Rewarded for LOVEing Northumberland

July 10, 2012 | Brenkley News

The Duchess of Northumberland has helped to celebrate the very best in community and voluntary environmental work across the county at a special LOVE Northumberland awards event (on Wednesday July 4).

Twelve groups were honoured with winner or runner-up awards in six categories, with a number of highly commended entrants also in attendance at an uplifting event at The Alnwick Garden, which was supported by main sponsor the Banks Group.Best new project went to Coppergate Allotment Association in Holywell for their work on a communal garden; best ongoing project to Friends of Ashington Community Woods and best urban project to North Hirst Tenants Group in Ashington for their project ‘Hirst Pride’.

Raising the bar for the best coast or countryside project was The Monday Club in Wark for ‘Enhancing Wark Village’, with a win in the best young people’s project category for ‘Corbridge Youth Initiative Allotment’, and the best children’s project category was won by Prior Wallaz 4214 Crew in Berwick for their gardening project.

The awards have been developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign, with the aim of promoting the work of the council and its many partner organisations and community groups and volunteers who all work towards preserving and enhancing the environment in the county.

Nominations were invited for awards from a variety of types of community group and there were also a number of groups at the Alnwick Garden event who were highly commended finalists.

The Duchess was extremely impressed by the standard of entries.  She said:  “The work that is being carried out by these groups is fantastic.  One of the things that I believe makes Northumberland stand out is the huge number of people who are willing to give up their time on a voluntary basis to improve their local area, and these awards are marking out just some of this work.

Main sponsor of the awards was The Banks Group and communications manager Katie Perkin said at the event:  “As a major local employer, we’ve maintained strong relationships with communities across Northumberland for more than three decades, and have witnessed at first hand the amazing difference that the energy, creativity and dedication of people across the county can make to the places that they live, work and learn.

“The spirit of the LOVE Northumberland Awards matches our own commitment to improving the communities in which we operate, and we’re extremely pleased to be supporting Northumberland County Council in recognising the contributions made by local people in enhancing their county’s environment in the last 12 months.”

Also sponsoring were the Co-operative Community Fund in the North East.  Ross Weddle, chair of the Co-operative’s Northumberland area committee said:  “As a community based retailer we are delighted to be sponsoring these awards.  Supporting environmental and sustainability projects is something we feel very passionate about.”

Councillor Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council said:  “I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to get involved in the LOVE Northumberland awards, and to let us know about the work that they are doing in their communities. 

“I would like to thank the Duchess very much indeed for giving up her time to come along to the event, and for showing her strong support for the LOVE Northumberland campaign.”

“I would also like to thank our sponsors for their support – the Banks Group and the Co-op, as well as all our LOVE Northumberland partners and everyone involved in the awards.“

Winning entries received a £250 prize and runners-up £100, with the money going towards their project or other work within the local community.  Each other highly commended finalist also received a small cash prize.

To find out more about LOVE Northumberland go to

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