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Cradley village of the year 2005.

CALOR VILLAGE OF THE YEAR TENTH ANNIVERSARY AWARDS

Cradley has received an invitation to enter this special competition. It is open only to regional winners over the past ten years. We have accepted, and our bid has been updated.
The first round of judging takes place on 3 April 2006.
The first prize will be £20,000 and runners- up will receive £1,000, so keep your fingers crossed, everybody!
A copy of the bid and the criteria for this competition can be read in Cradley Village Hall’s Heritage Room.
J C-N

Calor Village of the Year® for England Competition 2005 - Final Results

Overall Winner Ashover, Derbyshire - Central England

Defra Building Community Life Award for the overall winner of the Building Community Life category Audlem, Cheshire - North England

Special award for the overall winner of the Business category, from Calor in association with Business in the Community Salford Priors, Warwickshire - Central England

Special award for the overall winner of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) category Selborne, Hampshire - South England

Calor in Association with Rural Revival, Community Enterprise Award: Barrowden, Rutland - Central England

Regional Winners

Village

County

Region

Audlem

Cheshire

North England

Ashover

Derbyshire

Central England

Loddon

Norfolk

East England

Cradley

Herefordshire

West England

Chale

Isle of Wight

South England

Regional Category Winners

(Regional overall winners are highlighted in bold)

North England

Village

County

Category

Audlem

Cheshire

Building Community Life

Wingates

Northumberland

Business

Thorpe Willoughby

Yorkshire

Young People

Burton upon Stather

North Lincolnshire

Older People

Wasdale

Cumbria

Environment

Wray

Lancashire

Information Communication Technology

Central England

Village

County

Category

Grasby

Lincolnshire

Building Community Life

Salford Priors

Warwickshire

Business

Ashover

Derbyshire

Young People

Brigstock

Northamptonshire

Older People

Jacksdale

Nottinghamshire

Environment

Helmdon

Northamptonshire

Information Communication Technology

East England

Village

County

Category

Dullingham

Cambridgeshire

Building Community Life

Earls Colne

Essex

Business

Cheddington

Buckinghamshire

Young People

Clifton

Bedfordshire

Older People

Potten End

Hertfordshire

Environment

Redbourn

Hertfordshire

Information Communication Technology

West England

Village

County

Category

Cradley

Herefordshire

Building Community Life

Yarcombe

Devon

Business

South Petherton

Somerset

Young People

Painswick

Gloucestershire

Older People

Little Wenlock

Shropshire

Environment

Aldbourne

Wiltshire

Information Communication Technology

South England

Village

County

Category

Eastry

Kent

Building Community Life

Grayshott

Hampshire

Business

Northchapel

West Sussex

Young People

Mayfield

East Sussex

Older People

Thursley

Surrey

Environment

Selborne

Hampshire

Information Communication Technology

From Judi CN 7 December 2005
We are thrilled to win the Calor Village of the Year award for the West Region of England, with an added accolade for Building Community Life (awarded by DEFRA).
These awards don't just happen. They are the result of consistent hard work of enthusiastic people and willing volunteers working together on issues that benefit the community.
We were judged on the following categories: Building Community Life, Business, The Environment, Younger People and Older People. There was also a separate category for ICT (which Cradley won at County level).
We intend to go forward and build on our successes in the future.
The award recognises Cradley as one of the top 5 villages in England.
Cradley VotY presentation
The Photograph shows the presentation being made by Alan Titchmarsh. He is accompanied by Howard Kerr, MD of Calor. Our representatives David and Judi Creed-Newton are accompanied by Bill Wiggin, our local MP.

06/12/2005 HEREFORDSHIRE ,CRADLEY
The Herefordshire village of Cradley has won the regional title for West England, as well as a regional category award for Building Community Life (sponsored by Defra) in the 2005 Calor Village of the Year® for England competition. The results of the competition were revealed at an awards luncheon held on Tuesday 6th December in London. Cradley was competing against a total of 40 other villages throughout England which were nominated to represent their respective counties in this prestigious event. The Calor Village of the Year® for England competition is organised and funded by Calor, the UK’s leading supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with additional funding from Defra specifically to support the Building Community Life category. The competition assesses communities on six aspects of village life in total - one of which is Building Community Life. The other five categories cover Business, Young People, Older People, the Environment and, judged separately, Information Communications Technology (ICT). Cradley initially carried off a regional category prize for Defra Building Community Life before being announced as the 2005 Calor Village of the Year® for West England, beating off competition from villages representing Avonside, Devon, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Worcestershire to gain the regional title. Finally, in an exciting finale, the village also narrowly missed out on the overall title of 2005 Calor Village of the Year® for England and £6,000 top prize, which instead went to Derbyshire village, Ashover.

CRADLEY
Building Community Life before being announced as the 2005 Calor Village of the Year® for West England, beating off competition from villages representing Avonside, Devon, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Worcestershire to gain the regional title. Finally, in an exciting finale, the village also narrowly missed out on the overall title of 2005 Calor Village of the Year® for England and £6,000 top prize, which instead went to Derbyshire village, Ashover.
The Defra Building Community Life category of the competition was launched by Calor this year, with the support of Defra, in order to enhance the community life element of the competition. By supporting the competition, Defra wants communities to recognise the most fundamental quality which determines whether a village operates successfully as a community - that is how it ensures the inclusion of all groups or individuals, particularly the most vulnerable, in a cohesive and mutually supporting community. Minister for Rural Affairs, Jim Knight congratulated this years winners of the Building Community Life Award and praised the efforts of all those involved saying:
"For me the Defra Building Community Life category of the competition is about maintaining and supporting vibrant and self-sustaining rural communities in villages and market towns, particularly focusing on inclusion of people outside the mainstream. Rural communities have the same essential needs as urban communities but geography dictates that we may require imaginative and innovative delivery solutions."
He went on to say:
"The judges of the Building Community Life Award looked for well-balanced, pro-active, caring communities which, irrespective of size, have made the best of local opportunities to maintain and enhance the quality of life for all residents."
Celebrity author and broadcaster, Alan Titchmarsh, was the guest of honour at the awards luncheon. He was joined by Calor’s managing director, Howard Kerr, to present representatives of Cradley with their awards, which included prize money totalling £2,250. Alan commented: “Rural communities are an essential part of the fabric of our country - they are the backbone of British life. It is for this reason that the Calor Village of the Year® for England competition, which aims to support and promote village life, is such a positive event and something which I am happy to support. The competition highlights the very best of village life, encouraging villagers to work together to the benefit of all residents. More importantly, it provides a forum for communities to share best practice and encourages them to address any problems or opportunities that become apparent following their involvement in the competition.”
Cradley, which was nominated to take part in the competition by Community First in Herefordshire & Worcestershire, is a beautiful village benefiting from a new school and recently refurbished 15th century village hall. There are strong links between the school and the residents as evidenced by the fundraising in order to finance the building of the new school. Despite the setback of a fire in the village hall, renovations have been completed and the hall has been extended with a resources centre and improved accessibility, making it a warm and welcoming space. There are good links between older residents and the young people with examples of older people accessing school computers for training and all age groups taking part in the village pantomime. Overall the judges were impressed that Cradley was looking to the future with confidence and had within the village the talents to make it a truly sustainable community.
Calor’s managing director, Howard Kerr, commented: “Feedback from villages over the years confirms how those entering the Calor Village of the Year® competition are amazed at the richness of community life that is revealed as they go forward. The 2005 competition has once again highlighted some extraordinary communities across England as well as some great examples of how villages are working to achieve a better quality of life for residents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every village that has taken part this year and congratulate them on their achievements, whether they have won a prize or not.
“The Calor Village of the Year® competition has been supporting rural communities for nine years and many villages have benefited from taking part – either at county or national level. As the competition reaches its 10th anniversary, we are confident that villages will continue to benefit in the future. Thanks must also go to Alan for his continued support, which is sure to raise the profile of the competition and spread the message to even more communities.”
For more information on the Calor Village of the Year® for England competition visit the website (www.calorvillageoftheyear.org) or call Calor on 01926 318634. For more information on Defra visit: www.defra.gov.uk or for information specific to rural affairs visit: www.defra.gov.uk/rural/default.htm

Herefordshire Village of the Year presentations at Cradley Village Hall Tuesday 20 sep 05. Sponsors Ray Brookes from Calor and Sue Todd from the Government Office West Midlands DEFRA were present with three of the judges. The Worcester presentations were to Pebworth for community life and Martley for ICT. The Herefordshire presentations were to Cradley for building community life (and overall winner), with runners up from Weobley and Marden. Ray was proud to be the lead sponsor in the 70th anniversary year of the Village of the Year awards. Apparently there are no losers - every village taking part in the competition has benefitted from their entry and the judges say they always see year on year improvements in all participating villages.
Ray, Judi, Jerry and Sue
Judi Creed-Newton and Jerry Thomas receiving two awards on behalf of Cradley Village: Overall winner of Herefordshire Village of the Year and winner of the special category “Building Community Life”.
Judi CN wrote -
Cradley Village hall was chosen by Community First as the venue for the presentations of Calor Village of the Year.
On September 20th, winners and runners up across Herefordshire and Worcestershire gathered to receive certificates presented by Calor, network ideas and toast success at County level.
Now we’re on to the presentations for the regional (South West of England) finals of the competition, which will take place in early October. These presentations will also decide the shortlist for judging at National level - exciting times!
On Thursday October 13th, the Village Hall will be open for a community coffee morning 10.30 t0 12 noon. Please come along and see the village of the year displays and chat to some of the presenters and support team.
I hope that we will have been able to convince the judges that Cradley is the place to live!

History - Judi C-N has entered us for the Village of the year competition, organised this year by Community First, and we have won for Herefordshire! We are now eligible to enter for the South West region later this year. We previously entered in 2002. The Herefordshire awards evening were at Cradley Village Hall.


posting from Judi CN:-
After a presentation in our Village Hall on Friday July 1st, I was very pleased to receive the attached letter that said that Cradley was overall winner of the Calor Village of the Year competition for Herefordshire. Moreover, it had also won the categories "Building Community Life" and ICT within the competition.

On behalf of Cradley Village, I would like to thank my co-presenters, Jerry T, Joy J, Sally R, Dawn H, Bruce H and John E.

I would also like to thank Sue and David of Cradley Post Office and Stores, who spent some time talking to the judges.

Judi C-N

July 2005

Letter from Community First, Malvern

7th July 2005

Dear Mrs C-N,

Calor Village of the Year

Thank-you for the very interesting presentation that you gave the Calor Village of the Year judges. You certainly gave us the impression that people in Cradley care about their local community and that it is a lively place to live!

I am pleased to say that Cradley has been selected as winner of the Building Community Life category and overall winner of the Calor Village of the Year competition in Herefordshire. The judges felt that Cradley made excellent use of its resources and as such was a clear winner. They have also chosen Cradley as the ICT winner for Herefordshire.

Cradley is therefore eligible to enter the regional competition in both the five general categories and the ICT category. I enclose details of the regional competition, for which the deadline is 30th September 2005.

I am planning to present the local Calor Village of the Year certificates and awards at a celebration to be held in early September (I was asked to avoid the school holidays and can't fit it in before the end of this term). I will send more details in due course.

Yours sincerely

Nina Owen

Publicity Officer

Community First


Cradley and Storridge Village of the Year ICT web site proposal

South West region September 2005

Information, Communications and Technology category; web site submission

www.cradley.org.uk

Strategy: Originally sponsored by the Parish Council, responsibility for the web site is now with the Village to encompass the whole parish. The web site was the basis of our information technology strategy that included the notice board, publicity for village events, computer training and learning. The objective of the strategy was to promote the quality of life in the villages of Cradley and Storridge; to inform, influence and educate. The strategy was developed within the Parish Plan to give a sense of ownership to the community as a whole. The village hall now includes a committee room and a heritage room with ICT resources for villagers of all ages; the new school also offers ICT facilities.

Web Site design: The site has been running since spring 2001 and has grown as information has been collated and as ideas have gathered momentum. It continues to be developed using simple software, with a cursory adherence to the W3C standards, and concentrates on information relevant to the village rather than presentation. The site is managed by an unpaid volunteer web master who supports the various village organisations.

The web site visit rate, originally over 100 per month, has now more than doubled due in part to the regular updates to the notice board and events diary. Observations most frequently made by visitors are that the web site content is very quick to access and the pictures of village events interesting. The Village of the Year competition has provided a welcome stimulus to interest in the web site and the opportunity has been taken to poll for critical review of the web site design.

Communication: Communication with the web master is by e-mail, or for those without such access by paper. Information that may be contentious is vetted by members of the Parish Plan working group and the owners of the information. Information for the site is gathered on a regular basis and the web-master attempts to respond within a working day. To comply with the provisions of the data protection act the webmaster will usually only publish first names with an initial and the last 3 digits of any telephone number; he rarely emails anyone as most requests result in updates to the site. This also provides protection from spam and other malicious software.

The Broadband campaign was run by the web-master using the web site to provide news items and a Frequently Answered Questions page. Although we did not meet our target we were well placed in the queue for BT's roll-out and were made ready for service by BT in February 2005. Many villagers now use the service.

New pictures on the web site are now provided as cameo links to the full screen pictures. This preserves the performance of the web site for modem subscribers while giving Broadband customers access to the larger pictures.

Content: Links are provided on the home page to the web sites of adjoining parishes with a Notice Board used for new submissions, Neighbourhood Watch notices and other news. The news items are kept current and archived to a relevant section or the village diary. Anyone can provide a new submission as long as it is legal, honest and decent!

The Events list looks a few months ahead and is sponsored by the village newsletter. It is kept current by correlation with other sources including the church pew slips. Relevant web links and pictures are added where appropriate.

The site content search facility has been added to ease navigation. A 'site map' list of pages is being added to the Navigation section of the home page as an aid for topic searches.

The web site is an archive, recording the Millennium Book, the history of the Maclean memorial, St James Church, the original book "Cradley - a village history", Village Hall activities and many other topics.


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