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Suffolk’s voluntary sector recognised as Community Action Suffolk Award winners are honoured

Lady Clare Euston, patron of CAS, presents The Village Hall and Community Building award to Bob Feltwell (far right) and volunteers from Bentley Stores

The winners of the Community Action Suffolk Awards 2017 have been presented with their awards at a celebration evening (26 September 2017), honouring those who have generously improved the quality of life for locals and for Suffolk.

View images from the Awards evening here

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.”

Norman and Glenys Towers present the Andrew Towers Award for young person of the year to Eve Brooks-Parkin

Eve Brooks-Parkin is 15 years old and is the winner of The Andrew Towers Young Person of the Year award, giving up her spare time to volunteer with the Eden Rose Coppice Trust. She supports young children and those with learning difficulties and was an inspiration to all at the event. Eve said:

“Knowing that these children’s lives have been somewhat affected by me amazes me and I am so grateful to do it. I hope it makes their day a little better to talk to someone closer to their own age who knows them on their own level.

I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and experiences the Eden Rose Coppice Trust has given me, and my skills that have grown along the way. I love what I do and that’s why this award is so special as I never expected to get recognised for the work that comes as second nature to me.”

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

“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.”

As well as all the winners, their friends and family, the event was attended by Geoffrey Probert, High Sheriff of Suffolk and Clare, Countess of Euston, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk and patron of Community Action Suffolk.

View images from the Awards evening here

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