Wiltshire’s volunteers and community groups were recognised last night  at an awards ceremony which celebrated their achievements and hard work.

Organised by Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire, the Voluntary and Community Awards, took place at the Corn Exchange in Devizes.

The aim was to celebrate people and groups who have worked on exceptional or innovative schemes that help to transform the lives of people in the county.

The shortlist and winners for each category were:

Community leadership: The Sherston Old School Community Interest Company (winner); Isabel Martindale, Bradford on Avon Sports Festival;
Bradford on Avon Community Area Partnership (BoACAN)
Improving quality of life: The Wiltshire Link Schemes (winner); Age UK Wiltshire and Age UK Salisbury District Information; Advice Doorway Wiltshire
Partnership working: Maurizia Quarter and Stuart Hall of the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (winner); Devizes Passengers; Chippenham Street PastorsVolunteer of the year (aged 24 and under): Chantelle Jenkins, Wessex Cancer Trust (winner); Richard Cureton, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust; Kenny Vaughan, The Unit Records

Volunteer of the year (aged 25 and over): Frank Turner, Bearfield Church (winner); Pamela Sandell, Victim Support; Tessa Woods, Salisbury Women’s Refuge
Wiltshire employer which bests supports staff to volunteer in communities:
Amey (winner)
The winners of the best community initiative nominated by an area board, was decided by members of the audience voting on the night, and, after viewing films from the four shortlisted projects, Alzheimer’s Support – Trowbridge Dementia Hub was voted the winner.
Shortlisted projects: Alzheimer’s Support – Trowbridge Dementia Hub (Trowbridge Area Board) (winner); Crosspoint Welcome Centre (Westbury Area Board); Semley Village Stores (South West Wiltshire Area Board); Calne Community Hub (Calne Area Board) Haydens Bakery received the special recognition reward for all the work it does for, and with, local communities across Wiltshire.
The awards scheme was completely funded through sponsorship from partner organisations and businesses in the county. The major sponsors were Amey, The Consortium and Wiltshire & Swindon Community Foundation.

John Thomson, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “These volunteers are an inspiration to us all as they demonstrate the wonderful work taking place in all our communities.“We know they do not carry out this work for recognition but for a desire to help others and to make their communities better places to live – for that we want to thank them.”

And Christine Reid, vice-chairman of NHS Wiltshire, said: “The voluntary and community sector makes a huge contribution to the quality of life in Wiltshire.

"It’s important to focus on the individuals whose time, effort and dedication together make this happen. This is what we celebrated at the awards ceremony, and I am proud to have been able to help acknowledge and recognise the value that volunteers contribute to our communities across Wiltshire.”