The inaugural Rudd Awards, organised by Ruddington Village Community Partnership (RVCP), took place at a special awards evening on Friday 18th November, at St Peters Church.
Compered by BBC Radio Nottingham Drivetime presenter Verity Cowley, the awards celebrated 19 independent businesses, individuals and community groups who are helping Ruddington village to thrive by building a community hub and prosperous high street.
Winners were announced across six categories, with a different local business sponsoring each award, with an overall Heart of Ruddington award recognising outstanding service to the village.
Following a buffet provided by The Next Episode and sweet treats from many of Ruddington Village Market’s artisan bakers, the first honour of the night, the Young Star, sponsored by Ideagen, was won by local youngster Joshua Brooks.
The judges were moved by his kindness and dedication in saving his pocket money to support The Mustard Seed Project, which helps families in rural Uganda. The judges commented: “He’s shown such generosity and maturity to save so much money for people he doesn’t know and will probably never meet.”
Local retailer Perkins was awarded the coveted Village Retailer or Service award, supported by True Story, with judges “blown away by the sincerity and the volume of praise for Perkins”. Nominations described Helen and Simon as “brilliant, polite, knowledgeable and obliging”, all of which was picked up by the judging panel who recognised the retailer as a real asset to the local community that we’re very lucky to have on the High Street.
The third award of the night, Community Group, backed by My Care, Ruddington Retirement Village, went to Ruddington’s Yarn Ninjas. In addition to making knitted blankets for premature babies and for end-of-life care, judges noted the many respondents highlighting that “This group brings JOY!!”, lifting the spirits of both the knitters and everyone who sees their work around the village.
Emma Scott from the Yarn Ninjas, said: “On behalf of all of our hardworking, talented Yarn Ninjas, we are thrilled to receive such fantastic recognition with this award. We couldn’t have imagined when we started just over a year ago that the wonderful Ruddington community would enjoy our displays so much. A big ‘thank you’ from us all.”
Following a short interval, the awards continued with the Volunteer or Fundraiser award, sponsored by MHR, being presented to Carol Jaggers. Judges recognised Carol’s dedication, range and length of service in the village, plus her volunteering across various organisations including the Brownies and Guides. One respondent said: “She is amazing…without her there would be no Ruddington Pantry or over 55s Coffee Club.”
The Framework Knitters Museum was awarded the Sports, Leisure and Culture award, sponsored by Ruddington Grange Golf Club. Described as a “hidden gem in Ruddington”, the judging panel noted the museum’s important role in “putting Ruddington on the cultural map,” while praising its volunteers as passionate and welcoming.
Sarah Godfrey, the museum’s manager, said: “It was a perfect occasion, good food, great venue and excellent company. We were surprised to win and we couldn’t wait to share the lovely award with our team of dedicated employees and volunteers.”
Rounding off the publicly-nominated awards was the hotly-contested Village Hospitality Business award, sponsored by Quotient Sciences, which went to eco-friendly food and drink specialist, The Bottle Top.
The judges recognised the outlet’s role in helping to “create a vibrant spirit in the village” and joined others in praising “their welcoming staff, the real ales, coffees and what they’ve achieved with a small space in a short time.”
The final and most eagerly anticipated award of the night was the Heart of Ruddington award, supported by main event sponsor Artex and decided by the Awards Committee. This special honour recognises someone who’s made an outstanding contribution to Ruddington Village as an exemplary member of the community. It was awarded to Barbara Breakwell for her tireless and selfless commitment to supporting local causes.
The Committee noted that Barbara is a true representative of what a key community volunteer is, by always helping out others. Many members of the public highlighted her involvement in numerous local initiatives, and how she features positively and prominently in every aspect of village life.
Speaking of her unexpected win, Barbara said: “I’m very surprised! Very humbled and very, very surprised. After living in Ruddington and working as a teacher for 14 years, when I retired, I wanted to engage myself in the community as much as possible.
“I became a Parish Councillor, School Governor and started Ruddington Fun for families to do activities in the holidays. I wanted to make Ruddington, where I live, the best place I could. I’m proud. Thank you to the Rudd Awards for not just acknowledging me, but everyone else in the village whoever they are and however they’re contributing.”
Mike Ader, Chair of RVCP said: “The awards night was a spectacular celebration of the good and the great that make Ruddington such a special place to live and work. So many people and organisations are committed to helping our community to thrive, and it was wonderful to give them such worthy recognition on the night.
“As our Heart of Ruddington award winner, Barbara represents the local pride and selfless dedication shared by so many members of our community. I extend my congratulations not only to Barbara and all of our winners, but to everyone who was nominated for these very special inaugural awards.”
The full list of winners, runners up and highly commended finalists can be at www.rvcp.org.uk.
Well done to you all!
Congratulations to the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park and Ruddington Pantry for being shortlisted for the ‘Environmental Project or Group’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing’ awards respectively, at the Celebrating Rushcliffe Awards on 24th November. You’ll find full details of the awards in the Latest News section at www.rushcliffe.gov.uk.