Wow, what a night! A huge thank you to everyone who attended, the sponsors, the finalists and the distinguished guests.  We would also like to acknowledge those who played their part behind the scenes.  It was a fantastic evening of great joy and humble recognition.

With a record number of entries for the awards this year, the judges had a tough job to shortlist the finalists and agree the winners. On the night there were more than 60 businesses and groups represented.

The winners received an engraved eco-friendly trophy and all the finalists were awarded a bottle of Prosecco with their certificates.

Cllr Letitia Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said: “It was a real pleasure being able to celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by local groups, individuals and businesses in supporting their local communities. It says a great deal about the fantastic community spirit across East Suffolk and is one of the reasons it is such a great place to live.

“I would like to congratulate our well-deserving winners whose hard work and commitment has helped improve their local area and the lives of the people who live there. I would also like to thank our sponsors and those who took the time to nominate for these special awards.”

HERE ARE YOUR 2019 WINNERS & RUNNERS UP

New Business of the Year sponsored by Ufford Park

WINNER:  JoJo’s Kitchen and Bar is a small, family-run eatery in Lowestoft. After opening for business in February 2018, it was number 2 on TripAdvisor within six months – and went on to win Best Newcomer at the EAT Suffolk Food & Drink Awards this year.

RUNNERS UP:  Magnus PR, Sir & Co. Barbers

Business Growth Award sponsored by Riduna Park

WINNER: Hearing Care Centre Ltd – the staff offer excellent customer care and strong financial performance. Sales for 2018-19 were the highest ever – up 17% up on the previous year. Plus, the team managed to cut almost £68,000 from its operating costs.

RUNNERS UP: Heavenly Hair and Amaya Spa, Suffolk Canine Creche

Services to the community (Group) sponsored by Places Leisure

WINNER: Muncheon Mingle Inter-generational Events – East Suffolk Council worked with schools in Beccles to organise the ‘Muncheon Mingle’ inter-generational events as a response to the Suffolk Hidden Needs Report. Over the last 2 years five separate events offering fun informal activities, music and refreshments have taken place.

RUNNERS UP: Suffolk Family Carers, Waveney Enterprises Craft Workshop

Services to the community (Individual) sponsored by East Suffolk Norse

WINNER: Julie Hedge – Julie has been a volunteer for Home Start for almost 5 years – and the families supported by her have nothing but praise and thanks for her input into their lives. Julie is described as a kind, supportive and caring individual and a delight to work with.

RUNNERS UP: Melanie Lord, Richard Broom

STEM Award sponsored by EDF Energy

WINNER:  Coderus is an innovative software development and consultancy company that offers educational visits to its site at the prestigious Innovation Martlesham tech hub. The aim is to inspire and give the children an understanding of some of the career choices available in the tech space.

RUNNER UP: Chicane Voice & Data, SimpleClick

Great Idea Award sponsored by SuffolkWire

WINNER: Student Life is a Suffolk wide initiative based around 10 core subjects and aims to encourage young people to take on an active leadership role. Student Life allows students across Suffolk to make their voices heard through print, online, film and via interactive workshops.

RUNNERS UP: The Ron Harrod Foundation, Access Community Trust

People Development sponsored by East Suffolk Council

WINNER: Student Life gives young people the opportunity to seek advice about topics they often feel too embarrassed to discuss. Originally piloted at the University of Suffolk and Kesgrave High School, the project is now being rolled out to all high schools, sixth forms and colleges within the county.

RUNNERS UP: Coastal Leisure Learning CIC, Framlingham College

Health & Wellbeing sponsored by East Suffolk Council

WINNER:  Level 2 Youth Project is a well-established service for young people aged 7-25yrs living in Felixstowe and surrounding villages. The vision is to promote the welfare of local young people through supportive relationships and positive experiences

RUNNERS UP: Student Life, Suffolk Family Carers

Encouraging Tourism sponsored by The Suffolk Coast and East Suffolk Means Business

WINNER: – Choose Woodbridge is a business and tourism organisation representing 184 businesses in Woodbridge and the surrounding area. It has proudly promoted and raised awareness of Woodbridge and East Suffolk as an excellent tourism destination.

RUNNERS UP:  The First Light festival, Nearly Festival

Customer Focus Award sponsored by Chicane Voice & Data

WINNER: Deben Travel Ltd – Founded by husband and wife team Lee and Sarah Hunt in 2012, Woodbridge-based Deben Travel are enjoying their 9th year of trading.  The independent travel agency has shown continuous and impressive growth over the years.

RUNNERS UP:  Suffolk Canine Creche, David Button Independent Funeral Directors

Team of the Year sponsored by Ian Culf Roofer & Builder

WINNER: Realise Futures BBO Employment Team deliver a variety of employment programmes across Suffolk and Essex. The dedicated team of Employment Advisors help people learn new skills and find the right job for them, a range of support activity.

RUNNERS UP: Suffolk Family Carers, Friends of St. Mary’s Primary School

Club of the Year sponsored by David Button Independent Funeral Directors

WINNER: Woodbridge Rugby Club – Since 1969 Woodbridge Rugby Club has provided RFU Core Values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship to young and old, men and women and, recently, able and disabled lovers of the game. Run by volunteers the club was voted Eastern Counties Rugby Union Club of the Year 2016.

RUNNERS UP: Kesgrave Cricket Club, Woodbridge Tennis Club

Enabling Communities Award sponsored by East Suffolk Council

WINNER: The Woodbridge Dementia Project was launched in 2018 by the Seckford Foundation in a drive to make Woodbridge a dementia friendly community.  Working in partnership with a coalition of organisations in and around Woodbridge, the aim is to engage the local community including businesses, family carers and people living with dementia.

RUNNERS UP: The Hour Community Trishaw Project, Headway Suffolk