Stray FM's Local Hero Awards 2018 at Rudding Park in Harrogate

Community Local Hero 2018 with Slingsby Gin - Nominations announced

From hundreds on nomination forms, the Local Hero Awards have been whittled down to finalists from across Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale.

Here are the nominations for the Community Local Hero Award, sponsored by Slingsby Gin.

Victoria Smith Dunn

Victoria, or Vic, has been volunteering and working for the community for twenty years. In that time she’s set up toddler groups, chaired school Parent/Teacher Associations, organised fundraising events and put on galas of all sizes. She’s the founder of Ready Steady Mums, a free group aiming to support the emotional and physical wellbeing of Harrogate mothers. Her work aims to create a sense of engagement and pride in the local community, and as such she was a founder member of the Oatlands Community Group. Her work isn’t limited by age either, with inter-generational activities taking high importance, as evidenced by her work with Dementia Forward on a “Mince Pies and Memories” event. Victoria is the embodiment of the phrase “it’s better to give than to receive”.


Matthew Ward

As a Community First Responder, Matthew is no stranger to life saving situations. It’s no surprise then, that he has been a champion of public access defibrillators (PADs), which can save lives in local communities. What is extraordinary though, is the number of defibrillators that Matthew has been involved in delivering over the last two years. Since 2015 Matthew has worked tirelessly to get 14 PADs installed across the Knaresborough area, meaning that the community is “heart safe”. In that time the defibrillators have been activated 27 times and have saved lives right in the centre of Knaresborough. Matthew loves his town and his community and has managed to find the time to make a difference whilst also being a father, a husband and studying for a degree.


Kate & Claire Taylor

Kate and Claire love sport and they want local children and young people to love sport too. So, they take their teaching in local primary schools to the next level. Each year they organise a sports day for 600 children across 5 sports, with its own Olympic style opening ceremony – it’s an experience the children never forget. On top of that, they run numerous voluntary youth groups in the Boroughbridge area for future sport leaders and gifted and talented young people. They’ve led trips to huge sporting events including BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and various top-level football and basketball matches. They also lead residential trips and even work with young people who are disengaged to get them into physical activities and sport. Their mantra is “if we can inspire one child in the group to do the same for the children of the future – we’ve done our job”.


The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the beautiful Rudding Park Hotel on Wednesday 9th May.

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