Meet the unsung heroes finally taking the limelight as the stars of their community
Lucy Taylor Photography
A shortlist of finalists has been unveiled for a star-studded awards ceremony designed to recognise the unsung heroes of the community.
Judges gathered earlier this month to decide on the finalists for the Stars of Babergh and Mid Suffolk Awards, which seeks to honour and highlight the hard work and dedication of its most kind-hearted citizens.
Representatives from the awards’ sponsors - which include Archant Suffolk, Purcell, Norse and Mid Suffolk Leisure - had a tough job whittling down the reams of nominations to a shortlist of nominees in 18 categories.
Out of those, the judges have picked an overall Star of Babergh and Star of Mid Suffolk, both of whom will be revealed on the night of the awards on Thursday, October 18.
There is also a Special Recognition prize in each district.
It is the first time the awards have been held for Babergh and Mid Suffolk, with Babergh District Council leader John Ward saying they will “recognise ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the benefit of others, as well as the achievements of our thriving business community”.
Mid Suffolk leader Nick Gowrley also said: “The Stars of Babergh and Mid Suffolk awards are for the unsung heroes in our communities and we encourage you to nominate people you know who have made a difference. These awards also celebrate the success of the businesses which drive our local economy.”
Organiser Ros Parker, from Parker Communications, added: “We had so many entries and the judges met and deliberated diligently to come up with the list.
“The nominees are being recognised because they really are local heroes are doing something that can often be overlooked and they do it without expecting and recognition.
“It’s going to be a wonderful evening with a few surprises along the way.”
The Stars of Babergh and Mid Suffolk is part of a larger Stars awards scheme, which is now in its 12th year and is run across Suffolk and Norfolk by Parker Communications.
The ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh will be hosted by BBC Suffolk presenter Stephen Foster.
Full list of nominees
Business in the Community Award - Babergh
■ Mukunthan Thurairajah (Muku)
■ Manish Patel
Business in the Community Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Cabbages & Kings and the Mix
■ Orbital Media
Business Growth Award - Babergh
■ Stour Sort & Sparkle
■ Suffolk Market Events
■ Hollingsworths Store & Butchers, Chelmondiston
Business Growth Award – Mid Suffolk
■ C&K Meats Ltd
Community Group of the Year Award - Babergh
■ Stutton Community Shop CIC
■ Ansell Memories Café
Community Group of the Year Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Information Line Volunteers – Suffolk Family Carers
■ Talk & Support Volunteers – Suffolk Family Carers
Community Spirit of the Year Award - Babergh
■ Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbour Scheme
■ Joes Golf & Activity Park
Community Spirit of the Year Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Redgrave Community Society
■ Radio Stradbroke
Best Community Achievement Award - Babergh
■ Kernos Centre (KERNOS)
■ Team Together Tuesday
Best Community Achievement Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Stradbroke Good Neighbours
■ Courthouse Café Volunteers
Project of the Year Award - Babergh
■ Lavenham Community Land Trust
■ Diane Chase & Audrey Lorford
Project of the Year Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Inspire Suffolk’s Princes Trust Team at Stowmarket
■ Search for the Stars
Sporting Achievement of the Year Award - Babergh
■ Kelly Mires – Hadleigh Stars Gymnastics
■ Sudbury Cricket Club
Sporting Achievement of the Year Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Tim Carr – Claydon FC
■ Mark Trent – Scorpion Martial Arts Academy
Community Champion of the Year Award – Babergh
■ Norman Bugg
■ Janet Dicks
Community Champion of the Year Award – Mid Suffolk
■ Irene Davis
■ Roger Rehan
■ David Goodlad
Volunteer of the Year - Babergh
■ Will Hunt
■ Jane Snowdon
Volunteer of the Year - Mid Suffolk
■ Carol Prybus
■ Chris Brook