THE 2010 SURF AWARDS: Creating the real ‘Big Society’ in Scotlamd
Press Release, SURF
• Independent awards highlight real successes in community regeneration across Scotland
• Highlands and Islands projects show the way for real ‘big society’ benefits
The prestigious SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were presented last night (02/12/2010) at a celebratory presentation event in Glasgow’s Radisson Hotel.
Three out of the four winners were from the Highlands and Islands, where innovative community action has a strong tradition. The leading lights from Orkney, Lewis and Wester Ross were joined by a project from Stirling as the only central Scotland winner.
Representatives of four winning and four highly commended projects were presented with certificates of recognition of their excellence.
SURF Chair, Stephen Maxwell, was keen to point out that the real value of the SURF Awards is in successfully highlighting the real ‘big society’ in Scotland. He went on to point out that the 85 entries SURF received clearly showed the very wide range of excellent community regeneration work that goes on in communities across the whole country every day of the year.
The broad and diverse scope of the SURF Awards was much in evidence, as the panel of 16 independent judges, made up of community representatives and national regeneration-related organisations, travelled far and wide over the month of October to visit projects across the country, from the central belt to remote parts of Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.
After sifting through and carefully scoring the 85 project applications and visiting 16 different short-listed initiatives, the successful projects were announced as:
Winner – Rag Tag ‘N’ Textile (Wester Ross & Skye)
Highly Commended – Northmavine Community Development Company (Shetland)
Winner – Uig Community Shop (Lewis)
Highly Commended – Tobermory Harbour Association (Mull)
Winner – Eday Partnership (Orkney)
Highly Commended – Central Govan Action Plan (Glasgow)
Healthy and Employability Partnership Category
Winner – Employability and Health: An Integrated Approach (Stirling)
Highly Commended – Clydesdale Community Initiatives (South Lanarkshire)
These projects were chosen for their outstanding achievements in helping disadvantaged communities in a wide variety of contexts and settings. For example, the SURF Awards judges said:
• The Eday Partnership “saved a remote island community in Orkney that could have ended up like St. Kilda”
• The work of the Central Govan Action Plan in physically transforming a post-industrial area “helped put the pride back in the Clyde”
• Rag Tag ‘N’ Textile was “a fine example of cooperation to provide support to people with mental health issues in isolated communities”
• The ‘Health and Employability – An Integrated Approach’ project was noted for its particularly “high levels of employment outcome”, having helped over 100 people in Stirling into paid employment
The SURF Awards are delivered by SURF (Scotland’s independent regeneration network) in partnership with the Scottish Government. This year, additional support was provided by The Wise Group.