COMMUNITY champions have been recognised through a new awards ceremony – hoped to be the first of many.

The inaugural Northwich Community ReAwards took place at Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club on February 3, shining a light on volunteers, charities and groups working in the town and surrounding area.

The awards reflect the impact these unsung heroes have on their community.

Sam Newey, one of the organisers, said: “This was the first year for our Community ReAwards, which are very much about celebrating the amazing volunteers we have here in Northwich.

“There are so many unsung heroes in our community and it is important to thank them for working so tirelessly.”

Roberts Bakery was among those helping to celebrate the town by sponsoring an award – as well as picking up an award through one of its own.

Roberts sponsored the ‘Impact Award’, won by Scout leader Mike Gerrard, while fourth-generation Roberts family member Lindsay Occleston won ‘Voluntary Community Fundraiser’.

Lindsay led a campaign to raise £50,000 for the charity Prevent Breast Cancer, through the sale of 2.5 million special Roberts’ pink-packaged wholemeal loaves.

The money helped to fund a pioneering research project to predict a woman’s risk of contracting breast cancer.

Lindsay said: “As a breast cancer survivor myself, I wanted to do everything I could to fight this awful disease. It was wonderful to win the award for our campaign, which will make a huge impact to the lives of women in Northwich and beyond.”

Mike was rewarded for his 46 years’ service, including running the St Wilfrid’s Cub pack and Martlet Explorer Scouts.

He said: I’ve been involved in the local Scout community for more than five decades now and I’m due to take part in my 52nd summer camp in July.

“I’m proud to have played a role in the lives of so many young people and I’m overwhelmed, but naturally delighted, to win this award.”

Other award winners included St Luke’s Hospice in the 50-plus volunteer Charity Group of the Year category, and Saskia Lightburn-Ritchie of Cheshire Without Abuse in the same category for under 50 volunteers.

Daniel Pendlebury and Lee Mackenzie won the Outstanding Leadership award for their Northwich in Need work, while Charlotte Palfreyman of Hartford Gymnastics won in the young volunteer category.