Community heroes return!

Published Wednesday 2 June 2021 at 11:13

There has never been a better time to celebrate the amazing work of our local volunteer heroes.

The last year has been extremely difficult for everyone as the pandemic changed everyone’s life – but our borough’s volunteers and helpers rose to the challenge more than ever.

Now we can show our appreciation and thanks by nominating our local legends in this year’s Community Volunteer Awards. The awards celebrate the remarkable people and groups who make a difference in Blackburn and Darwen and make it a better place.

A new date for the Community Volunteer Awards ceremony has now been set for Wednesday, November 3rd at King George’s Hall.

The awards were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic but are now scheduled to return later this year – and nominations will be open from Wednesday, June 3rd at Community Volunteer Awards – Community CVS

The ceremony will be hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire’s very own breakfast show star Graham Liver.

The closing date for nominations is Friday, August 27th at 5pm.

The pandemic saw people reach out to help others more than ever as everyone pulled together to get through an incredibly challenging time – and many people are still out there helping wherever they can.

Neighbours helped our most vulnerable and isolated people in the area,
collecting their shopping and picking up essential supplies, checking if they were OK
and going that extra mile to make sure people are coping during the crisis.

Scores of people volunteered through the Help Hub, which was set up to respond quickly to the crisis, through food deliveries to people struggling, a new phone buddy programme so isolated people could have a friend to talk to, and information on the extra help that was out there.

As well as helpers through the pandemic, other volunteers continued to give their time as activities and events started to take place again. It could be someone who gives their spare time for free to help out with clubs or groups, someone who dedicates their time to charity, people who help to keep their communities clean and tidy or people who make a difference to the lives of others – there are categories for every good deed.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has once again teamed up with Community CVS and a range of local sponsors to hold the awards.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

These have been, and still are, unprecedented and strange times and we need our local heroes and helpers more than we ever have. Over the past year we have seen so many people going above and beyond for others and making a huge difference and it is more important than ever that we celebrate them.

So many people have struggled over the last year with the huge changes in their lives and in our borough and the world, and these wonderful volunteers were a real lifeline to so many, keeping them going, helping them in their day to day lives and showing the absolute best of Blackburn with Darwen.

As we start to open back up again and hopefully return to some sort of normality, an even bigger army of volunteers is returning as well. I think there will be a huge amount of nominations this year as we celebrate the very best of our borough and the amazing spirit so many people have shown.

I am really looking forward to seeing the awards back on later this year and watching all our community heroes honoured for all their hard work.”

Garth Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of Community CVS added:

Volunteering or helping people without seeking personal gain is the bedrock of our communities.  If you know someone that is making a fantastic contribution to community life, please take the time to nominate them for an award.  Often, volunteers and volunteering go unnoticed.

We want to celebrate volunteering and inspire other people to follow in the footsteps of our community heroes. Please nominate someone to say thank you to them personally but also as a way of celebrating volunteering and encouraging other people to make a difference to our community”.

Sponsors for this year’s awards are: Star Tissue, Blackburn Rovers, Care Station, ELHT, CCG, Interfaith Forum, BwD Healthwatch, The Wish Centre, Age UK, BwD Carers, CGL, The Hive, Suez, Blackburn College, Trueman Change, Voice, McDonalds, Nightsafe, Herbert Parkinson and PCC – Our Lancashire.

If any other organisation would like to get involved in the Community Volunteer
Awards as a sponsor or would like to support voluntary efforts in the local area in
some other way please contact Garth Hodgkinson, Chief Executive Officer
at Community CVS or Donna Talbot.

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