Winners awarded at special events ceremony in London

On Wednesday 6th December, at the historic venue of St Bride Foundation in London, we welcomed all of our shortlisted groups, sponsors and staff to a special awards event celebrating the successes of our member groups.

The evening was hosted by TV journalist, Helen Fospero, who presented all of the awards alongside award sponsors. There were smiles all round as winners were announced for our regional awards as well as our People’ Choice Award.

Ronald Thorne, of Chittlehamholt Village Shop, who won our People’s Choice Award, said he came to the event expecting to remain a shortlisted entry, so he was very surprised to have won. He was supported by family members on the night who expressed how proud they were of him.

One of his friends commented, “Ronald’s selflessness and sheer willingness to achieve things that others deem impossible has been of benefit not just to the shop but the wider village of Chittlehamholt.”

A huge congratulations to all of our winners and shortlisted groups, this is a great accolade for your community co-operative and for your wider community.

See our 2017 winners.

Plus all of our winning groups will be getting a party pack sponsored by Power to Change.

The shortlist has been announced!

We are delighted to reveal the shortlisted groups for both our regional award categories and for the People’s Choice Award.

It was such a tough decision as all the applications were of such high standard, but unfortunately we couldn’t shortlist everyone.

Winners will be announced at our special awards event on 6th December in London but in the meantime, we want you to vote for the winner of our People’s Choice Award.

Simply, read our entries then place your vote online. Only one vote per person and voting closes at 5pm on Monday 27th November.

Good luck to everyone!

Shortlisted groups to be announced this week

After much deliberation, we are nearly ready to announce the groups who have been shortlisted for the awards.

Groups will be announced online and by email this week, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you are shortlisted, we will be sending you a banner to proudly display on your website and to share on social media. You will also get two tickets to attend our awards ceremony on 6th December.

If you don’t get shortlisted this time, don’t worry – we will be doing a series of smaller awards event next year to celebrate on a more local level, so we’ll keep you posted.

Helen Fospero to host Plunkett Foundation’s Rural Community Co-operative Awards

The UK has many inspiring examples of rural communities working together to improve their area, save services and tackle issues that impact them. The Rural Community Co-operative Awards are a celebration of all their achievements and celebrate the hard work and success of all involved.

Helen Fospero is a well-respected TV journalist, known for her warmth and professionalism. Her career started in newspapers, and she became a correspondent and presenter of live rolling news for Sky and from there a host and newsreader on ITV’s GMTV. Helen also produced and presented a one hour Great British Pub special on BBC One’s The One Show featuring pub campaigner / actor Neil Stuke and Suggs from Madness. Five million people tuned in to see why so many pubs are closing down & under threat, and how communities up and down the country are fighting to save their local.

James Alcock, General Manager at Plunkett Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have Helen Fospero as the presenter for our annual awards. The event is always a great celebration of rural communities across the UK and, having Helen involved will make the event extra special for all our shortlisted groups who will be there on the day.”

Judging will take place in November with shortlisted community co-operatives attending the ceremony at the St Bride Foundation on Wednesday 6 December.

To date, 348 community shops and 52 pubs have been saved as community co-operatives with an increasing number of other businesses also choosing the model, from cafes and local hubs to farms, distilleries and broadband projects.

Awards entries close this week – enter now before it’s too late!

We have had a great response to our call for entries for the annual Rural Community Co-operative Awards but it is nearly deadline time.

Entries for the awards will close on Friday 27th October, however nominations for the People’s Choice Award will remain open for a further week, until 3rd November.

The shortlist will be announced in November and our team of judges are ready to decide a winner!

Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of this special event – enter now!

Be in with the chance of winning a volunteer party pack worth £500!

With less than 2 months to go until the awards ceremony, we have upped the ante and put together an even bigger prize for our 2017 winners.

Those who win any of our 10 categories will not only receive a beautiful plaque to proudly display but we are also giving them a volunteer party pack, worth £500, full of goodies to create a fantastic party for you volunteers when you get back to your community.

Think banners, bunting, balloons, local produce, cake stand and more! We want it to be a big celebration for you and we would be delighted to see how you use your pack.

If you’re shortlisted you will receive 2 free tickets to attend our fantastic awards ceremony at St Bride Foundation in London on Wednesday 6th December, so enter now for your chance to be in the running for our amazing prizes!

Entries are free and only take a few minutes on our website form. We will be judging in November and we are so looking forward to seeing the entries from all the rural community co-operatives.

Enter Now!

Be Inspired by Eddie’s Story

In 2016, Eddie Parsley, shop manager, was voted the UK winner in The People’s Choice Awards, one of the categories of Plunkett Foundation’s Rural Community Co-operative Awards, recognising the outstanding contribution he made to his community.

In the application, Alison Finnemore, chairman of the shop association, told us: “Eddie is caring, kind and efficient. He welcomes customers and makes each one feel special. He supports and trains volunteers. He really deserves this accolade. He is known as ‘The Face of The Shop’.”

‘The Shop’, as it is known, was opened in 2011 by John Bercow, MP, and it has played a vital role in reducing isolation for rural people, acting as a social hub and creating support networks for those who for one reason or another are disadvantaged, Eddie himself included.

When he was appointed manager of the shop in 2011, Eddie himself described this as ‘life-saving’. When Eddie applied for the manager role, he was recovering from brain cancer, and was suffering from depression and low self-esteem as a result of losing his job at a large supermarket chain. North Marston Shop committee spotted the potential of his wonderful caring character, combined with his excellent knowledge of food retail, and snapped him up.

When the winner was announced, Alison added: “This is a wonderful surprise! It is a great accolade for all who have worked so hard to provide the best of shops and support for our community. This award is for everyone who supports The Shop, and makes it such a special social hub.”

Entries to the Community Co-operative Awards are open!

Entries for the Plunkett Foundation Community Co-operative Awards are now open!

Plunkett Foundation are calling for inspiring stories from their member communities in rural areas across the UK.

Entrants can complete an entry form on the website to submit their community co-operative as a contender as well as nominate someone special in their community for the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association.

The deadline for entries is 27th October 2017 and the shortlist will be announced in November.

Plunkett Foundation gearing up for fourth annual Awards ceremony

Plunkett Foundation are in the process of organising their fourth annual Awards ceremony, which will be sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association.

The event will take place in the historic, central London venue of St Bride Foundation on Wednesday 6th December and all shortlisted groups will be invited.

Awards will open for entrants on Friday 22nd September and there will be four weeks to get your entry in. Until then, entrants can do some preparation by reading the entry criteria and making a short video to go with their entry.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for each of the ten award categories, comprising of 9 UK regional awards and the People’s Choice Awards, which is voted on by members of the Plunkett Foundation.

For more information, contact Plunkett Foundation on 01993 810730.