Your chance to nominate a champion of the community

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NOMINATIONS have opened for the first time for awards to recognise Morpeth’s community champions.

The annual Civic Awards have traditionally been presented by Morpeth Town Council to recognise the dedication of individuals serving the community in a variety of ways, with local councillors nominating the worthy recipients.

But this year the honours have undergone a revamp, with new categories added and sponsors coming on board.

And for the first time, it is up to the public to nominate those they think should receive an award.

Deputy Town Clerk Angela Logan said: “We are trying to give recognition to people who do good work, who may not always want to receive an award, because it is nice that someone can nominate them to show how much they are appreciated.

“It is nice to be rewarded for all the time and effort that people give to various groups and associations around the town.

“This is the first time the public are being asked to nominate someone for the awards.

“Previously it has always been done by councillors, but there may be somebody who has done something good that we don’t know about.”

There are eight categories of award, with Schweppes Abbey Well, Sanderson Arcade, Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre and Morpeth Lions Club sponsoring four of them.

The others will be supported by Morpeth Town Council and there is a special Mayor’s Award.

The categories are as follows:

l Townsperson of Morpeth. For someone who has made a significant contribution to the lives of local residents by showing outstanding service for the benefit of the community on a voluntary basis.

l Young Townsperson of Morpeth. For a young person, aged 21 or younger, who takes part in community or voluntary activities that benefit the area, or who regularly provides care or support to a relative or friend.

l Mayor’s Award. This may not be presented every year as it is to recognise a person or group for a specific act of bravery or courage.

l Achievement Award, sponsored by Morpeth Lions Club. For exceptional service and long-term dedication as a volunteer for a charity or community group. It may be presented to an individual or group.

l Sport Award, sponsored by Schweppes Abbey Well. For significant success or excellence in sporting achievement that has brought credit to Morpeth. It may be given to an individual or team.

l Leisure and Culture Award. For excellence in cultural, artistic or entertainment activities that have brought cultural recognition to the town. It may be awarded to a person or group.

l Business Award, sponsored by Sanderson Arcade. For a local business that has created jobs, nurtured and promoted the skills of local workers, or invested in making Morpeth a great place to live, work and conduct business. It is intended for a good employer, with evidence of supporting the environment, equality and diversity.

l Community Award, sponsored by Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre. For an organisation that has worked for the benefit of the community.

Mrs Logan said: “The Mayor is writing to a number of organisations in the town to tell them about the awards scheme and encourage them to nominate people.

“We are particularly trying to encourage young people who give something to the community because young people often get a bad press and it is important that we recognise the good they do.”

Nomination forms are available from Morpeth Town Hall reception desk, the council’s website at www.morpethtowncouncil.org.uk or by calling 01670 514314. They are also available by making a request by e-mail to Mayormtc@btconnect.com

Submissions must be returned to Morpeth Town Hall by Friday, April 13.

A Civic Awards Panel, led by Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor, will then consider the nominations and finalists will be invited to the presentation event at the council’s Annual Assembly in the Town Hall on Wednesday, May 9.