales' life which had particular personal meaning to the maker. The project was very successful and people from all over Craven took part to create a unique piece of art that depicted all the things that make Craven such a wonderful place. The finished piece was situated in the window of Fat Face on Skipton High Street during summer.

JUST ASK DOMESTIC SERVICES - WINNER OF THE INNOVATIVE BUSINESS CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY AWARD (Sponsored by Principle Healthcare International)

Just Ask Domestic Services was founded by Sarah and Steve Hulbert to provide the kind of help that people really want and need to remain safely in their own homes. Skipton and the villages in the surrounding area have a higher than the national average population over the age of 65 years. As a result of increasing pressures on health and community services, more people are remaining in their own homes for longer. Sarah and Steve wanted the service to be available to anyone and so became a not for profit, community interest company in 2013. By using profits from full paying clients they are able to offer a subsidy to clients on a guaranteed pension credit. This has proved really popular, both with professional clients wanting their houses cleaned regularly and with the elderly clients who benefit. Just Ask is a great and guilt free way to get your home cleaned, enabling the client to give something back to their local community.

NETHERGILL FARM, CHRIS CLARK - WINNER OF THE DIGITAL INNOVATION IN THE COMMUNITY AWARD (Sponsored by Superfast North Yorkshire)

Chris Clark runs the remote Nethergill Farm at the top of Langstrothdale. As well as being a working 400 acre farm, Nethergill also has self-catering haylofts, a B&B, a field centre and an art studio. Nethergill Farm benefits from high speed broadband using the Upper Wharfedale wireless community scheme (run by LN Communications). Earlier this year Chris created a network of wildlife cameras including nest boxes and river cameras (to catch sight of illusive otters). The farm quickly made links with local schools and museums, who could view the cameras remotely and help show young people the links between food, farming and the environment.

CARLETON COMMUNITY UMBRELLA - WINNER OF THE COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR AWARD (Sponsored by Keelham Farm Shop)

The Carleton Community Umbrella is a not for profit organisation formed in 2010 to support community groups and activities. To do this they organise a series of year round events which attract crowds of over 400 people. The funds raised by these events are used to give direct financial support and practical help to anyone or any organisation providing community activities or services to the residents of Carleton. The Umbrella organises a number of community events each year, including a duck race, the gala & sport weekend, a bonfire & fireworks display, a yuletide carol service and a community 'Big Breakfast' every bank holiday. They have bought and maintain a supply of equipment which is available to any village group free of charge and coordinates a village wide event insurance policy that any Carleton based organisation can subscribe to reduce their running costs. Over the last three years, The Umbrella has made direct financial contributions in excess of £4500 to several village groups including the Ladies Choir and Junior Village Football Team.

LONG PRESTON FLOODPLAIN PROJECT - WINNER OF THE GREENER CRAVEN AWARD (Sponsored by Craven District Council)

For over 10 years the Long Preston Floodplain Project has worked to restore important habitats and natural floodplain processes of the River Ribble. The project has also encouraged scarce bird species into the area and supported farming on site. The project has improved the physical and ecological health of the River Ribble and its wet grassland habitat, to benefit wading birds, wildfowl and other wildlife. The project has also raised public awareness by improving access to the area for people to learn about the grassland, its birds, wildlife and management. A partnership of charities, agencies, local government and farmers has brought benefits to local businesses by creating opportunities for the local economy to benefit from this valuable natural resource.

WALTER TOOBY - WINNER OF THE SPORT AND RECREATION AWARD (Sponsored by Broughton Hall Business Park)

Ingleton Pool celebrates its 80th year this year. Ingleton is proud of its swimming pool which featured in an article '100 Best Swimming Pools Worldwide' and this is due to Walter Tooby who for over 40 years has maintained the pool and organised fundraising events to keep this wonderful asset going. Walter has worked tirelessly in his spare time to ensure the pool is open to all, organising fundraising events such as raffles and barbeques has made it possible to install disabled facilities and new changing rooms. Several generations of children have learnt to swim in the pool and it is an important asset to Ingleton and its surrounding villages.

BRETTEN LORD - WINNER OF THE YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD (Sponsored by The Coniston Hotel and Country Estate)

Bretten is an enthusiastic and inspirational young person and has set up 'Take 2' - an amateur dramatic community theatre group. This year he is directing Take 2's annual performance, 'The Witch that Nicked Christmas', giving people in Settle the chance to get involved in an ambitious community production. Bretten has secured the use of Mike Harding's script and is using Victoria Hall for the show. Having featured in 'Lad' Bretten has inspired many and been a positive role model within the local community. He has shown people that hard work can pay off. His work with Settle Stories, a storytelling festival has helped the charity engage with a younger audience and he has suggested key ways in which to engage this section of the community. He has been a positive ambassador for the charity and has raised awareness of their work. He has volunteered weekly at the Internet Help Cafe where he has befriended older people and helped them to get online. Bretten always has a positive and enthusiastic approach and is an asset to his community.

EDNA SMITH - WINNER OF THE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Sponsored by Angus Fire)

Edna is a lifelong resident of Cowling and a very hard working member of the old Ickornshaw Chapel. When the chapel closed, she joined St. Andrews Methodist Church where she has been a faithful worker for many years. She has a strong alto voice, and has been a choir member with Keighley Vocal Union, Colne Ladies, and others in the area. She is treasurer and booking secretary at St. Andrews, cleaned when there has been no cleaner, helped with decorating and alterations, strims the Chapel graveyard on a regular basis and together with her son has chopped unsafe branches from trees. Edna seems to have boundless energy, and has helped with meals on wheels, the community café, litter picks and Cowling Companions. Edna has even started a charity shop with the profits used to support community projects including refurbishing the kitchen at St Andrews Church. Edna also cared for her late husband, Malcom when he was very ill - right to the end and still maintained her many interests and duties.

Press release date 23rd October 2014