Rural Community Awards

We have launched our 2021 Rural Community Awards competition

Last year, we amended the competition to reflect the circumstances presented as a result of COVID-19. We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of applications received for and on behalf of volunteers who helped their communities through this difficult time.

The following awards are available this year.

Rural Community Spirit
The aim of this award is to focus on and reward those community groups who work together to make their village or small settlement a better place to live.

Consideration will be given to any aspect of community work which has been undertaken to improve the quality of life of residents at this time, with particular emphasis on facilities, services and activities which have been made available for specific groups within the community.

Community Champion
This is our first ever individual award and we have introduced it in recognition that very often, it takes the vision and perseverance of one extraordinary community member to make things happen. This person may regularly sacrifice free time to help others with no requirement for recompense or appreciation.

We see a community champion as someone who shares their time, skills and knowledge of a local community, to become a driving force to sustain and improve the community as a whole. 

Cleaner & Greener
We have re-introduced our Cleaner & Greener Rural Community award which seeks to reward and encourage those rural communities who have come together to protect and enhance their built and natural environment and to promote sustainability with their residents.

In addition, we have two new categories which are aimed specifically at young people, our 

  • Young Rural Volunteer award and 
  • Budding Rural Photographer award 
Download the application form (PDF 317 KB)


Prize money
There will be a £1,000 prize for the winners of the northern and southern, small and large village categories and £500 will be donated to the community groups nominating the highly commended winning applicants.

Plaques will be presented to individual(s) who have been deemed to be community champions.

Each category winners of the Young Rural Volunteer and Budding Rural Photographer awards will receive an Apple Ipad.

Prize money should be used to support and extend activities/projects which benefit the rural community. We will promote the competition throughout the year on our website and through relevant rural publications but community groups should also involve the Housing Executive in any publicity they carry out locally.

Rural Matters
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