March 2020

Winners of Suffolk High Sheriff’s Awards 2020

The winners of the Suffolk High Sheriff’s Awards 2020 have been announced on a special live show on BBC Radio Suffolk after the annual awards ceremony at Wherstead Park had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus.

After Roz Eminson, the High Sheriff, praised the standard of this year’s one hundred entries, the winners were announced by Lesley Dolphin from BBC Radio Suffolk and Tim Holder from Suffolk Community Foundation who administer the High Sheriff Fund and co-ordinate the award ceremony. The winners in each of the seven categories were interviewed on the special programme, presented by Graeme Mac.

The winners announced are:

• Volunteer of the Year Under 30 (sponsored by Birketts) – Rifaii Al Nayef from Suffolk Refugee Support

• Volunteer of the Year Over 30 (sponsored by Ipswich Building Society) –Grzegorz Kowalczyk from Orwell Mencap

• New Group of the Year (sponsored by PolicyBee) – Lowestoft Boxing Academy

• Strengthen Your Community (sponsored by East of England Co-op) – Gainsborough Community Library, Ipswich

• Caring for the Environment (sponsored by East Anglian Daily Times) – Farlingaye School Green Council, Woodbridge

• Suffolk’s Road to Recovery (sponsored by Barnes Construction) – Green Light Trust, (Lawshall, Minsmere, Ipswich and others)

• Long Service Award (sponsored by Ashtons Legal) –Drena Black, Waveney Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum

“I feel that particularly in these demanding and worrying times we need something to lift our spirits and what better way to do this than to have an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the exemplary and incredible contribution of those working in our voluntary sector,” said Suffolk’s High Sheriff, Roz Eminson. “Indeed, we are already seeing evidence of volunteers stepping up and going above and beyond whatever the normal call of duty is to help others manage during this crisis.  We are seeing the best of the human spirit and the High Sheriff's Awards are a wonderful way in which we can show our appreciation and thank all those who give their time so willingly, and with dedication, for the good of the less fortunate people of Suffolk."

‘With the national morale booster for the NHS following on at 8pm, it felt absolutely right that we should all be together in Suffolk to say a big thank you to our own Volunteers, Community Groups and Charities,” said Tim Holder from Suffolk Community Foundation. “Aside from us all doing our bit by staying at home, their work combined is having such a powerful effect on keeping our vulnerable people safe and well and less likely to need help from our heroes in the NHS. We needed to celebrate them last night, but also to reinforce the ongoing central call out of the Home But Not Alone Campaign in Suffolk from Community Action Suffolk and others for more volunteers to come forward and help their neighbours, local communites, charities and community groups and also for people to help financially to support all this work if they can by making vital donations to Suffolk’s central Coronavirus Community Fund.’


To find out more about how to volunteer please visit www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk or make a donation to the central Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund, please visit www.suffolkcf.org.uk