Enter Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017

Collage of images from community cooperatives
Norette Ferns

There is still to enter the Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017.

The awards are run by the charity Plunkett Foundation and seek the best examples of rural community action from across the UK. This year's awards close for entries on Friday 27 October.

The Awards are designed to celebrate their inspiring Plunkett Members working together to improve their communities, to raise awareness of the issues that many rural people face and how they can overcome them through collaborative action.

One of the best-loved awards of the evening is the People’s Choice award which celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to their enterprise and therefore their wider community. Last year, this award was won by Eddie Parsley from North Marston Shop, who was nominated by his community who said:

"Eddie reckons we saved his life in 2011 when we appointed him Shop Manager. He told us that he re-applied for his job in a large supermarket but they would not re-appoint him because he was recovering from cancer. He was depressed and suffering from poor self-esteem. We could see what a delightful person he really was and could pick up on his knowledge of food retail of which we had no experience. So we appointed him! He is an amazing character, quick to notice if staff or customers are feeling down or under the weather and will attempt to cheer them up or to alert someone to the fact that they are poorly or haven’t been in to The Shop at their customary time or day. Eddie is a safety net for those who live alone or are elderly and infirm."

James Alcock, General Manager at Plunkett Foundation says:

"We have seen first-hand how community co-operatives have changed the lives of many people across the UK and we are delighted to be running our awards again this year. We see some incredible stories and we hope that these will inspire others to consider starting their own community co-operative."

Applications from Plunkett Foundation Members will be welcomed until Friday 27 October, and winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 6 December.

Visit the Community Co-operative Awards website for more information and to enter.