Knowsley has many community groups of whom we can be extremely proud.
We take a look at which of these groups scooped awards at this year’s Sports and Cultural Awards – and why.
Community Group of the Year
Winner – Pedal Away
Pedal Away are a team of volunteers who work tirelessly to encourage others to take up or continue with cycling. They organise 10 group rides per week in Knowsley, meaning hundreds of local people have been encouraged to get on their bikes!
Congratulations also go to:
Second place – Halewood Youth in the Community Centre
This group of local residents have established themselves as a not for profit charity, and organise after-school clubs, a school pickup service and holiday playschemes as well as evening youth sessions and community events including bingo and Zumba. A recent highlight was the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebration street party, which was attended by more than 500 people.
Third place Friends of Prescot Cemetery and Churchyard
This group of hardworking volunteers meet every Saturday to weed, clean and plant bulbs. They have also created a memorial garden to remember the children buried in unmarked graves, creating a special place of contemplation.
They have done so well that the churchyard and cemetery won a Green Flag award last year.
Cultural Group of the Year
Winner – Acting Up
Acting Up is a group of 20 brilliant and talented young actors who meet weekly to develop their acting talents. This year, they were selected for the third year running to perform at the Liverpool Young Da Da Festival at Liverpool Everyman. The event showcases the talents of disabled and deaf young people from Merseyside and the sell-out event was an excellent platform for this talented group to perform to large audiences.
Acting Up shone this year with their performance of ‘Scratch Beneath the Surface’, bringing a real smile to the faces of their audience. Their lead drama practitioner, Shaun Dissora, was also singled out for praise by the judges for his commitment, caring ways and unique and inspiring teaching techniques – all of which bring out the best in the young people. It is clear that he is greatly respected and admired by the fabulous team of staff, parents and participants.
Second place – MATE Productions
This group have contributed creatively to the Prescot community with their wide variety of drama productions including ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘As You Like It’, which were both inspirational and magical.
MATE Productions give young and old alike the opportunity to engage and develop skills with design, costume – making, props, stage management and behind the scenes live entertainment. The energy and commitment shown by the Director is phenomenal and in the words of the nominator, the group is ‘a real gem in Knowsley’s crown’.
Third place – Shakespeare North Trust
This group have been tirelessly working away and building momentum to have a Shakespearean theatre and educational centre built in Prescot.
This year, in the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, those amitions have reached a significant milestone, gaining planning permission and being granted significant funding towards the cost of making the theatre a reality.
Special Recognition for Outstanding Contribution Award
Winner – The Big Help Project
This Knowsley-based charity incorporates Knowsley Food Bank, Jubilee debt advice, Next Steps to Work and Training project, Get Connected digital and financial inclusion project, Baby Basics, and The Big Help Community Shop.
This group of volunteers provide a cup of tea and listening ear to people who are at crisis point, giving advice and helping them find the services which are there to support them. The group of 100 volunteers collect more than 50 tonnes of food and help feed more than 8,000 people every year.
Congratulations also go to:
Second place – Knowsley Readers
Knowsley Readers has a team of volunteers who give their time each week to run therapeutic reading sessions across the borough for many different people – including those suffering from loneliness to young people in need, at care homes, drug and alcohol recovery centres, and community settings for people with poor mental health. The volunteers offer creativity and kindness, and provide quality experiences for the participants regardless of their age ability or background.
Joint third place – Halewood Youth in Community Centre and Karma in the Community
Halewood Youth In Community Centre were recognised for their work supporting local parents and children with after-school clubs, a school pickup service and holiday playschemes as well as evening youth sessions and community events including bingo and Zumba.
Meanwhile, Karma in the Community, based in the former Mosscroft Community Centre in Huyton, provides a safe environment for both adults and children with special educational needs. It has helped make dramatic positive changes to the quality of life of service users, and is a real hub for the community it serves.