Community Contribution Award

Plunkett Foundation, in partnership with rural housing association Hastoe Housing are delighted to be launching a Community Contribution Award to recognise and celebrate individuals involved with a community-owned business, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the recent months of lockdown, in order to support their communities.

We received some fantastic nominations which demonstrated the outstanding efforts of individuals up and down the country, who are involved with community businesses.

All the nominations were reviewed and shortlisted to three finalists, by a judging panel made up of sponsors, including award sponsor Hastoe Housing. We are now delighted to announce the three finalists as:

When Lodsworth Larder lost 85% of its regular volunteers due to shielding, Lesley, who had been a part-time volunteer for many years, stepped in to lead a recruitment campaign to gain new volunteers. Lesley managed to recruit and coordinate 30 new volunteers to help with serving customers, grocery deliveries, collecting stock from suppliers, cleaning and tidying. When many people in the community were isolating, Lesley initiated a pen pal network between the older generation isolated at home and the youngsters home-schooling in the village to help alleviate loneliness. Lesley also ran Lodsworth Local Care together with another volunteer, Liz Smillie. Local Care worked closely with the Larder to make sure that isolated and disadvantaged residents were able to access deliveries of groceries and household essentials, and that hygiene best practice was put in place quickly at the Larder to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Lesley rose to the challenge of keeping the Larder thriving, committing up to 50 hours a week to the shop. It was thanks to Lesley and her team that between March and September, sales are up 24% on the same period last year, despite restricted opening hours. The Larder is widely recognised locally as having provided a vital service during the past months, and customers came from near and far having heard about the excellent, cheerful and safe customer service.

Stella set up the Pepys Social Supermarket in March this year to support residents with food throughout the pandemic. The store runs on a membership basis with members paying £3.50 a week for up to £30 worth of shopping. Stella coordinated deliveries to up to 70 people with an additional 6o members attending the store at timed slots. She generated £11,000 of additional funding in 2 weeks for the store and set up an arrangement with the high end restaurant Hawksmoor to provide 80 free ready meals each week, which were a lifesaver for residents who couldn’t cook. She got to know the members and included lovely gestures in their baskets, like a CD for a member who wanted to listen to more music, cat toys for a cat owner who was isolating and a specific hair product one member needed who was shielding. She got these all from her own pocket. Her commitment to the store and support of the local volunteers were just what residents on the Pepys estate needed. She not only ensured everyone who needed it had access to food, but checked in on them and brought a community together at a time when many were isolated. In short, she’s an absolutely incredible lady who deserves this award.

When the lockdown in March meant the immediate closure of the Ye Old Cross Community Pub, Ted used his experience of working for HMRC to support the group with understanding what Government support was available and how to applying for the grants and loans they were eligible for, as a result they managed to secure funding to help see them through the difficult period. Ted was the glue that held the committee together; acting as a liaison with the tenants and linking up across all the sub-groups, leading the Refurb team of approx. 12 volunteers, speaking to the Treasurer to ensure expenditure was value for money, supporting the Chair to ensure positivity and keep morale going, as well as setting the group on Microsoft Teams so they could meet every month and sub-groups could hold their own virtual meetings. Thanks to Ted’s leadership of the Refurb team, over 2,000 volunteer hours were donated which helped to transform the pub by repurposing the bar area to create food serving areas, improving the beer garden and outbuildings to create more outdoor customer space and a new bar/ serving area in the upstairs community room to create extra socially distant seating, making them more ready to continue being there for its community when it re-opened in July. The efforts of the Refurb team brought the community together and encouraged people to get involved. We’ve all had to face some difficult times (Ted included) but he’s stepped up to the plate and carried the Committee along with him this year. To quote a pub analogy,

‘Ted is that reliable, well known real ale; it has a good reputation and you know you are getting quality and value for money. But he’s also the craft beer; the new kid on the block that brings energy, vitality and colour. You want to try it and be around it because it makes you feel good as well.’

Who wins is now up to you.

Please do have a read through each of our finalists stories and make your vote using the form below. Voting will close on Friday 13th November 2020 at 5pm and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 24th November as part of a special online Virtual Fete which will be showcasing community businesses up and down the country.

Cast your vote here

To register your interest in joining us for our Virtual Community Business Fete, click here.

Contribution Awards – FAQ

The nomination round will open on Tuesday 22nd September 2020 and will close at 5pm on Friday 9th October 2020.

Anyone is eligible to make a nomination, so whether you are a customer, committee member or community business manager, you can nominate an outstanding individual community member.

We are looking for nominations of individuals who are involved with a community-owned business that is located within the UK. The community business may be rural or urban.

All nominations received will be reviewed by a team of Plunkett staff before being whittled down to a top ten. A judging panel made up of individuals from Plunkett sponsors, including award sponsor Hastoe Housing, will then come together virtually on Friday 16th October to decide on the final three that will go to a public vote. The judging panel will be looking at three main criteria to help find the final three:

1. The lengths the individual went to to support their community

2. The impact the individuals efforts had on the community

3. The overall story of the nomination

The voting round will open on Wednesday 4th November 2020 and will close at 5pm on Friday 13th November 2020.

Only one vote per email address will count. Multiple votes won’t be counted.

The person who receives the most votes will be named the winner of the Community Contribution Award.

Yes, the individual will receive a cheque for £250 for them to donate to their chosen community business.

If you’d like to support the work of the Plunkett Foundation why not become a Plunkett member?

Membership starts from £20 per year and by being a member, you’ll be helping to shape the future of community businesses.

Join Plunkett

Our sincere thanks to Hastoe Housing for kindly sponsoring Plunkett’s Community Contribution Award.

Hastoe Group