News Shortlist announced for our Awards! We are delighted to announce the shortlist for our 2015 Rural Community Co-operative Awards, kindly sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association. Winners will be announced at the Plunkett Foundation national networking & training event on Thursday 25 June in Dunchurch, near Rugby. For more information please visit www.plunkettagm2015.eventbrite.co.uk. Category 1 – The Pioneer Award Sponsored by WBCFlagship community co-operatives that have done something new or different, have gone above and beyond to inspire others to do something similar and/or helped the sector to develop.Shortlist: Ashton Hayes and Mouldsworth Community Shop, Chester Bamford Community Society, The Anglers Rest, Derbyshire Ilsington Village Shop, Devon Category 2 – Unsung Hero Award Sponsored by SumaFor this award we asked co-operatives to nominate an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their enterprise and therefore their wider community.Shortlist: Maralynn Smith - Islip Village Shop, Oxfordshire Dave Bennett - St GermansCommunity Shop, Cornwall Marian Osborne - Wellow Village Shop Association, Somerset Category 3 - One to Watch –The Newcomer Award Sponsored by The Co-operative CollegeFor this award we sought applications from new community co-operatives, established on or after January 2013. We were looking for enterprises that can demonstrate a commitment to community engagement and support alongside a sound financial performance. We were looking for those that are servicing their community’s needs, are aware of areas for improvement and have made plans for the future.Shortlist: Bùth Bharraigh, Isle of Barra Hurst Green Community Shop and Centre, Sussex Oldbury on Severn Community Shop, Gloucestershire Category 4 – Business Innovation Award Sponsored by Triodos BankFor this award we sought applications from established community co-operatives, established before January 2013. We were looking for enterprises that can demonstrate a commitment to community engagement and support alongside a sound financial performance. We were looking for those that are servicing their community’s needs, are aware of areas for improvement and have made plans for the future.Shortlist: Ide Hill Community Shop, Kent Seavington Community Shop and Services Association, Somerset St Germans Community Shop, Cornwall Category 5 – People’s Choice Award Sponsored by Hastoe Housing AssociationThrough this award we were seeking exemplary enterprises that have made a difference to a vulnerable individual or group of people; this may have been on a one-off occasion or continually. We were specifically looking for enterprises that have helped people to overcome:- Social exclusion- Physical isolation- Health issues- Financial hardshipNominations were accepted from the community enterprise or from the individual or group that had been supported. Shortlist: Chiddingly Community Shop, Sussex Chittlehamholt Community Shop, Devon Kingsley Organisation, Hampshire Category 6 - Capture your Co-operative – Film Award Sponsored by EcologyWe were seeking short films of community co-operatives that tell us why they are brilliant, the positive impact they make to the lives of individuals and groups in the community, what makes them different and how important the enterprise is to the community.Shortlist: Hurst Green Community Shop and Centre, Sussex Ide Hill Community Shop, Kent Lyme Regis Development Trust, Dorset James Alcock, Head of Frontline at Plunkett, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response we’ve had from community co-operatives who’ve really embraced the opportunity to share their successes with others. We’ve had entries from across the whole of the UK and from a diverse range of models, making it extremely difficult for the judges to agree.He continued: “The Awards celebrate all that make community co-operatives great: their co-operative ethos, dedication to making life better for individuals within the community and can-do approach to solving problems for themselves. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who applied, and also to our sponsors for their generous support.”The Rural Community Co-operative Awards were launched in April 2015 and aim to commend the committed teams of people who come together to deliver vital services to their community, whether a community land trust or woodland, community shop or bookshop, café or co-operative pub; commodities and services that are becoming increasingly important.The shortlist was selected by a panel of expert judges.