Suffolk’s most active communities for 2019 have been revealed as part of the new Suffolk Community Awards.
The Community Awards celebrate and recognise the huge contribution that groups, individuals and town and parish councils make on the overall quality of life in communities across the length and breadth of Suffolk. They include awards for the Most Active Town and the Most Active Village.
At a special awards ceremony at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds were named Most Active Town whilst Kirton and Falkenham scooped the Most Active Village title.
According to recent Government figures, St Edmundsbury recently recorded one of the five largest increases in the country of adults walking at least once a week. The number and variety of opportunities available in the town is extensive and includes a nine-day Festival of Sport, a running festival, a free themed town centre walking trail commemorating 200 years of the Theatre Royal, four 5km circular walk/run routes and a closed road community cycling event.
With a population of less than 1,500 people, Kirton and Falkenham boasts a large and diverse range of activities and opportunities including weekly Tai Chi, Zumba, Keep Fit, Line Dancing, Pilates, Yoga and bowls. Football for over 100 youngsters takes place on their recreation ground every week in season, there’s canoeing for the scouts, bell ringing, fishing, a gardening club and 27 busy and productive allotments. They have adult keep fit equipment on the recreation ground and a good children’s play area. The recreation ground also hosts an annual 5 mile run and 1½mile fun run involving hundreds of runners. The village have even produced a walking map and a book detailing 20 walks from their village green.
Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, “The contribution that local communities make to helping people be, and stay, active is truly remarkable. Throughout Suffolk there are a huge array of classes, clubs and events taking place every week that encourage people to get moving. Collectively they have an immense impact on the social, emotional and physical health of the county and for that I salute them. They are a fundamental part of our ambitions to, ultimately, become the most active county in England.”
The Suffolk Community Awards are a partnership between Community Action Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and the Suffolk Association of Local Councils
Christine Abraham, Chief Executive Officer of Community Action Suffolk, said “the new collaborative awards had a record number of entries and it was a difficult task this year for the panels to select the final winners. We were overwhelmed by the breadth of activity that people are undertaking for the benefit of others and their local communities. Suffolk should be very proud”.
Sally Longmate, Chief Executive Officer of the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, added “local town and parish councils are enablers and increasingly making a significant contribution to where we choose to live and it is important to have these awards so we can shine a light on the work they do.”
Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk, who compered the ceremony added “I have always said we don’t shout loud enough when it comes to all the hard work individuals and groups put into making Suffolk a great place to live. I was proud to be involved in presenting these awards to these unsung heroes and it was a great idea to bring them together into one event.”
[Photo L-R – Cllr James Reeder with representatives of Bury St Edmunds and Kirton and Falkenham]