Dacorum Borough Council celebrates voluntary and community groups

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Dacorum Borough Council has recognised the borough’s most inspirational community projects with its annual Community Grant awards.

The annual awards evening could not take place this year due to social distancing, but the council has announced the winners and highly commended projects.

Community grants are open to all not-for-profit organisations and are designed to support community activities and improve the health and wellbeing of residents in Dacorum.

The winners and highly commended organisations this year, will be invited to attend next year’s awards ceremony to celebrate their good work in Dacorum.

Cllr Julie Banks, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: ‘Congratulations to all the community groups who received awards this year for their wonderful projects, which have made a huge difference to the lives of Dacorum residents.

‘It’s a shame we weren’t able to celebrate their achievements in person this year but I am encouraged to see that we continue to have a thriving voluntary and community sector even in these unprecedented times.’

The winning projects

Dacorum Compact Partnership Award – Wiggington Village Shop

Wigginton Village Shop is a purpose-built shop run by the community, for the benefit of the whole community, and aims to combat isolation and enhance community cohesion. In addition to offering high quality, fresh local goods, it offers a cafe and community space for local groups of all ages to use.

Equality and Diversity Award – Electric Umbrella

Electric Umbrella (pictured) took their members into schools across Dacorum and through cross curriculum music based/song writing workshops led by their professional musicians and members with learning disabilities, broached subjects including equality and diversity, disability awareness, and wellbeing.

Community Capacity Award – Dacorum Community Dance

This dance project for older people in Dacorum has encouraged residents to get out of their homes and socialise as well as building confidence and improving physical and mental wellbeing.

Regeneration Award – Victoria School PTA

An allotment project encouraged the children and families of the school to get involved in growing their own food and rejuvenate the dilapidated school allotment. The project has helped the children to understand where their food comes from, as well as helping the PTA raise funds for the school.

Community Event Award – Dacorum Community Choir

The choir scooped this award for their Singing out Together project which saw them put on several community performances as well as their regular Spring and Christmas performances. As well as providing a stimulating listening experience, the choir always encourage their audiences to participate and join in the singing.

Volunteering Award – BEEE Creative CIC

BEEE Creative’s Dance Re:Ignite project encouraged older adults to get dancing and put on a performance. They trained up volunteer artists to lead dance sessions in the communal spaces of supported housing schemes, as well as going on tour to show a wider group of people just how much fun they could have by getting involved.

Health and Wellbeing Award – The Hospice of St Francis

The Hospice was given this award for their Improving Access to Nature project which aimed to enhance the wellbeing of their patients, families, visitors and staff by displaying still images of wildlife species from trail cameras placed in the gardens and woodlands, and live streaming images of bird species into communal hospice areas.

Highly commended

Mediation Herts, Little Gaddesden Parish Council, Tring in Transition, Electric Umbrella, Kitcheners Bowls Club, Age UK Dacorum, Friends of Parkwood Surgery.

If you are part of a community or voluntary group you can apply for a community grant of up to £3,000. The next round of community grant funding is currently open and closes on Friday 28 August.