Morpeth Town Council presented the Civic Awards during its Annual Assembly to recognise people, businesses and community groups who have worked to enhance the area.
Community Award (sponsored by Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre) – winner Stobhill Community Link following a public vote.
Stobhill Community Link was set up in 2008 to provide opportunities for disadvantaged people. It works closely with residents from the local area to create a stronger sense of community spirit and improved physical and economic conditions.
It does a fantastic job with elderly, disabled and disadvantaged people. The Community Link runs many initiatives such as free use of computers and staff to help with job searches, creating and updating CVs, printing, copying and laminating.
There are volunteering opportunities for residents and its Morpeth Community Allotment scheme is due to open in the near future.
The other nominees were Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, Northumberland County Blind Association and the Plan Preparation Group for the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan.
Business Award (sponsored by Sanderson Arcade) – winner French Grey Tales (FGT), Layla Welsh
Layla set up her upcycling, crafts and vintage business in Bedlington in 2012 and relocated to Morpeth, opening up the shop in Chantry Place in 2014.
With the reputation of FGT moving towards a subregional profile, the business is actively attracting visitors to Morpeth.
The branding of the shops in Chantry Place and the Chantry itself as the ‘Chantry Creative Quarter’ is another example of how Layla is using her marketing expertise to promote Morpeth, not just her own business.
The other nominees were The Cube, Ian Leech Publicity Services, The Tiny Card Co and Morpeth Motaparts.
Achievement Award (sponsored by Morpeth Lions Club) – winner Mike Bateman
Mike has been the secretary of the Morpeth Harriers since 1974, practically a full time job, dealing with 400 members of all ages and a turnover of £20,000 in subscriptions.
He organises teams and handles entry forms for invitation races, championships and other races. He is a great organiser and coach and was himself a good runner to international level.
The other nominees were Ruhi Akhtar, Michael Glossup, Paul New and Peter Rushworth.