Record-breaking year for our borough’s community heroes!

Published Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 11:45

People all over Blackburn with Darwen have nominated a record number of local heroes for this year’s Community Volunteer Awards.

The nominations are now closed for this year’s Community Volunteer Awards to celebrate the often heroic work and achievements of our borough’s volunteers.

A total of 416 nominations have been received, which is the highest number ever for the awards, showing the gratitude that people feel for all the work put in by the borough’s volunteers and helpers over the past year.

In the last year our borough’s community champions rose to the challenge more than ever in response to the pandemic and were a lifeline for so many people who needed extra help.

The Community Volunteer Awards celebrate the wonderful people and groups who make a difference in Blackburn and Darwen year in, year out, and help to make it a better place.


The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, November 3rd at King George’s Hall. The awards had to be postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The judging panel is made up of: Cllr Mohammed Khan, Chief Executive of  the Council Denise Park, Garth Hodgkinson – Community CVS, Cllr Phil Riley – Deputy Leader of the Council, Andy Pratt – Deputy Police Crime Commissioner, Nicola Clayton – Blackburn College, Stuart McDonald – Herbert Parkinson, Abid Ditta – Star Tissue, Ed Best – Suez, Liz Crook – Rummage Rescuers, Bev Marsden – Voice, Paul Mason – Community CVS, Danielle Hickey – CGL, Jan Larkin – Nightsafe, Shigufta Khan – The Wish Centre, Sam Morris – BwD Carers, Derek Estill – Interfaith Forum, Richard Foster – Interfaith Forum, Lucy Trueman – Trueman Change

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

The amount of nominations received for this year’s award is fantastic, and is a testament to the dedication and tireless work of the volunteers and helpers here in our borough. This is especially true over the last year and a half, when we have been battling the pandemic and the huge changes in people’s lives.

I am sure it is going to be extremely difficult to narrow down these incredible nominations. Every volunteer and community champion deserves recognition and thanks for their work, and we should be really proud that we have so many people in Blackburn with Darwen who work hard every day to help make it a better place.”

Garth Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of Community CVS, added:

The response of local residents, charities and community groups to the Covid-19 pandemic has been remarkable and is truly inspiring. Thank you to everybody for what you have done. With so many dedicated volunteers and organisations, I am sure we are well placed to rebuild our communities over the coming months.”

I would like to thank all our 20 sponsors, whose support is vital in being able to put on awards such as this.  Our sponsors include:- local businesses such as Star Tissue UK, Suez, Herbert Parkinson’s, McDonalds, Trueman Change, Blackburn Rovers and the Hive Business Network; local charities and social enterprises, such as Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, BwD Carers Service, BwD Healthwatch, BwD Interfaith Forum, Care Station, CGL, Nightsafe, Voice, and, the Wish Centre; and, the public sector such as Blackburn College, the NHS and the Police & Crime Commissioner.  It is really pleasing to see that all the community is coming together to help recognise, celebrate and reward local volunteers.

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