Cash For Your Community 2019: Judges choose finalists for £20,000 giveaway
It took five hours of detailed deliberations, but our Cash For Your Community team has finally chosen the 35 organisations to take part in this year's £20,000 giveaway.
For the fifth year running the Shropshire Star is joining forces with Enterprise Flex-E-Rent to provide vital cash support to good causes across Shropshire and Mid Wales.
A record 154 charities, community groups and voluntary organisations applied to take part in this year's campaign. Of these, 72 per cent were first-time applicants.
A judging panel made up of the Shropshire Star's Sam Williams, Catrin Guy and Natalie Coughlan, and Tom Macdonald and Hayley Oakley of Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, carefully examined each application before coming to their decision.
Shropshire Star circulation representative Mr Williams said the standard of applications was one of the strongest yet.
"The standard of the applications was extremely high, and it was so difficult to whittle it down to the final 35," he said.
"However the 35 groups which we have chosen are of the highest quality, and we were unanimous in our decision."
Mr Macdonald, talent development manager at Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, added: "It gets more difficult every year, because the quality of the submissions, and the work they do in the community is fantastic.
"The groups which aren't successful should not see it as a reflection on their work, its just that there are so many fantastic groups."
The groups will now be informed of their success, before being officially announced in a special supplement in the Shropshire Star later this month.
Each of the groups will be given a share of the fund, but how much each group gets will be determined by Shropshire Star readers.
Tokens will be printed in the newspaper throughout the duration of the campaign, and readers will be asked to send in tokens to the groups they wanted to support.
The group getting the largest number of tokens will receive a guaranteed £5,000, and the others will get a share depending on how many tokens they are able to collect.