Plunkett Foundation launches awards for rural community co-ops

Entries are being sought for nine regions around the UK alongside a People’s Choice Award for outstanding contribution

Entries are open for the Plunkett Foundation’s Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017.

Plunkett, which supports community ownership in rural areas, is searching region by region for the Community Co-operatives of the Year.

The regional categories are Yorkshire and North East England, North West England, the Midlands, East of England, South East England, South West England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There is also a People’s Choice Award, which Plunkett says “is all about recognising the outstanding contribution that an individual has made in their community”.

It added: “We are looking for people to nominate others who they feel should be celebrated. The nominee can be someone who has driven the project forwards from initial idea through to getting the trading activity up and running, or they might be someone who volunteers and in small but important ways makes other people’s lives better just by being there.”

Last year’s winners were Yarpole Community Shop Association in Herefordshire (Midlands Award); Ashton Hayes & Mouldsworth Village Shop in Cheshire (North); Awel Community Energy Coop in Swansea (Wales Award); The King’s Arms in Shouldham (East of England); Ballinderreen Community Centre (Republic of Ireland); Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) in Belfast (Northern Ireland); North Marston Community Shop in Buckingham (South East of England); St Tudy Community Shop in Bodmin (South West of England) and Eddie Parsley from North Marston Community Shop (People’s Choice Award).

This year’s awards are held on Wednesday, 6 December, St Bride Foundation, London.

Plunkett is requesting a short video to accompany entries, which must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, 20 October.

Details of how to enter the awards can be found here.

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