Scarborough volunteer wins community award
Volunteers and groups across the area were honoured at North Yorkshire County Council’s annual community awards.
The awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate and showcase voluntary work by individuals and organisations that make their neighbourhoods better places to live.
The judges, including representatives of the County Council, volunteer organisations and young people, were impressed by the quality of the nominees.
This year’s volunteer of the year award went to Scarborough-based Natalie Davies.
Natalie is the Commanding Officer for Scarborough Sea Cadets.
Running a centre with more than 100 cadets from disadvantaged families, the cadets offer a wide range of largely free activities, including sailing, windsurfing, rowing, navigation, engineering, first aid, music and catering.
Natalie can put in up to 40 hours a week to take the young people on the water, help them to take apart an engine or teach them first aid.
The winner of each category received £1,000 for the project, group or nominated relevant local charity in the case of the individual awards. Two runners-up in each category receive £250.
County Council Chair Councillor Jim Clark, who co-presented the awards, said: “It is a privilege to be able to say thank you with these awards to some of the thousands of volunteers across North Yorkshire who give their time and skills so generously to help others.
“I’d like to extend that thanks to every volunteer in North Yorkshire who gives their time so freely. Without the tens of thousands of hours of support they give each year, life in North Yorkshire would be poorer for many people.”
Kim Leadbeater, an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation, spoke at last year’s awards ceremony and returned this year to present the awards.
She said: “I am delighted to be in Harrogate for the second year where I have the honour of presenting the community awards for North Yorkshire.
“It is a very special event, because it really recognises people in communities across the county who are doing amazing work day in and day out to bring people together and to make a difference, so it is an absolute honour to be here.”
Guest speaker the Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, said: “We are celebrating a really important group of people, our volunteers.
“It is the volunteers that enable some of those connections to happen and come to life, so it is great to be here to celebrate their work.”
Find out more about the winners and their projects at www.northyorks.gov.uk/communityawards.