In 2015 the Community Sport and Recreation Awards had seven different winners:
- Community Sport + Recreation Overall Winner sponsored by Perkins Slade - SPICE
- School Links Award sponsored by Association for Physical Recreation – Bolton Rugby Union FC
- Volunteer Management Award sponsored by Volunteer Kinetic – ESSA Water Activities Centre
- Professional Club Community Programme of the Year Award sponsored by The Professional Footballers' Association (The PFA) – Club Doncaster Community Sport & Education Foundation
- Green Thinking Award sponsored by Utility Aid – Westmorland Wildfowlers Association
- Innovative Project Award sponsored by Thomas Eggar – Severnside Sub Aqua Club
- Youth Volunteering Award sponsored by GBGroup – Cricket4Bromley
Formed in 2002 with just six members, Special People on ICE (SPICE) has now been operating for 13 years, teaching children and young adults with special needs how to ice skate, regularly seeing over 100 on the ice every Sunday.
The organisation’s members, of which there are over 60, have a variety of special needs including: Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Profound Deafness, Partial Sight, Global Developmental Delay as well as a variety of behavioural problems associated with special needs.
SPICE’s programmes are delivered by paid professionals, but the core work is dutifully carried out by its team of passionate volunteers. As well as teaching youngsters to ice skate, SPICE has also developed a range of team sports to offer its members, including ice hockey and synchronised skating.
The special needs synchronised skating team is the only one in the UK and has, over the last two years performed at the Blackpool Ice Festival and at various galas at Absolutely Leisure in Slough.
The growth of the ice hockey team has also been particularly impressive with two full teams and around 35 players in action. There are only 2 special needs ice hockey clubs in the UK.
In 2013, after raising over £50,000, SPICE was able to take its teams to the Special Hockey tournament in Toronto, where they took part alongside 68 teams from the USA and Canada. There was even a return back to Canada this year to take part in the Special Hockey tournament in Ottawa.
SPICE is very much an inspirational organisation, from its young members all the way through to those people that support them.
Bolton Rugby Union FC is a community focused club based in one of the most deprived areas locally, with the aim to bring Rugby to as many young people as possible and improve their lives.
Over the last two years the club has provided over 1400 hours of in-school coaching and involved over 60 schools to help young people develop an interest in sport and to use sport to communicate important social messages.
Whether through its HITZ programme for vulnerable NEETs or special coaching sessions for those with learning difficulties, Bolton RUFC uses its strong sense of community to try to empower youngsters to develop and improve their confidence and wellbeing. Volunteers from within the club ceaselessly offer their time to help support these programmes and without them the club would not be able to make the difference they do to the community.
In 2015 the club held its 4th Junior Open Day where young people of diverse backgrounds and rugby experience can come together to “have-a-go”. It’s through these inclusive events that the club’s junior membership has grown significantly over the past two years, with 12 teams now in action. Which just goes to show how giving to the community sees them connect and give back to the club.
ESSA Water Activities Centre is a voluntary organisation offering a sailing base and courses to people of all ages. Recruiting and retaining volunteers is integral to the success of the centre and this is why the identification process takes place at a young age.
The process displays a great balance of responsibility and reward. Youngsters showing the right attitude and skills are invited to join the ESSA ‘crew’ where they shadow and support leaders in organising activities and helping instructors run sessions. As the volunteers develop, ESSA can obtain grants for them to qualify as sailing instructors.
To encourage crew to give up their time they are offered free water activity sessions at the centre, in particular sailing, that they would otherwise have to pay for, to further develop their skills whilst enjoying themselves with their friends.
In 2014, ESSA’s volunteer crew numbered 120 persons who between them made 1064 visits giving 5955 volunteer hours, providing administration, site maintenance, water safety cover, instructors and boat maintenance.
Through this approach retention and a long-lasting bond develops with the volunteers, some of whom have gone on to become Charity Trustees.
Club Doncaster Foundation is a registered charity operating a charitable partner of Doncaster Rovers Football Club and Doncaster Rugby League Club. The Foundation has a 30 year history of delivering successful, creative and thorough interventions that positively impact wider issues across Doncaster and South Yorkshire.
During the 2013/14 season, the Foundation engaged with 13,993 participants via participation in physical activity, sport or qualified training, workshops and education all focused on supporting engagement and workforce development for sport.
The work of the Foundation is not just limited to local geography. A recent trip to the Philippines raised over £7,000 for the Dumaguete community.
Closer to home, the Foundation has developed curriculum’s to help students develop employment pathways within sport as well as delivering activities to help create stronger, safer communities via its Doncaster Kicks programme.
Club Doncaster Foundation has also worked on the provision of mental health awareness in sport as well as encouraging youth social action as part of National Citizen Service.
There sheer variety and breadth of programmes which the Foundation organise or take part in highlight its value as a central community resource.
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Often, the term ‘Green’ describes ways of reducing carbon footprints or exploring new energy types. Yet, for Westmoreland Wildfowlers Association, (W.W.A.) ‘Green Thinking’ includes proactive approaches to enhancing the very environment in which we enjoy our sport and recreation.
Operating in the River Kent estuary and its foreshore within Morecambe Bays sensitive Special Site of Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I.), the W.W.A. leases 17 miles of foreshore from five different landowners and the club’s consent to wildfowl over this S.S.S.I. site is officially endorsed by Natural England and the Sovereign’s Crown Estate.
The key to enhancing nationally protected habitat is to forge strong links with landlords and with the major public and government stakeholders on the estuary. For a small club such as W.W.A. this would not be possible without members dedicating many hours of behind the scenes meetings with stakeholders to achieve its goals.
The club’s five new wetlands now attract a diverse array of migrant and resident birds throughout the year & provide ecological niches for other estuary wildlife to populate. Eco-nest sites have been built, donated and erected on numerous local wetlands by the club, with hatch rates rising from 20% to an astounding 80%.
The Severnside Sub-Aqua Club has previously undertaken surveys of various shipwrecks including its work with Wessex Archaeology and The Landmark Trust in helping to design and test the dedicated dive trail on the protected wreck of the Iona II paddle steamer in the waters off of the coast of Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.
In 2012, the club formally adopted the wreck of the SS Baygitano in Lyme Bay as part of the Nautical Archaeology Society's 'Adopt-a-Wreck' Scheme. The wreck has provided a fantastic dive site for several generations of the club’s members from Ocean Diver trainees to First Class Divers and National Instructors.
For the last two years the club has been researching history of the SS Baygitano before and during the Great War as well as exploits of her surviving members during World War Two.
Two years into the project, at the 2014 BSAC National Diving Conference, our club was awarded the first ever BSAC Wreck Award for the club's ongoing programme of activities relating to the wreck.
Severnside are planning a commemoration dive on 100th anniversary of sinking of the ship, launching a widely-promoted campaign to locate surviving relatives of the crew including coverage in local online and print media as well as BBC local Radio in the South and South West, Wales and Scotland and BBC Points West TV.
‘cricket4bromley’ is a collection of cricket clubs that have come together to pool resources and knowledge to represent the game locally. It has developed a progressive, unique and innovative Young Leaders in Cricket programme.
Run by volunteers for volunteers, the Young Leaders programme has been set up with dual purpose objectives; to retain young people in cricket as a sport, and provide opportunities for young people to volunteer and feel the benefits these activities can bestow upon them.
Since its inception in 2011 the programme has, among other things, delivered over 10,000 volunteering hours, supported 7,500 cricket sessions and seen an 80% in cricket as a sport.
The success of the programme is firmly based on its ability to deliver benefits for young people which they can then reinvest in activities for the local cricket community. For example, in 2015, 125 young leaders will achieve nearly 4,000 volunteering hours, raising £5,000 to be invested into local clubs to fund the programme in future years for Cardiac Risk in the Young.
The Young Leaders programme is now expanding to become ‘leaders4cricket’ and will enable graduates of the Young Leaders programme to further develop their skills and benefit local clubs as a result.
Find out more about the categories and how to enter this year's awards here.