Okarno Lead the Sponsor Line Up for Local Awards

Ruddington businesses including Okarno, Ideagen and True Story are once again lending their support to the Rudd Awards, celebrating the best in the village

Initially launched by Ruddington Village Community Partnership (RVCP) in 2022, the Rudd Awards are back again for 2024. Through seven categories the awards are designed to recognise and celebrate those businesses, community groups and individuals that contribute to making Ruddington a thriving place to live, work and enjoy.

Lead sponsor, is Ruddington headquartered Okarno Ltd, formerly known as Artex. Part of worldwide group, Saint Gobain, Okarno has been supplying customers since 1935 and is a primary distributor of some of the UK’s leading construction brands including Gyproc, Thistle, Weber and BlueHawk. The business offers a diverse choice of over 500 trade and DIY construction products to merchants, decorator centres and DIY retailers nationwide.

Jason Smith, Managing Director at Okarno Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Rudd Awards again this year – this time as Okarno! Whilst we recently changed the name of our business from Artex Ltd to Okarno, we are still the same business with the same great people and continue to pride ourselves on a core set of values which are mirrored throughout the Rudd Awards. As a local employer we love to see our community thriving and are excited to be taking part in this wonderful event to recognise the shining stars who are doing great work to develop the village.”

Over the past 30 years the firm has continued to strengthen its relationship with the local community, with over half of its colleagues living locally. Okarno will sponsor the overall event and also the ‘Heart of Ruddington’ award category, recognising an individual or group that has demonstrated extraordinary service to Ruddington and the wider community.

Global software solutions provider, Ideagen, is backing the awards again too, sponsoring the ‘Young Star’ category. With 1,500+ people located across the globe, Ideagen has had a presence in Ruddington for over a decade, officially opening its global headquarters in Ruddington Fields Business Park in 2020, after previously being home to one of its smaller offices since 2016.

Ben Dorks, CEO of Ideagen, who was brought up in Rushcliffe and still lives locally with his family, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the ‘Young Star’ Award again. Every year I’m blown away by the incredible things these young individuals are doing to support the community and each other. These awards celebrate stand-out accomplishments and the vibrant spirit within our local Ruddington community, values that resonate deeply with our business. It is our honour to recognise and support these deserving achievements.”

Five other categories are being sponsored by other locally based businesses including creative agency, True Story with ‘Village retailer or service’, Quotient Sciences with ‘Village hospitality’, My Care, Ruddington Retirement Village for ‘Community Group’ and, new to the awards this year - Ridge Clean Energy Ltd backing ‘Volunteer or Fundraiser’ and Frank Key Group supporting the ‘Sports, leisure and culture’ category.

Nominations for the awards are now open, with the submission date extended until Friday 23rd February at 5pm. The RVCP team is encouraging nominations for a range of individuals, groups and businesses making a real difference, helping to build a vibrant and prosperous village life.

People can put forward their favourites in each category, with a reason why they have been chosen online at www.rvcp.org.uk/awards. Paper forms are also available from the Parish Office in St Peter’s Rooms during office hours.

The shortlist will be unveiled in March and finalists selected by a local independent judging panel. The winners will be announced at the awards evening on Friday 17th May 2024 at Ruddington’s St Peters Church, compared by BBC Radio Nottingham Drivetime presenter, Verity Cowley.

The awards are one of several community initiatives set up by RVCP as part of its aims to encourage everyone within the community to play an active role in the future of a prosperous, confident village.

For more information about the Rudd Awards visit: https://www.rvcp.org.uk/awards.