Annual Community Excellence Awards

I have been hugely impressed during the pandemic by my neighbours’ willingness to volunteer help and support to everyone in our street. We‚’ve been able to involve virtually every household in: daily monitoring of peoples‚’ health; a contact 24 hour telephone number; a WhatsApp group giving constant access for news or assistance; a weekly newsletter containing advice on pandemic restrictions, local history of the street and quizzes; social gatherings – all socially distanced and mask wearing – to celebrate special anniversaries – birthdays of elderly neighbours, those with health conditions – or events like VE Day plus fundraising for charity, such as running a Macmillan street coffee morning,. This activity has brought home to me how easy and rewarding it is to get closer to our neighbours through feeling part of a ‚’street community‚’. It is not just the elderly who require support but those living alone, or with health conditions which restrict their mobility or social activity; parents Working From Home teaching young children at differing stages of their education. It‚’s brought us all together in a way I‚’ve never experienced before and I‚’m sure this is something shared by streets and communities throughout the country. It would be a great loss if this communal togetherness is allowed to weaken or evaporate. I suggest that an effective and inexpensive way to recognise and help perpetuate this valuable sense of communal togetherness: a national ‘Community Excellence Award’ be awarded annually in every UK local authority area. My suggestions are: * Local Authorities would invite submissions from within their areas, providing suitable deadline for entries to be made. * A small committee be formed, not from councillors but local citizens, to consider and decide upon submissions. * A national publication to publicise the winners and attract wider media publicity.




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