Hucknall winners have plenty to celebrate at Discover Ashfield Awards

Hucknall had plenty to smile about at the Discover Ashfield Awards as its residents picked up a number of accolades.
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The awards bring Ashfield residents and businesses together to celebrate the achievements of local people during the past 12 months with an evening dedicated to their achievements.

Held at Kirkby Leisure Centre, the awards were compered by Martin Rigley, chair of Discover Ashfield, who also presented awards, along with Louise Knott, vice-chair of Discover Ashfield, Liz Barrett, principal of ATTFE College in Sutton and Pete Edwards, chair of Ashfield Health and Wellbeing Partnership.

Leading the way for Hucknall were environmental campaigner triplets Waimi, Mbetmi and Yimi Fongue who won the Young Shining Star Award for their ongoing work to promote green issues, including litter picking, collecting soft plastics in churches, and fund raising in the district.

Attending the awards were Coun Dale Grounds (left), chairman of the council, Theresa Hodgkinson, council chief executive and John Bennett, director of place and communities. Photo: SubmittedAttending the awards were Coun Dale Grounds (left), chairman of the council, Theresa Hodgkinson, council chief executive and John Bennett, director of place and communities. Photo: Submitted
Attending the awards were Coun Dale Grounds (left), chairman of the council, Theresa Hodgkinson, council chief executive and John Bennett, director of place and communities. Photo: Submitted

In the last year, the Flying High Academy pupils have already received British Citizen Awards and a special award from Ashfield Council, and can now add another accolade to their collection.

Also winning on the night was Hucknall Specsavers, who were one of the winners in the Brilliant Business category, who last year were nominated for a top optical industry award and supported Hucknall charity Homeless Lives Matter on a fundraising walk.

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Another Hucknall winner on the night was OT Food Club, which started in 2022 to help families struggling with the rise in the cost of living.

Run by well known local group OT Fundraisers, the club is not another food bank but instead helps people by combatting food waste and ‘taking the stigma away from food poverty’.

Several Hucknall people were also Highly Commended on the night, including Hucknall Wombles founder Matt Williams who, along with his regular team of fellow Wombles, has been keeping green and pleasant areas of the town littler free.

Also Highly Commended, in the Brilliant Business category, was Little Glow Ashfield, which has sites around the district, including at The Grove in Hucknall, and provides sensory sessions for parents and children.

There was also success for the charity Leon’s Legacy, which raises money for defibrillators for schools across the UK, as well as teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation to staff and students at the schools.

The charity started in 2019 in memory of Leon Smith, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while working as a lunchtime supervisor at Annesley Primary and Nursery School, Forest Road, Annesley Woodhouse.

It took the honours in the Phenomenal Project category.

Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), Ashfield Council leader, said: “It was an honour to be part of such a special evening, just as it is every year.

"We will continue to celebrate all the people who make living, working and learning in Ashfield a extraordinary place to be.”

Theresa Hodgkinson, the council’s chief executive, added: “The Discover Ashfield Awards is a fantastic opportunity to showcase and shine a light on people who work hard throughout the year from organisations to individuals.

"There are so many deserving people in Ashfield and we can’t wait to celebrate more of them next year.”

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