Clare, Brantham and Hintlesham and Chattisham have scooped the honours in this year’s Suffolk’s Most Active Community Awards.
The awards, now in their fifth year, are organised by Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Association of Local Councils. Their purpose is to recognise and celebrate communities in Suffolk that are going the extra mile to encourage their residents to be active.
Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, said “Without doubt, town and parish councils are a major provider of physical activity facilities and opportunities. Whether providing playgrounds, sports halls, open space, football pitches, allotments, walking routes, fitness classes or special events, the scope and variety of provision is large and varied.”
As we strive to become the most active county in England it is right and proper that we pay tribute to the work they do to get people moving by publicly recognising and celebrating their efforts”.
Hintlesham and Chattisham, which has a population of just 778 people, triumphed in the small village category, for villages of less than 1,000 people. The judges were particularly impressed with their achievement in raising £117,000 to provide an all-weather floodlit Multi-Use Games Area giving residents free access to tennis, hockey, five-side football and netball.
Cllr David Marsh from Hintlesham and Chattisham Parish Council commented “I’m pleased and very proud to receive the award on behalf of the village. It demonstrates that a wide range of activities not only leads to improved wellbeing but assists inclusivity too.”
Scooping the large village title this year was Brantham.
Judges pinpointed the extensive range and selection of opportunities available in the village for their success. Activities available vary from Zumba and Irish dancing classes in the village hall, to a new trim trail and an annual 5-mile run, to regular local walking groups, a social cycling group and formal cricket, bowls and football clubs, the later boasting 11 junior teams.
Brantham Parish councillor Clare Phillips said: “Brantham would not have won this award without the hard work that many in the community put into organising sports and different activities – both formally and informally. It’s great for our village to be recognised in this way and we certainly don’t intend to stand still as we head into 2019.”
Despite being Suffolk’s smallest town, with a population of just over 2,000 people, Clare was victorious in the Most Active Town category.
Judges pointed to 3 key recent developments as key to their success in the competition – the establishment of parkrun, which attracts between 100 and 130 runners every week, gaining national ‘Walkers are Welcome’ accreditation and opening-up of the local school swimming pool to the community.
Paul Bishop, Chairman of the Town Council, said “I am delighted that Clare has received this award which is a tribute to the hard work of so many people across the Town in providing such an amazing range of things for people to do.”
Sudbury were also highly commended in the Most Active Town category.
Sally Longmate, Chief Executive of Suffolk Association of Local Councils, added “I would like to congratulate this year’s winners. They demonstrate wonderfully the huge contribution that town and parish councils make to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of communities across the length and breadth of Suffolk.”
[Picture: Representatives of the 2018 Most Active Town and Village Competition winners pictured with Sally Longmate (Chief Executive of SALC), Jo Churchill MP (centre) and Cllr James Reeder (Cabinet Member for Health, Suffolk County Council)]