Burnley’s unsung heroes, volunteers and those who go out of their way to help others came together last night for the first ever Above and Beyond awards.
Developed in partnership between Burnley Council, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and the Burnley Express, the host for the evening was East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce director Simon Brierley and the VIP guest was the Mayor of Burnley Councillor Cosima Towneley.
A series of unique trophies, based on the design of Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree, were presented to the winners and those highly commended each received a framed certificate. The lead sponsor of the glittering event was Urbaser, which provides waste collection and street cleaning services for the borough, and the event was hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) at its Victoria Mill centre.
Council leader Councillor Afrasiab Anwar said: “There is a whole army of unsung heroes in our borough who go ‘above and beyond’ day in, day out to help others around them and they never ask for or get recognition for their services.
“But tonight has given us the chance to show them how valued they are and it was wonderful to see how much they appreciate it and what it means to them.”
Entertainment for the evening was provided by violinists and twin brothers Manveer and Harjeet Wilkhu who are both students at UCLan and guests enjoyed a street food style buffet and drinks served by Simply Classic.
John Deehan, editor of the Burnley Express, said: “”What a fantastic night! Burnley really is an incredible place full of incredible people, and nights like this show just how lucky we are to call our little town home.
“If you were to add up all the hours the people in that room have devoted to helping others, you’d be looking at decades. Every single one of them is an inspiration.”
Mick Cartledge, chief executive of Burnley Council, said: “It’s always so humbling at events like this because all these people, all these groups, put in so much time, so much effort – in their own time – and are so committed to the town and its people; it always just blows me away.”
Mr Cartledge was also one of the recipients of the trophies on the night in a surprise award to mark his retirement from the council after 21 years.
Tracey Noon, chief officer at the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale CVS said: “This was a fantastic awards ceremony which recognised our wonderful and vibrant community, voluntary and faith sector without whom our communities would not feel as supported as they do.
“Our fabulous community organisations always take up the mantle and the current economic climate is no exception. Without funding our volunteers could not do what they do so a big thank you to all of our funders who also recognise the value of our sector.”
Here is the list of the winners and those highly commended (note: David Fishwick, Jordan North and Philip North were unable to attend; Mr Uddin, Howard and Nancy Mitchell, and Mr Keene were unable to attend but their representatives accepted the award on their behalf):
- Young Volunteer: Winner – Jolie Forrest; highly commended Scarlett Lees and Grace Bradshaw
- Green Energy: Winner – Trees for Burnley; highly commended Pennine Lancashire Community Farm and Sustainability Innovators
- Food champion: Winner – Burnley Community Grocer; highly commended Ghausia Mosque/West End Community Centre and Janis Chisnell
- Small community group: Winner – BWA Advice Centre; highly commended Park Run and Padiham on Parade
- Ambassador: Winner – Dave Fishwick; highly commended Jordan North and the Bishop of Burnley, the Right Reverend Philip North
- Health champion: Winner – Tracey Smith; highly commended Mark Smedley and Sam Wright (The Period Coach)
- Volunteer of the year: Winner – Susan Conroy; highly commended Val Murgatroyd, Vivien Storey, Amanda Graham and Barry Beaumont
- Medium/large community group: Winner – Building Bridges for Burnley; highly commended HAPPA (Horses and Ponies Protection Association) and Burnley Youth Theatre
- Fundraiser: Winner Foysol Uddin; highly commended Ivor Emo, Claudia Laird and Burnley Pendleside Rotary Club
- Lifetime achievement: Winner – Howard and Nancy Mitchell; highly commended June Evans and Chris Keene
Photos are not in order of presentation.
Post expires at 12:44pm on Friday June 2nd, 2023