High Sheriff of Cumbria, Julie Barton, welcomed people from around the county to an online award ceremony recognising their tireless efforts to enhance and enrich the places where they live.
Individuals, businesses, community and voluntary-led groups, who often go unrecognised for their outstanding efforts, come together on Wednesday 24th March to celebrate their achievements and receive recognition and awards from the High Sheriff.
The awards are part of the High Sheriff’s Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, and publicly recognise both charities and individual volunteers who help improve their communities.
Representatives from 14 community organisations were invited to attend the ceremony in recognition of their service. The High Sheriff handed out certificates and three organisations were the recipients of the prestigious High Sheriff’s Shield:
• Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS)
• Dignity in Dementia in South Lakeland
• The Well Communities in Barrow
Becky Goddard, Operations Manager at Copeland Age and Advice Service, said:
“We were absolutely delighted to receive The High Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award for Outstanding work in the Community. There has been an incredible community response since the pandemic hit and we are delighted that we have been able to work alongside so many fantastic services and individuals to support our community through this very difficult time.
CAAS had only been in operation for 6 months when the pandemic hit and we lost our unique selling point of providing home visits, overnight. We quickly adapted how we delivered our services and chose to look at the situation as an opportunity to develop our links within the community and step up and support our older generation when they needed us the most.”
Lesley Gill, Director at Dignity in Dementia, said:
“We are truly delighted that Dignity in Dementia’s work during the past year has been recognised by the High Sheriff. Although it has been tough for everyone, many people with dementia have had a very difficult time as they have struggled to make sense of the changes to their routines and the new restrictions on their lives. Our team has worked really hard to try and offer different options that engages them and their carers, in order to help them feel connected and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s been incredibly rewarding for us all.”
As well as charitable groups receiving recognition, businesses have also been acknowledged. Back in January, Julie launched The High Sheriff of Cumbria Business Innovation and Community Awards with 55 being awarded Special Performance Certificates for the remarkable ways in which they have confronted the challenges of the pandemic. These businesses have adapted their business models, protected their teams and customers and supported others in the community.
In addition, three outstanding award categories were presented with awards:
• Micro Business Outstanding Innovation Award – Chinty’s of Keswick
• SME Outstanding Innovation Award – The Herdy Company of Kendal
• Community-Spirited Outstanding Business Award – Story Contracting of Carlisle
The panel of judges were very impressed by all three businesses who are each outstanding and inspiring local businesses. Through their creativity, hard work, generosity, and resilience they make such a positive difference to our communities.
Ending her shrieval year with a celebration, Mrs Barton said: “Visiting charities and projects both in person and virtually has been a true highlight of my year in Office. Seeing first-hand the amazing hard work and dedication generously shown by charitable organisations to the most vulnerable in our communities, witnessing the ways they change lives for the better and experiencing the joy and laughter they bring to others has been an absolute privilege.
“The theme for my year in Office has been ‘tackling social isolation and loneliness’ and each of the charitable organisations selected to receive awards today have achieved so much to support others to feel and be less lonely. Cumbria can be truly proud of all our award winners.”
Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are an extraordinary number of voluntary and community organisations working at the heart of our communities, and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to receive the recognition and support they deserve.”
The High Sheriff is one of the oldest Crown Offices, dating back to before the Battle of Hastings. As the Sheriff’s powers increased, they were considered to be a threat and in 1540 Henry VIII created Lord Lieutenants to take over the military duties. To this day, both the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff are appointed by, and are representatives of, the Sovereign with the High Sheriff being responsible for law and order – keeping the Queen’s Peace.