Town’s double delight at community awards

Just Regional
Nov 22, 2023 3 mins read

The vital work of two Aylsham organisations has been recognised in the Broadland Community at Heart Awards.
The accolades recognise the outstanding achievements by people and groups across the district who go above and beyond to support others.
Among the winners of the awards, run by Broadland Council, were Aylsham Care Trust and Aylsham Community Church.
The church won the Community Group of the Year prize for their efforts to bring the community in and around Aylsham much closer together.
The venue, in Norwich Road, attracts more than 90 people for informal and contemporary Sunday worship – but tailors its weekdays to meet the needs of local people.
Its team of volunteers run a community café, monthly lunches in their Warm Welcome Space, provide a local space for Citizen’s Advice, and host a community fridge which has given away 13 tonnes of food, which would otherwise go to waste, since it opened at Easter 2021.
The church also offers support and supplies to Ukrainian refugees that have settled in the area, along with running English lessons, and classes in computer technology, and household money management.
Church Elder Peter Atthill said: “We were thrilled to get nominated and shortlisted in the final three, and delighted to win the award. It is wonderful to get recognised for the work we are doing, which is echoed by other churches in the area who have always been a key part of the community throughout history.
“Our offer changed completely after Covid and we do whatever we can to get people the help they need.”

HONOURED: (L-R) Susan Holland, Leader of Broadland Council with Aylsham Community Church’s Sue Houghton, Sarah Mason and Theresa Finch.

ACT, which was set up more than 35 years ago, won the Business in the Community Award for their work offering a wide range of services to help people continue to live independently as well as combatting loneliness in the community.
This includes offering day trips to local areas of interest and tourist attractions, as well as a vibrant Orange Blossom community café, where people feel safe, warm and welcome.
They also run lunch clubs, transport services, hot meals deliveries, day care including dementia support and music therapy, plus befriending.
ACT operations manager Fiona O’Hara, who accepted the award, said: “Awards are very much about all of the team effort and ACT know that this award is very much in recognition of all that the volunteers and staff do to support the community.”
Chief executive Philip Macdonald, added: “We want to reach as many people who need us in Aylsham and the surrounding areas and now more than ever we recognise the need for our services.  This award shows our team and the people who use our services how vital it is for us to continue all our hard work.”

AWARD: ACT chief executive Philip Macdonald with their award.

Find out more about the winners’ services at aylshamcommunitychurch.org and aylshamcaretrust.co.uk

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