Local community champions recognised

Local community champions were recognised by Marie who presented a series of awards to recognise their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three awards were given out to individual, sports club and support group at the event hosted at the constituency office. 

Portico Vine ARLFC were recognised for their efforts in adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic. They were award the Community Sports Club Award. The rugby club’s work was highlighted by the Rugby Football League authorities who shared it as best practice to clubs up and down the country.

The local club also contacted large manufacturers to redistribute food to those who needed it throughout several lockdowns. The team delivered over 5000 canons of soup to the Hope Centre and Teardrops.

Mark Hopin, Chairman of Portico Vine ARLFC said: “Portico Vine members and volunteers are absolutely thrilled to have been recognised by this award. 

“Our sole aim at the start of the pandemic was to keep our players, supporters and volunteers as safe as we could set against the ever-changing rules and restrictions. With regular internal and external communications, our mitigation strategy was implemented and driven forward by every member of the club, meaning the wider community was kept as safe as possible.

“On behalf of everybody involved at our club, I am truly humbled to have received a Community Champion Award from Ms Rimmer and all involved in the nomination process.”

The Community Support Group Award went to local veterans’ group, No Duff. On top of their usual responsibilities of looking after military and emergency services veterans, during the pandemic that went one step further.

No Duff signed up for Operation React to distribute food, particularly to more clinically vulnerable people who were shielding.

Dean Owen, chief executive of No Duff said: “It is fantastic to receive such an award and to be recognised for the hard work we do in helping those, who have and those who are still serving to protect and help us.

“Not only do we graciously accept this prestigious award we would like to thank the No Duff UK team, Stephen Baines of the Wonderland Community Centre, Merseyside Police, and those who put their service before self.”

The Community Champions nominating process took place over August and Summer, with these three entrees being decided winners due to their efforts to go the extra mile to help the local community.

Speaking after the event, Ms Rimmer said: “I was delighted to recognise No Duff and Portico Vine rugby league club for their efforts since the pandemic began. Community spirit comes to the forefront in tough times. The spirit showed by these two are a beacon to us all about how we should look after and care for one another.

“The pandemic has caused horror and pain for our community. But in all my years living here, I have never been prouder of the efforts that have been made by local groups and people. There are many others that deserve to be recognised and I want to thank everyone who went the extra mile to help our community.”

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