A well-respected Bury St Edmunds residents’ association has been shortlisted for a community award.
The Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART) is among three groups shortlisted for this year’s High Sheriff’s Suffolk Community Partnership of the Year Award.
HEART chairman Ernie Broom said being nominated had come ‘as a real pleasant surprise’.
He said: “I feel really, really honoured that someone could nominate us for this. It’s an honour we’re very pleased to receive.”
Elizabeth Stephenson, of the Suffolk Community Foundation, which organises the awards, said: “Every year the High Sheriff of Suffolk has an awards ceremony at the end of his or her tenure, celebrating and recognising the unsung heroes that are making this lovely county of ours a safer, better place for us all to live in. The prestigious High Sheriff’s Awards are designed to showcase and recognise the vibrant volunteering culture that is alive in Suffolk.”
The Suffolk Community Partnership of the Year Award rewards and celebrates the way two or more groups or organisations - one of which must be a community group or charity - have worked together to ‘make a real difference’ in their community, addressing law and order issues such as citizenship, community safety and crime prevention and thereby helping to make Suffolk a safer place in which to live.
The winners of each of this year’s six award categories - which include Suffolk Volunteer of the Year, Suffolk Under 25 Young Volunteer of the Year, Suffolk Lifetime Achievement Award, Suffolk Youth Organisation of the Year and Suffolk Community Group or Organisation of the Year - will receive a trophy and a cheque.
They will be chosen by an independent panel, which the High Sheriff heads, and announced at an awards ceremony at University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich, on April 2.
“I’d like to go on and win but the fact that we have been shortlisted is absolutely fantastic,” said Mr Broom.
Suffolk county councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer, who nominated the group for the High Sheriff Awards, said the nomination was helped by a ‘very good supporting letter’ from David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds.
Of his reasons for nominating HEART, he said: “There are lots of really excellent residents’ groups in my division but I think HEART really push the boat out in terms of working with lots of organisations and groups, and achieve a lot. I think they’ve got some real successes to celebrate so I thought let’s put them through because they should be recognised and receive an accolade.”
“I feel very excited and I really want them to win,” he said, adding that he would be joining Mr Broom at next month’s award ceremony.