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Suffolk’s voluntary sector recognised as CAS Award winners are announced

The winners of the Community Action Suffolk Awards 2017 have been announced, celebrating those who have generously improved the quality of life for locals and for Suffolk.

The Awards, supported by Birketts solicitors, are evidence of how much dedication and community spirit there is in the county. A record number of nearly 100 organisations and volunteers were nominated, from Mildenhall to Felixstowe, Lowestoft to Haverhill, and included teenagers and octogenarians, community buildings and Scouts groups.

Pete Richardson, Chief Executive of CAS, said:

“The Awards panel, as always, found it difficult to select winners from such a variety of inspiring community action. What excites me, is the amount of work and volunteering taking place in Suffolk, we really do have some amazing projects on our doorsteps.

“Often this work goes unnoticed by many but without it, vulnerable people wouldn’t be given the support they need and communities wouldn’t be the social centres that they are. We host the CAS Awards to recognise the dedication and commitment of all volunteers, community leaders and organisations across Suffolk’s voluntary sector and to inspire others to get involved.”

Eve Brooks-Parkin is 15 years old and is the winner of The Andrew Towers Young Person of the Year award. Fran Moore from the Eden-Rose Coppice Trust, nominated Eve and said:

“Eve has volunteered for Eden-Rose Coppice Trust for the past five years, using her precious free time during the school holidays. She supports children with learning difficulties at the charity’s holiday clubs and leads a group of young volunteers in Ipswich who help to restore woodland for the benefit of the local community and wildlife. Eve connects with the children in a very special way that seems to bring out the best in each child, many with profound learning disabilities. Her support has helped these children gain a positive mental attitude with good self-esteem, better self awareness, self-regulation and intrinsic motivation.”

Bentley Stores – winners of the Village Hall or Community Building Award 2017

Bentley village’s 750 residents had been without a shop for 11 years until its Village Community Shop was opened in July 2016. The Shop has won The Village Hall or Community Building award (supported by Business Services at CAS Ltd). The shop actively supports all members of the local community and was nominated by Bob Feltwell, on behalf of its 45 volunteers:

“The shop helps people with various physical disabilities and learning difficulties who now visit almost daily. Children are now sent out to buy bread and milk and learning about money. Volunteers collect people and bring them to the shop and help them find things which they are unable to do on their own due to frailty and failing eyesight. Some of the volunteers are in their 80s and enjoy the social aspect of meeting people in the village, reducing rural isolation. The shop is bringing the local community to life.”

The winners will be presented with their awards at a special celebration event on 26 September 2017, hosted by Community Action Suffolk at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket.

The full list of CAS Award winners:

Youth Holidays Activity FundThe Anne Dunford OBE award – youth participation
FortKnightsThe Roddy Macleod award – youth club of the year
Eve Brooks-ParkinThe Andrew Towers award – young person of the year
The Hadleigh Steering GroupThe Colonel Probert award – community initiative
Janice ScottThe Ian Campbell MBE award – individual initiative
Bentley StoresThe Village Hall or Community Building award
(supported by Business Services at CAS Ltd)
Ann NegusThe Outstanding Contribution to Volunteering award
(supported by My CharityGuard)
Paul Nixon
The Bergholt Bomb-Along
Event Organiser of the Year
(supported by Larking Gowen)

To read more about the winners, visit