Lichfield projects scoop top regeneration awards

Sally Shoesmith and Amanda Newhold receive the awards from Gerard Coyne and Adrian Passmore

Sally Shoesmith and Amanda Newhold receive the awards from Gerard Coyne and Adrian Passmore

Two Lichfield projects have beaten off competition from around the West Midlands to take top honours at a top regeneration awards event.

The Goodbye to Summer Lantern Parade won the Successful Community Engagement award while the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group scooped the Environment and People category in the RegenWM awards.

More than 90 entries were received across five categories for the awards which celebrate the very best in regeneration work across The West Midlands.

The lantern parade was developed as a result of two North Lichfield organisations bringing together a wide range of community groups and residents to prepare for six months to create a stunning 100-strong parade through the Dimbles Lane area of the town.

The partnership between North Lichfield Initiative and North Lichfield Community and Learning Partnership carried out fundraising, art workshops and training to put on the event.

As part of the process, 68 Home Fire Risk Check referrals were given to the fire service, the Jigsaw community hub saw a dramatic increase in attendance and Staffordshire Police confirmed that anti-social behaviour was 55% lower.

Mike Kinghan, Chair of North Lichfield Initiative, said:

“We are all thrilled the lantern procession has been chosen for this award. It confirms the hard work and dedication of all the organisers and local people who are so committed to the north Lichfield community.

“A huge thank you is due to everyone who was involved in making the procession such a success – from the artist who taught us how to make beautiful lanterns, to the community for embracing the event, through to all the partners and volunteers that made it possible.”

Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Ian Parry, said:

“North Lichfield Community and Learning Partnership is honoured to receive such an award. Together with North Lichfield Initiative, we are delighted with the achievement of the North Lichfield Lantern Procession and the opportunity for staff to have attended the RegenWM awards to receive the award.

“The lantern procession has proven a wonderful way for families to be involved in an activity during the October school holidays. Projects like this one bring together the community and celebrate living in North Lichfield.”

The second award was won by Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group (WFEG) which was established in 2007 to help the 1200-strong household parish to understand how they can lower their carbon footprint.

Practical projects already delivered include a light bulb library with over 20 different types of low energy light bulb, a series of energy audits, the first community online carbon footprinting facility and assistance to secure funding for energy saving improvements.

The latter has already seen insulation improvements to the village hall, doctor’s surgery, church hall and pavilion, with annual carbon savings of over 40,000kg alone.

Thia Knowles of the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group, said:

“We felt that climate change was the biggest environmental issue and that many people in our community were concerned about it but not sure exactly what to do. The challenge was identifying effective action and overcoming the feeling of powerlessness but we believe we have made some real progress with that.

“The group has worked hard to show that everybody can play their part in the process of reducing our collective carbon footprint. We are delighted that the work of the group has been recognised by RegenWM through their awards.”

Adrian Passmore, Chief Executive of RegenWM, said:

“For Lichfield to come away with two awards shows just how strong the regeneration excellence is in this part of the region. Here we have two separate projects which tackle two very different challenges – community cohesion and climate change – but use engagement to make them successful.

“Both projects produced major successes on the basis of community involvement and are worthy winners.”

Established six years ago, RegenWM promotes and develops regeneration excellence in the West Midlands by improving the skills of those involved in the sector and providing information and intelligence.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. 66usual

    13th November, 2009 at 10:07 am

    A lot of the credit should go to Jennie Crosby, Tracy Potts and others, and to Amanda for this brilliant event, which was even better this year!!