Community Awards 2023

We have closed nominations to this year’s Community Awards. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to nominate and tell us about your local community heroes. Our judging panel will decide the winners and runners up in the individual volunteer categories: Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year.

However, it is over to the public now to decide the winner and runner up for the Community Group of the Year award! This award is for a community group or organisation that has improved the quality of life for residents within the district of Blaby. The award honours the achievement within the group’s community and the difference they make to local residents.

This year we have nine nominations. You can read more about each nominated group/organisation below. The information provided is taken from the nomination forms received and the group/organisation. 

The voting period is open between Monday 13 November and Sunday 3 December 2023.

Blaby District Spartans Inclusive Football Club

Blaby District Spartans Inclusive Football Club is a pan-disability club affiliated with the FA. Players have a range of different needs, such as Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Autism and Social Anxiety to name a few. The club runs a senior section and recently established a junior academy for players aged 6 to 16 years.  

“This group is brilliant as it has allowed my son who has a dual diagnosis of ADHD and Autism to play football. This has impacted on his mental health and well being in a positive way and has taught him to be part of a team. My son could not play in a normal team. This is the same for all the other children. As a parent I can go and not be judged if my son has a meltdown, and this in turn has impacted on my wellbeing and mental health in a positive way”. 

“Having started a youth and junior team from scratch in the spring of 2023 they now have over 20 registered players and continue to grow. A fantastic achievement for all concerned.” 

For more information visit Blaby & District Spartans Inclusive FC | Leicester | Facebook 

Commbus Project

Commbus is a Community Transport charity – started in 1992 and run entirely by volunteers - that provides a dial-a-ride service for the elderly and anyone with a disability or limited mobility.   

“Commbus offers a first-class service to elderly people who would not be able to venture out. The journeys are primarily for weekly shopping but now they cover trips to garden centres and day trips out. Three trips are planned for Stamford Christmas market, which I think will be very popular. Two groups use Commbus for weekly trips to social afternoons: Braunstone Ivy club and another club at Croft. Both venues would be very difficult to attend without Commbus. The volunteer drivers and escorts are first class in their handling of passengers who need wheelchair access - again they would not get out without Commbus. The very good thing also about Commbus is that the first thing people do is to talk, as most people who use Commbus live on their own.”

For more information visit COMMBUS – Community Transport in Blaby District 

Countesthorpe Senior Citizens' Luncheon Club

This luncheon club is now in its 51st year of running. It provides a two-course meal each Wednesday for senior citizens at the Methodist church rooms in Countesthorpe.  

“The Luncheon club has operated continuously through good and bad times, and it is still going strong, driven by volunteers who themselves are older people. The volunteers are selfless in their service to the community, helping people who are in need. Some 20 volunteers offer their services for 50 weeks of the year. They are rostered to attend monthly and spend up to 5hrs a session preparing the food, and the cook for the day is responsible for sourcing the ingredients for the planned menu.  

There are now 36 people who come to the Methodist Church to enjoy freshly cooked food. Food is provided to take out too, mainly to those members who are unable to attend due to illness. Not only is this a place to come and enjoy food, it is also still a place to meet up and have time to engage with other villagers - friends old and new - which is so important to prevent loneliness and other mental health issues associated with being isolated and social excluded. Many of the users of the service are physically challenged too, but they come as it is so important for them to make the effort to see their friends and have an opportunity to be with other people and the friendship is very important to them. If someone is ill, they look after them, visit and look out for each other.” 

“A number of members are widowed, and this could be the only hot meal they have, and together meeting people in similar situations makes a really excellent community service. Members are charged £3 for the meal which just covers the food room hire and insurance; this is the only income that the club receives.  

We have just had a special celebration as one of the members reached the age of 100 and during Covid another member reached 101! Each Christmas the members have a Christmas dinner complete with all the trimmings for no charge and usually are provided with a tin of chocolates to take home. Over the last few years collections from members have allowed us to provide a defibrillator which is situated on the outside of the church wall for use by the community in an emergency. This defibrillator is maintained by the Luncheon club members through raffles and donations.” 

Croft Good Neighbours

Croft Good Neighbour scheme provides short term assistance for the residents of Croft, such as transport, shopping, domestic support and household assistance, through the help of local volunteers. The scheme also endeavours to encourage self-help, friendship and neighbourliness within the local community. The scheme is for everyone over 18 years of age.  

“Working locally, the group help to support people with various tasks, for example shopping and DIY. During the pandemic they helped many people isolated by shielding, and without them, I have no idea how I would have managed. More recently, I asked for help finding someone to fit a hosepipe on my wall, to make life easier (I have restricted mobility). They very quickly had a response from a volunteer, who came and sorted it out for me, and helped with another task as well. There have been various schemes, such as the cake deliveries, which were lovely, and a real bright spot to look forward to once a month, for springtime.  

All the above they do with smiles and goodwill, helping to make Croft a pleasant place to live, especially for those who need an extra helping hand. They work hard to enhance the village, getting together with residents to keep planters filled, help with community events and projects.” 

For more information visit Croft Good Neighbours 

Enderby Lawn Tennis Club

Enderby Lawn Tennis Club has been providing a tennis facility in Enderby since the 1930s. The Club became a registered Charity in 2019 and provides access to club members and the public who can use the facility by booking online and using an automated smart gate system which gives access to the facility seven days a week from 8am to 10pm.  

The Club has almost 180 members, including some 70 juniors. Over 60 children receive coaching every week. For older players a more relaxed environment is provided. The Club fields 13 teams in the Leicestershire leagues with several of the teams winning promotion in the past year. In 2022 the club started to provide free rackets and balls for anyone who booked a court with the aim of encouraging more people from the local community to try tennis and get the great physical and mental benefits of playing the sport. The Club developed and implemented a campaign to encourage people to play tennis called ‘Tennis for everyone’ and the courts have been used by 700 unique individual non-members in the 12 months to August 2023. Overall there were almost 17,000 visits to the courts in the year and the number of pay and play users has increased by 450% since the introduction of the smart access gate and online booking system – this is a sign of the club’s impact on the community.  

The Club provided 20 free coaching sessions for Danemill Primary School Children and also provides free sessions run by our club volunteers for adults with learning difficulties from the Enderby Adult Education Centre. The Club also ran a free women and girls only session run with volunteers which attracted almost 30 participants and a separate free session was held for the Girl Guides. The Club will be working with other charities in the future to expand the delivery of free disability Tennis. 

Club Members ran an event which raised £600 for Ukraine and the club provided free membership for two refugee families. The club also supports the collection of clothing and numerous essential items provided for the Ukraine appeal which is taken to the Leicester Ukraine centre every week. The club also recently installed LED Floodlights in 2023 which will reduce power consumption by 50 % and reduce CO2 emissions. The Club has also installed an external wall defibrillator which is available to all members of the Public. 

For more information visit Enderby Lawn Tennis Cub 

Sapcote Memory Hub

Sapcote Memory Hub CIC is a non-profit organisation that provides a daily service for people living with mild to moderate dementia. The hub offers a range of activities and provides Cognitive Stimulation Therapy delivered by experienced Healthcare professionals with a shared ethos to help improve the lives of people living with dementia and their families.  

“The hub provides so much more than any other day service - the time and effort they all put in. They have singing, dancing, crafts, exercise, days out, lunches out. Dementia is such a horrible disease and there is not enough in place for people or families living with dementia. People’s lives have improved, social isolation has gone all because of this amazing service... With working for social services I know personally that there isn’t a day service like this at all. They go above and beyond to give the people that attend the hub the cognitive stimulation needed to help keep their brains active. 

“They give heart and soul into each and every session they do. They make such a difference to the lives of people with memory difficulties.” 

“Our dear mum attended the group from December 2022. She had progressing dementia and it was difficult to watch at times. These lovely staff talked us though things about finance and what to expect, and also welcomed our mum into the group. She loved going each week, especially the singing and dancing. She always had a smile when going home. The time she went gave my dad a much-needed respite as things got progressively worse… We will be ever grateful of the last few months she spent there being social and happy doing what she loved. Amazing group."

“These wonderful ladies have worked hard to raise awareness of Dementia and bring a quality of life to those who suffer with Dementia and their families. They never stop creating events to raise funds and engaging with people through various channels and you can see how genuine they are as people and how much they care."  

For more information visit Sapcote Memory Hub CIC | Sapcote | Facebook 

Swagat Group

Swagat Group aims to bring elderly and vulnerable women out of loneliness and encourages them to be both mentally and physically active and independent. They get together twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays in Braunstone Town and members look forward to sharing their lives and practising yoga – great for mental and physical exercise. The group organises day trips to freshen the mind and takes members for lunches in restaurants and luncheon clubs to experience different foods. “If the mind is active, the body is active, and members are less of a burden on medical health care.” 

Twins at Totstime

Twins at Totstime is a community group for families of multiples. Their weekly groups in Sapcote offer friendship, advice and support to families, as well as play sessions for children aged 0-12 years.  

“This group is unique to all other baby and toddler groups; it is specifically for Twins/multiples. They provide support to mums of multiple births and there is always a cuppa and chat available to help the mums in any way they can. It is an amazing group to attend: the advice, friendship and help given is outstanding! The lady that runs it is such a special person who volunteers her time, effort and expertise with such grace.” 

“The Group has achieved so much as it has been open over 10 years! It has helped so many families and given a lifeline for parents and carers and created friendships within the community. The group is growing due to the high demand of multiple births, and it has created a safe environment for parents and carers to get the valuable help they need and want.”  

For more information visit  

Wombles in Litter Education (WILE)

WILE was founded nearly three years ago by two local residents – Geoff and Keith. Passionate about litter and the environment, they were both in agreement that people needed educating on the harm that litter causes the environment in Blaby district and the wider county. Geoff and Keith are members of the South Leicestershire Litter Wombles. In 2020 a request was made to present a talk about litter-picking to pupils at the local Primary School on how to dispose of litter safely and properly depending upon the types of litter found. They engaged and educated pupils in a friendly and informative way, initially reaching 400 pupils in Enderby. 

In March 2021 they decided to set up WILE giving presentations to primary and secondary schools and community groups. The group is proactive and has a strong and committed work ethic to bring about change to people’s lives, their environment and their mindset when it comes to litter disposal. Since then the work of the Group has expanded countywide. Between March 2021 and the end of July 2023, WILE had visited 151 groups and had educated 31,000 school children. Now, the group has brought its roadshow to over 160 schools and groups and have been seen more than enough children to fill the King Power stadium - 32,262! They have done all this giving their time for free. They also gift litter picking kits to schools so they can continue to keep their school grounds litter free. Class litter picks are undertaken and WILE also engages with local scouting and Youth Clubs. 

The group are proud to have won Radio Leicester’s Make A Difference award in the environment section in October 2022. 

For more information visit  WILE website 

How to vote

You can either vote online (below) or you can download a copy of the voting form at the bottom of this webpage. Please return your completed voting form by the closing date (Sunday 3 December 2023) either by email to or by post to: Community, Business, Work and Skills Team, Blaby District Council, Desford Road, Narborough LE19 2EP.

Winners and prizes

All finalists will be contacted by Friday 5 January 2024. If you have not heard by this date, unfortunately this means that you have not been shortlisted. The decisions reached will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Finalists, or their representatives, will need to attend an awards evening on Thursday 25 January 2024.

  • The winners in categories A (Volunteer of the Year) and B (Young Volunteer of the Year) will each receive £100
  • The runners-up in categories A and B will each receive £50
  • The winning group in category C (Community Group of the Year) will win £1000
  • The runner-up group in category C will win £500

Winners and runners up in categories A and B will also be given the opportunity to nominate a local community group/organisation to receive £750 (winner) and £500 (runner up). The nominated group/organisation must be a voluntary or community sector group or organisation based within Blaby District or one that directly benefits residents of the district, with a formal constitution or governing document.


Our Sponsors

Finally, we would like to acknowledge and thank our generous sponsors for funding this year's Community Awards:

  • Serco for sponsorship of the Volunteer of the Year prizes and towards the awards ceremony
  • Central Co-op for sponsorship of the Young Volunteer of the Year prize
  • Everyone Active for sponsorship towards the awards ceremony
  • All group prizes will be funded by proceeds from the Love Blaby Lottery's Blaby District Community Fund so a big thank you also to our lottery supporters
Last updated 13 November 2023
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