Award categories2018-10-24T12:37:12+00:00

Award Categories

In total we have 6 different award categories for this year’s Rural Community Ownership Awards.

These include five ‘thematic’ categories, recognising inspiring rural community businesses across the UK, as well as the People’s Choice Award celebrating an outstanding individual who has made a real difference in their community.

Shortlisted entries will be announced on our News section in early November.

Award categories

We are constantly in awe of the way community businesses provide additional support and services to local people. Sponsored by The Retail Mutual, this Award is looking to recognise those people stories that capture how community businesses provide a much deeper role in supporting individuals and community life.

This might be making an essential home delivery to people living in isolation, using a defibrillator provided by your community business in a real-life situation or lifting someone’s spirits and essentially ‘saving their life’ through your efforts. We are keen to recognise a community business that has gone over and above their essential role in the community. This award might be an opportunity for you to recognise the role your community business plays in your life and a chance to say thank you.

The Awards judges will be looking for the following:

  • What story does your community business have to tell that is unique to your community?
  • Why does this story make your community business stand out from other forms of business?
  • Who are the characters in this story? Do they have an interesting story to tell themselves? What can they share from their experience?
  • Evidence of your community business story – this could be social media posts, links to online articles/news items, videos, photos, testimonials etc.

We know local residents provide so much support to community businesses across the UK in order to enable them to become sustainable, thriving and community-focused. Sponsored by Suma, this Award is looking to recognise the efforts of one community business which goes above and beyond to support and invest in its staff, volunteers and service users. Examples might include the facilitation of IT cafés, volunteer training schemes, book swaps, language classes, or something else entirely.

The Awards judges will be looking for:

  • In what way does your community business support local people (e.g. IT Café, volunteer training scheme)?
  • When did your community business implement the system/s to support local people?
  • Why does your community business want to support local people? (E.g because they are service users and investors in the business)
  • Who provides the service (e.g training scheme, IT café) for your community business and do they have an interesting story?

Plunkett’s values of supporting community businesses stem from the work of our founder, Sir Horace Plunkett. Supported by The Co-op, this Award seeks to celebrate these values and highlight a community business with longevity and a track record that is able to demonstrate innovative business practices to enable it to thrive and succeed. Your community business will show its innovative approach to day to day business, explore how it utilises the community difference to provide a valuable service and to demonstrate your confidence in its long-term future in providing benefits for the community.

The Awards judges will be looking for:

  • How does your community business ensure it is economically sustainable and able to thrive?
  • What methods (e.g. café, laundry service, food waste scheme) does your community business use to capture new customers and strive to be creative with resources?
  • How do you celebrate and utilise the community element to create a better form of business?
  • Why does your community business want to be sustainable and economically viable? (E.g to support local people for the long term)
  • Has a member of your team come up with an innovative approach to boosting business (your manager or committee member perhaps)? Do they have an interesting story to tell?

Sponsored by The Phone Coop, we are celebrating the culmination of our campaign #TheLittleThings, funded by the English Rural Housing Association and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, by giving an Award to one community business that is tackling loneliness and isolation in rural areas in an accessible and effective way. Has your community business established a new activity or created a social space to help bring people together? Have you made steps towards tackling ‘hidden loneliness’ in your community? Or perhaps you want to share the ways in which your community business reaches out to community members minimise the risk of individuals feeling lonely and isolated? Perhaps this Award is an opportunity to thank your community business for helping you through a stage of life that you found particularly challenging and isolating?

The Awards judges will be looking for the following:

  • What steps have you taken to support local people to overcome loneliness and isolation?
  • What methods or activities has your community business implemented to tackle rural issues? (e.g. volunteer opportunities, clubs and societies)
  • When and why did your community business implement the system/s to help people overcome loneliness and isolation?
  • Stories from members of your community that feel their community business helped them overcome loneliness and isolation
  • Why is it important that your community business takes steps to reduce loneliness and isolation in your community? (e.g to support service users, improve the wellbeing of the community)
  • Who is responsible for the activities and methods used for your community business and do they have an interesting story to tell?

Check out our webpage here to see videos of some good examples to help you get started with your application.

We know that community businesses are not content with ‘just running essential services’, and are always striving to diversify the services they provide to local people. Sponsored by BCRS Business Loans, this Award celebrates a community business which has embraced diversification and is able demonstrate how it has improved its customers’ experience and the lives of the people in the local community.

The Awards judges will be looking for the following:

  • How has your community business diversified (e.g. café, laundrette, become plastic-free) its services?
  • What feedback has your community business received since doing this?
  • When did your community business implement these services?
  • Why does your community business want to diversify? (e.g to ensure you can compete with supermarkets, to add extra-value to your services)
  • Who is responsible for the services and do they have an interesting story to tell?

Every year, we look to reward an outstanding individual who has contributed so much to their community business in a variety of ways. Whether they put 101% into the business, have turned the business around or simply stand out from the rest, this is the chance for them to be recognised.

The awards judges will be looking for the following:

  • How does this individual support your community business? (e.g. volunteer, manager etc.)
  • What does this individual do to support your community business?
  • When did this individual start supporting/working at your community business?
  • Why does this individual stand out from the other people who support your community business?

This Award is sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association.