Shropshire's outstanding villages, towns and communities awarded in new competition

Shropshire's most Outstanding Communities have been named from a 20-strong shortlist.

High Sheriff Tony Morris-Eyton presents the award to John Ingham, from Belle Vue and Coleham who won the award for Best Village
High Sheriff Tony Morris-Eyton presents the award to John Ingham, from Belle Vue and Coleham who won the award for Best Village

The Community Foundation for Shropshire's new annual competition is designed to celebrate and recognise the work of volunteers in improving local lives.

Edgmond won best small village and Belle Vue and Coleham won best large village in this year's celebrations.

The best town award went jointly to Church Stretton and Wellington, and West Mercia Search and Rescue team won best community organisation, with the Park Lane Centre in Telford as the runner-up.

More than 20 areas competed to be named Shropshire’s Outstanding Community organised by The Community Foundation for Shropshire.

The competition runs each year from February to October, and gives organisations across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin the chance to showcase their work in their local community.

It is designed to celebrate the work of thousands of volunteers who play an active role in their local area, helping people to live fulfilling lives and overcome disadvantage, and shine a light on the community spirit that exists.

In total, more than 40 areas wished to enter, but due to the Covid pandemic and lockdown, only 21 could progress to the final stage.

Jo Cooper, business development officer at The Community Foundation, who manage the competition, said: “Due to Covid we weren’t able to include as many entries as we had hoped.

"In the end we had to whittle them down to just over 20, which was very difficult. The standard of the entries was phenomenal, and it showcased just what exciting and vibrant communities exist across Shropshire and highlighted a fantastic sense of community spirit.

"We are already planning next year’s competition, and looking forward to welcoming more communities."

The awards-giving ceremony was held at Ironbridge Gorge Museum, with High Sheriff Tony Morris-Eyton presenting the awards to the winners.

Previous and future High Sheriffs, deputy lieutenants and local mayors were also in attendance, as well as members from local businesses and voluntary organisations.

Tony Morris-Eyton said: “It was a pleasure to be involved in this year’s competition which featured so many fantastic entries. It is amazing to see the work that goes on in our local communities, and the difference that people make to the lives of those people that live there.

"This is only the start, and I’ve no doubt that over the course of the next few years we will see even more of the vital work that is undertaken in our local communities.

"Recognising that work is one of the most important things that we can do to show people that we value their contributions to our fantastic county."

Each category winner received a glass trophy and a cash prize to spend on something for the benefit of their local community.

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