The inaugural Rudd Awards, organised by Ruddington Village Community Partnership (RVCP), took place at a special awards evening [Friday 18th November] at Ruddington’s St Peters Church.
Compered by BBC Radio Nottingham Drivetime presenter Verity Cowley, the awards celebrated 19 independent businesses, individuals and community groups 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 and an overall ‘Heart of Ruddington’ award recognised outstanding service to the village.
Following a buffet provided by Ruddington’s The Next Episode and sweet treats from many of Ruddington 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”. Respondents described Helen and Simon as “brilliant, polite knowledgeable and obliging”, which was picked up by the judging panel who recognised the retailer as a real asset to the local community that we are 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 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 Ruddington’s 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 and range and length of service in the village and her volunteering across various organisations, including the Brownies and Guides. One respondent said: “she is amazing” and “without her there would be no Ruddington Pantry or over 55s Coffee Club.”
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 from the Framework Knitters 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 public nominated awards was the hotly-contested ‘Village Hospitality Business’ award, sponsored by Quotient Sciences, which went to eco-friendly food and drink specialist 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 has 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, always helping out others. Many members of the public highlighted her involvement in numerous local initiatives despite suffering with her own health problems 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 however they are contributing.”
Mike Ader, Chair of RVCP said: “The awards night was a spectacular celebration of the good and the great that make Ruddington Village 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 and 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.”
Full list of winners with judges’ comments
Volunteer or Fundraiser - sponsored by MHR
WINNER – CAROL JAGGERS
Carol’s been volunteering in the village for many decades, whether it be Brownies, Guides or more recently the Ruddington Pantry. We wanted to recognise her dedication and the range and length of her service in the village. One of the respondents said “she is amazing” and “Without her there would be no Ruddington Pantry or over 55s Coffee Club.
RUNNER UP – LAURA RATCLIFFE
Laura’s set up some great projects in the village which have made a real difference. Examples are, Ruddington Mums, the Walking bus and Ruddington Gifting which have gone from strength to strength. One respondent said “Ruddington wouldn’t be the amazing place it is without her”.
HIGHLY COMMENDED – GWEN EYRE
Gwen’s role at the co-op is to be a community champion but it’s clear that she’s gone so far above and beyond this. From Edible Ruddington to the Ruddington Pantry she gives 110 percent. One respondent said they were “heartened to know that Gwen and the next generation of Ruddington residents are doing so much for the village”.
Sports, Leisure and Culture - sponsored by Ruddington Grange Golf Club
WINNER – FRAMEWORK KNITTERS MUSEUM
Reading through the comments, it’s clear that this is a very special place to our community. A hidden gem, steadily gaining more and more recognition. It’s “putting Ruddington on the cultural map”. Respondents praised the volunteers as passionate and welcoming and the judges agree, it’s a fantastic and unique asset to our village
RUNNER UP - RUSHCLIFFE COUNTRY PARK RANGERS (AND VOLUNTEERS)
The judges would like to recognise BOTH rangers and volunteers for their work. The Country Park is a wonderful facility on our doorstep. One respondent felt the work of the Rangers and Volunteers often went unnoticed. We wanted to celebrate their hard work managing the woodland, paths, fencing and caring for wildlife. We feel their efforts contribute a lot to making Ruddington the ‘complete package’ for a place to live or visit
HIGHLY COMMENDED – RUDDINGTON VILLAGE MUSEUM
One respondent said this was a ‘small cultural gem that deserves big recognition’. We agree. Others praised the attention to detail and historical legacy of the village. Where else can you see the oldest fish and chip shop!!
Young Star - sponsored by Ideagen
WINNER – JOSHUA BROOKS
Joshua has been saving his own pocket money for the Mustard Seed Project (helping families in rural Uganda) since he was four years old. Incredible! He’s shown such generosity and maturity to save so much money for people he doesn’t know and will probably never meet. His commitment and kindness actually brought tears to the eyes of the judges
RUNNER UP – CHLOE WOODHOUSE
Chloe has demonstrated a sustained effort in helping at the NG11 foodbank; staying on beyond her DofE experience to become a valuable member of the team. She sets a wonderful example to other young people by making a difference in her community.
HIGHLY COMMENDED - LILY-JEAN MORALES
Not only was Lily-Jean generous and compassionate enough to donate her lovely hair, she’s also brave enough to stand at a market stall to fundraise for the Little Princess Trust. She’s raised enough for 2 wigs and is another great role model for other children in Ruddington
Village Hospitality Business - sponsored by Quotient Sciences
WINNER – BOTTLE TOP
We are impressed by the unique offering at the Bottle Top. We agree with one respondent who said it’s helped create a vibrant spirit in the village. Others praised their welcoming staff, the real ales, coffees and what they’ve achieved with a small space and in a short time. Great concept, which people really appreciate.
RUNNER UP - JASPERS
Lots of praise (LOTS) for the lovely cakes, the quality of the food and the helpful staff. We’re impressed by all the comments which speak of a friendly welcome for babies, older people, those with disabilities…and dogs!
HIGHLY COMMENDED - RUDDINGTON ARMS
The respondents all spoke of the quality of the food, described as ‘exquisite’, ‘amazing’ and ‘unbeatable’. We also noted their work during the pandemic in opening a Saturday carpark market and the business was ‘the first takeaway coffee after lockdown’ for one respondent!
Village Retailer or Service – sponsored by True Story
WINNER – PERKINS
The judges were blown away by the sincerity and the volume of praise for Perkins. They clearly go above and beyond for their customers. They “have almost everything and if not, will source it for you”. Helen and Simon are described by respondents as ‘brilliant, polite knowledgeable and obliging”. We think Perkins is a real asset to our community and we are very lucky to have them on the High Street. One comment said “Perkins is the sort of shop every village should have”
RUNNER UP – PET PANTRY
We are impressed by the customer service at the Pet Pantry and the commitment to the health of animals. People spoke of the ‘enthusiasm for furry friends to visit’ and the friendly and helpful staff. Another asset for our village.
HIGHLY COMMENDED – ARTISAN HAIR
Michelle at Artisan hair overcame the many challenges of lockdown for her business and showed great care for her clients. She took on new premises and renovated them at a difficult time. She visits homes for those who need it due to illness and has become a friend and confident to so many of her clients (now friends) in the village.
Community Group – sponsored by My Care, Ruddington Retirement Village
WINNER – YARN NINJAS
This group brings JOY!! So many people said that. They obviously lift the spirits of both the knitters and everyone who sees their work around the village. Others said their knitting ‘Put Ruddington on the map!” They also make knitted blankets for premature babies and for end-of-life care. It’s clear - reading the many, many comments - that the Yarn Ninjas are about so much more than knitting!!
RUNNER UP – RUDDINGTON COMMUNITY CHOIR
Happy 10th birthday Ruddington Community Choir. They’re thriving! 50 members is impressive! We loved reading about the range of event and venues they have been singing at. Respondents recognised their commitment to “promoting wellbeing, aiding mental and physical health through song, support and friendship”. We also liked the comment that they “strive to be the best they can without getting too stressed about it”.
HIGHLY COMMENDED – RUDDINGTON PANTRY
Brilliant idea! We think this is a concept which truly brings the community together. We noted the valuable message about making a difference in a cost of living crisis and recognise that this initiative will be even more important in the months to come.
· Heart of Rudd Winner – Barbara Breakwell with Jason Smith from sponsor Artex
· Helen Brownett and Sophie Lovett Sarah Godfrey Framework Knitters Museum, winners of ‘Sports, Leisure and Culture’ award, sponsored by Ruddington Grange Golf Club
· Katie Goy and Emma Scott from Yarn Ninjas - winners of ‘Community Group’ award, backed by My Care, Ruddington Retirement Village
About Ruddington Village Community Partnership – A community collaboration:
It all began with a greengrocer. Thomas' at No.2 High Street was a focal point for the community at the centre of the village since the since the 1950's. A place as much about buying locally grown fruit and vegetables as it was for bumping into friends and neighbours for the latest village gossip.
Despite being so cherished by the village, it closed after 60 years. Suddenly Ruddington realised the importance what it had lost. Did we all take our shops and amenities for granted? Even more fundamentally, were we doing enough to support what we love about our neighbourhood?
An emergency village meeting in April 2018 asked one simple question - what can we do to support the heart of our community? The prosperity of the village and everyone’s wellbeing was in the interest of all stakeholders: residents, councillors, businesses, faith groups, and beyond. With that, the Ruddington Village Community Partnership (RVCP) was born...
RVCP now has 14 committee members drawn from a broad range of interests from the community. All members give their time freely to bring a range of skills and experience to help us achieve our aims, such as community outreach, local government, finance, business leadership, high street retail and hospitality, PR, social media, and links with other community groups, churches and schools.
Other projects include the Young Entrepreneur initiative, a joint venture between RVCP, Ruddington Village Market, and a number of independent Ruddington businesses who give their time and experience for free, offering a 6-month programme for young people aged 16-30 from Nottinghamshire that are wanting to start out in the world of markets.