DELIGHTED recipients collected their trophies on Friday, 24 January at the awards ceremony for the South Ribble Community Awards.

The evening was hosted by broadcasting legend and BBC North West Tonight regular, Dave Guest, at the South Ribble Conference and Business Centre on West Paddock in Leyland, South Ribble.

Among the night’s recipients at the ceremony – organised and run by the South Ribble Partnership – were Leyland Trucks, Runshaw College and Progress Housing Group.

Presenting the awards was Councillor Harry Hancock, the Mayor of South Ribble.

Councillor Paul Foster, Vice-Chair of the South Ribble Partnership, said, “The awards ceremony was a really enjoyable, inspirational evening. It brought together the very best of South Ribble and celebrated everyone’s incredible achievements. It’s so important that we take the opportunity to highlight cases of people going the extra mile to care for their customers, pupils, employees or students. Often, these are acts of kindness and dedication which are far from required or even expected in their role; however, they do it regardless because they care deeply about the quality of their work and the happiness of the person or people on receiving end.”

Jacqui De-Rose, Chair of the South Ribble Partnership, said, “We have some utterly outstanding recipients of the awards this year – I have been really impressed throughout this process to hear the lengths that people are willing to go to in order to deliver an amazing service, run an excellent business, school or college, or make life easier for people living with dementia. The community awards have shown this year that the sense of community, togetherness and collaboration in South Ribble is as good as it’s ever been, and this I am proud of.”


1. Volunteer of the Year JOAN MUSKER
2. Young Volunteer of the Year WILLIAM BAMFORD
3. Spirit of the Community SHARON MCLAUGHLIN
4. Special Achievement ANDREA ANDREWS
5. Teacher of the Year MIKE MITCHELL (Seven Stars Primary School)
6. Dementia Friend of the Year KEITH MCINTOSH (Sporting Memories Foundation)
7. Dementia Friendly Organisation ST MARY’S CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL (Leyland)
8. Apprentice Employer of the Year LEYLAND TRUCKS
9. Response Service Extra Mile RUSSELL CROOK (Blood Bikes)
11. Business in the Community PROGRESS HOUSING GROUP
12. Special Recognition: Healthy Workplace ACTIVE LANCASHIRE
13. Special Recognition: Raising Awareness REBECCA RAMSAY (Doing it for Dylan)

More information about some of the award recipients and why they were shortlisted

Joan Musker

Joan established the Wade Hall Community Association with a strong team of volunteers who now run the Place Community Centre. The centre is now responsible for providing activities to keep local children occupied and off the street, providing a place to socialise for those who are socially isolated, delivering a programme to combat holiday hunger, and much more.

William Bamford

Will (18) began volunteering with Galloway’s Social Group and now volunteers on the ‘Get Active’ programme every Wednesday supporting the acoustic shooting group. In addition to this, Will carries out multiple fundraising activities in order to raise £4,000 for Trek Peru, where he will act as tour guide for people partially sighted in Machu Picchu.

Sharon Mclaughlin

Throughout 2019, Sharon has gone the extra mile to support her neighbour who has experienced issues with benefits, leading to them having no income. Sharon has provided meals, warmth, and attended the food bank on their behalf, whilst also liaising with key agencies to help them overcome their financial challenges and get their house back into a safe condition.

Andrea Andrews

Andrea has built The Base Community Centre to become the hub of the Broadfield Community. This centre now offers weekly youth clubs, men’s groups, women’s groups, a community café and more, not forgetting being the home to the recently launched holiday hunger project. Although Andrea is employed by Key Unlocking Futures, she goes above and beyond both her duty and contractual hours to help those within the surrounding community.

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell was nominated by numerous parents whose children attend Seven Stars Primary School in Leyland. As Headteacher, Mike is said to lead by example whilst also ‘encouraging the children to reach their potential, to be the best they can be, and to believe in themselves’. Mike brings fun and laughter to the school day and all the children love him.

Keith McIntosh

Keith is central to Sporting Memories, both in South Ribble and Chorley, this being an initiative that has grown and grown in attendance. In addition to this, Keith has delivered a significant number of Dementia Friend Awareness Sessions to businesses across the borough, educating them on how to become dementia friendly and encouraging them to join the South Ribble Dementia Charter.

Sporting Memories Foundation

The Sporting Memories Foundation (Registered Charity Number 1154474) is the world's first charity dedicated to Sports Reminiscence & Physical Activities. They support older people living in England and Wales with dementia, depression and loneliness by engaging them in social activities and helping them to recall memories of watching or playing sport. By sharing memories of sporting moments and tapping into a passion for sport they help people to connect with others and with their past, reawakening positive thoughts and feelings that otherwise remain hidden away.

Using images of sport and memorabilia, older people are assisted to stay connected to their friends and communities, cognitively stimulated and physically active. The volunteer led, intergenerational Sporting Memories groups help people over the age of 50 age well and remain as healthy as possible.

A wealth of evidence on ageing well has highlighted the impact remaining connected to friends, family and communities, remaining cognitively stimulated and physically active can have on our health and wellbeing.

Sporting Memories groups have proven to help participants, many of whom are living with dementia to do just this. The Sporting Memories Foundation will raise funds to recruit, train and manage more volunteers to help run groups and to expand the number of weekly groups available across England and Wales.

St Mary’s Catholic High School

How did they win the award for Dementia Friendly Organisation?

The school is committed to educating its pupils on how to be supportive and understanding of those living with dementia. To date, the whole of Year 7 and Year 10 are Dementia Friends and a Dementia Café is delivered on the first Thursday of every month, where they enjoy an evening of chatting and playing games, whilst pupils prepare and serve drinks, cakes and biscuits.

Leyland Trucks

Leyland Trucks operates from one of Europe’s most advanced truck assembly facilities, the Leyland Assembly Plant. The company, employing 1000 people, manufactures the full range of DAF product, of which approximately 50% is exported to all European Union markets and the wider world. The Company’s future development is focused on the use of leading-edge applications of information technology in all aspects of truck design, manufacture, procurement and logistics.


What have they done to be crowned Apprentice Employer of the Year?

Leyland Trucks offer apprenticeship schemes in various disciplines which in many cases lead to fantastic development and progression on completion of the scheme, including international opportunities. Leyland Trucks boast a high retention rate of apprentices with many apprentices going on to take on senior position within the organisation.

Russell Cook

Russell volunteers for North West Blood Bikes, a charity run by volunteers who take medical notes, equipment and blood samples from one hospital to another. This is a 24-hour service and Russell selflessly completes shifts when not working his usual job. This can be anything from a couple of hours to a full 12-hours.

Mid Lancs Colt Junior Football League

Mid Lancashire Colts Junior Football League was amongst the winners at this year’s FA Grassroots Awards. There were over 4,906 nominations this year, over double the number of previous years and they received the award of FA grassroots league of the year 2019.

The League has blossomed incredibly over its 20-year life-span. It began with just six teams on board, but now involves 250 teams, 42 clubs and over 3,000 children within the Preston, South Ribble and Chorley areas.

They aim to provide an inclusive, progressive and fun environment for kids age 6-10 so that they can learn and develop within the sport with little to no pressure. This notion is reinforced with their partnerships with Lancashire NHS to promote Smokefree Sidelines and with Kick It Out.

The Smokefree Sidelines initiative aims to de-normalise smoking around children and young people, specifically those engaged in sport and break the association smoking has with the sport. Also, the Kick It Out campaign will support the league in providing early interventions and better education for its players, parents, coaches, club and league officials around the negative impact caused through discrimination as well as the inclusion for all.

We would like to thank all involved within the league who continuous work has helped us achieve this honour.


Why have they been given the award for Partnership Excellence?

The Committee that run this league are all volunteers and give up many hours per week to ensure that they can provide over 3,000 children with an opportunity to play football. In 2019, they became the first league nationally to become a partner with Kick It Out. This partnership helps the league to provide educational workshops for parents, players and clubs around preventing racism in football. Clubs have also benefited from funding and anti-racism t-shirts, posters, banners and badges to share with their young players.

 Progress Housing Group

Progress Housing Group owns and manages over 10,000 homes and have been delivering housing related services to communities for over 25 years.

They are one of the UK's leading supported living providers.

They operate mainly in Lancashire but offer supported living services nationwide as well as delivering key worker accommodation in Lincolnshire. Although the Group is made up of a number of companies and brands, they operate as one team.

Their strategic aims are:
• Providing more and better homes
• Support individuals and communities to achieve independence
• Create opportunities
• Work as one team to ensure we all contribute to our business achievements
• Develop a stronger organisation to deliver maximum results
• Put customers at the heart of what we do to ensure our decisions are driven by customers' needs and aspirations.

[Source: /about-us/]

How did they get the award for Business in the Community?

The Progress Involvements and Progress Futures teams make outstanding contributions to South Ribble’s communities. Progress Futures offer tailored support to Progress tenants and their families to move them into sustainable careers, to date engaging with 797 customers and helping 330 of them into employment, education and training.

Since April 2019, the Community Investment Fund has committed to fund community-based projects and activities in South Ribble, with £140,000 invested so far.


Rebecca Ramsay and ‘Doing it for Dylan’

• See Facebook page here:
• See Twitter page here: /
• On 11 October 2019, Rebecca tweeted: “What a fantastically bittersweet evening, so proud to have been honoured with the British Empire Medal by order of the Queen for all I've done in memory of my son Dylan to help in drowning prevention and my contribution in reducing water related fatalities. #DoingitforDylan”


Active Lancashire

Active Lancashire is the strategic lead for Sport and Physical Activity in Lancashire. They connect with like-minded local organisations and individuals to help bring about active lifestyles.

Nationally they are one of the many Sport England-led Active Partnerships that drive a sports delivery system across the country. They believe that sport and physical activity have the power to influence behaviours and develop skills which can have a broader, positive impact on people’s lives.

Their work in leading and facilitating effective partnerships across the county from key influential decision makers, through to community grass roots organisations aims to encourage Lancashire residents to engage in sport and physical activity and lead a happy, more prosperous life.


How did they win the Special Recognition Award (Healthy Workplace)?

Active Lancashire have championed having a healthy workplace both internally and amongst other organisations that they work with. In March 2019, #ALittleBitMore was developed, allowing staff an additional 30 minutes per week to undertake physical activity to reduce sedentary behaviour during the working day.

To date, 169 attendances have been recorded at organised sport and physical activity sessions. Mental health of employees is a priority with ten members of staff now trained Mental Health First Aid Practitioners with counselling support also available.

Policies supporting flexible working hours and the ability to work from home are also in place, supporting a healthy work/life balance.


Well done to all the recipients and all those shortlisted. Thank you to South Ribble Borough Council for permission to host this article.