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Craven Community Champion Awards 2015 - the winners!

The winners of the fourth annual Craven Community Champion Awards have been announced at a glittering ceremony at Coniston Hotel.

Community champions 2015

The event, run by Craven District Council and the Craven Herald, celebrated the achievements of the amazing people who help make Craven's communities stronger.

Sylvia Merrett was named as Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year for her work as chairperson of the Craven Mental Health Forum.

She said: "I feel somewhat overwhelmed tonight, having won, not one, but two awards! I have been grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health in Craven, and I would like to thank colleagues on the Craven Mental Health Forum who have offered me their unstinting support.

"Thank you to all those who supported and voted for me as Volunteer and Citizen of the Year 2015."

Team Ketchup, a group run by children to produce their own comics, based at Skipton Library, won the Arts and Culture Award.

The group has just launched its latest comic and Coniston Hotel agreed at the ceremony to buy dozens of copies every edition for their guests.

Beth Tudor, 16, from Team Ketchup, said: "We're really excited. It's really cool to be noticed for what we do. We're guest speakers at the British Comic Awards and we're just launching our new comic - and it seems like only yesterday that it all started."

Clapham Community Shop won Best Social Enterprise, after setting up in July 2014 as a community-owned village store.

Sue Mann, a member of the management committee, said: "We're just so chuffed because it's been such a lot of work by so many people in the community and it's just great to have this recognition."

Craven Energy triathlon club won the Sport and Recreation Award. Richard Cooke, chairman of the club, said: "We were honoured to be nominated and overwhelmed to be the winners. Thanks to all the coaches, volunteers and members who make this a really great club."

The Young Citizen of the Year award was won by Eleanor Marshall, a 15-year-old young leader at Skipton Juniors FC.

She said: "I'm very pleased and very surprised. I'm grateful to everyone at Skipton Juniors for their support."

Scoff Community Café, a new café at the Greatwood and Horseclose Community Centre, won Best Community Group.

Ray Marfell, the chef at Scoff, said: "It was a great honour to win the award against tough opposition, being nominated was good but to win was just fantastic.

"We would not have won or even been nominated in the first place without the support of our volunteers and not forgetting our community for making Scoff Cafe the success it is. Many thanks all round to all concerned."

Embsay CE Primary School won the Greener Craven award for their work championing Fairtrade, sustainable living and environmental improvement in the school and the village community.

Craven Youth Council won the Digital Innovation in the Community award for their campaign for a new skatepark in Aireville Park.

The judging panel was made up of Councillor Robert Mason, chairman of Craven District Council, Julian Smith MP, Lindsey Moore, Deputy Editor of the Craven Herald, Mary Waterfall, of Craven College, Milton Pearson, of Craven CVS, and Dee Pollitt, of Craven Volunteer Centre.

Councillor Mason said: "It was a fantastic event to celebrate the crucial work going on in our communities. It's so important to have these people who do so much to improve the lives of others and it's wonderful to be able to celebrate their efforts.

"All the groups and individuals who were shortlisted deserve recognition for their hard work. We would also like to thank our sponsors for their continued generous support, without which the Craven Community Champion Awards would not be possible."

Associate sponsor Cirteq, based in Glusburn, sponsored the awards, and each individual award was sponsored by a local business, including Peel Entertainment, Keelham Farm Shop, Broughton Hall Estate, Principle Healthcare Ltd, Angus Fire, ilovebroadband, the Coniston Hotel and Country Estate, Yorkshire Housing and Craven Pool and Fitness Centre.