SOUTH Craven ‘unsung heroes’ could win recognition.

North Yorkshire County Council has launched its fifth annual community awards.

The initiative honours volunteer organisations and individuals who make a difference in their communities.

Awards are handed out across four categories – best community group, best community project, volunteer of the year and the young people volunteering award, which recognises the efforts of someone under 25.

County Councillor Robert Windass, the authority’s chairman, urges people to submit nominations.

“The community awards honour the remarkable work of local volunteers who are committed to improving lives across the county,” he said.

“If you think someone you know deserves some recognition, please nominate them.

“Let’s show our appreciation for more unsung heroes.”

Last year’s 'best community group' accolade was won by Exclusively Inclusive, which organises social events to help people in Craven overcome isolation.

Group organiser, Katie Peacock, said the success had given the volunteers a massive boost.

“We were very excited to learn that we’d been nominated for the award,” she added.

“It felt amazing to be part of a group of people who had been recognised for contributions to their communities. There was such a buzz of excitement, accomplishment and celebration as well as an overriding desire to continue and develop our community work.”

She added: “One of our members recently said ‘if Exclusively Inclusive didn’t exist I don’t know what I’d be doing – the group really does help me feel that I belong and sets me on the path to friendship’.”

Activities at group sessions range from making gifts and crafts to article writing. There are also Come Dine With Me-style evenings, club nights and trips.

Nominations can be made online at, or call 01609 780780.

A panel of judges will choose three finalists from each category and they will be invited to an awards ceremony in October.

Overall winners will each receive £1,000 for their group, project or nominated charity. There will also be £250 runner-up prizes.

The deadline for nominations is June 7.