Inaugural Accessible Derbyshire Awards are a huge success!

15th Oct 2016

Chatsworth purple 2 Actual Awards photo Jane and Gillian awards 1 Accessible Belper Award 2 Cromford Mill, Sarah McCleod Award 1 Ellie Simpson, Claire Hands and Rafai Somaiman, C.P. Teens Steve and Ruth Dawes - Croft Bungalow Award1 VisitEnglandAccessForAll Award1 Peak Park Award 2 Lea Green Award 1 CFC Community Trust Award 1 Chatsworth purple 1
Inaugural Accessible Derbyshire Awards are a huge success!
This evening Accessible Derbyshire held its inaugural Awards Evening at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
To mark the event the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire gave their permission for the whole of Chatsworth House to be lit up purple for the evening!
The Awards were an opportunity for us to recognise the great efforts that have been made by individuals and organisations on improving accessibility in the area over the past two years.
Accessible Derbyshire Co-Founders Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver selected the winners for each of the twelve award categories which were:
  • Most Accessible Town / Village of the Year
    Winners: Accessible Belper
    (Award received by Siobhan Fennell)
  • Accessible Attraction of the Year
    Winner: The Gateway Centre at Cromford Mill
    (Award received by Sarah McCleod)
  • Most inspirational Person / Group of the Year
    Winners: Ellie Simpson and Friends at C.P. Teens
    (Award collected by Claire Hands, Ellie Simpson and Rafai Solaiman)
  • Best Newcomer of the Year
    Steve and Ruth Dawes, Croft Bungalow, Birchover
    (Award collected by Steve and Ruth Dawes)
  • Project of the Year
    VisitEngland Access for All project, Derbyshire
    (Award collected by Felicity Brown of Hoe Grange Holidays, Greg Potter of Rivendale Caravan Park, Linsay Rae and Joe Dilley from VisitPeakDistrict and Derbyshire and Ross Calladine from VisitEngland)
  • Organisation of the Year
    The Peak Park
    (Award collected by Sue Smith and David Chapman. Awared presented by former Peak Park chief, Jim Dixon)
  • Accessible Event of the Year
    Val Rogers, Network Rail and Lea Green for Super Sunday
    (Award collected by Vice-Chair of Derbyshire County Council Janet Hill and Smith from Lea Green)
  • Campaign of the Year
    Derbyshire County Council's Changing Places campaign
  • (Award collected by Vice-Chair of Derbyshire County Council Janet Hill )
  • Inspirational Fundraisers of the Year
    National Citizen Service, Derby

    (Award collected by Eleanor Butterfield from the YHA on behalf of NCS)
  • Gateway to Derbyshire Award
    Manchester Airport
    (Award collected by national access campaigner Will Pike on behalf of Manchester Airport)
  • Heart of the Community Award
    Chesterfield Football Club Community Trust / The Proact Stadium

    (Award collected from the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield by Keith Jackson and Mike Noon)
Gillian Scotford, co-founder of the charity said:
"We wanted to give recognition to the amazing people and projects who have done so much to improve accessibility over the last two years and the awards evening is one way of doing that. We were so very thrilled to have permission to light Chatsworth in purple. It looked spectacular!"
Fellow co-founder Jane Carver added that:
"It was tough to decide on the winners as there has been such a lot of great work done by so many people and all of them deserve our thanks"
The pair continued to say that:
"The real winners are the thousands of people in Derbyshire and the Peak District who are benefiting from the improvements to accessibility that have been made across the region. We live in a beautiful part of the world and our aim has been to ensure that as many people as possible are able to enjoy it to the full regardless of their access needs" 
The Awards were the inaugural Accessible Derbyshire Awards and are set to be an annual event celebrating improvements in accessibility in our area. Guests attending on the night included The High Sherriff of Derbyshire, Elizabeth Fothergill, Vice-Chair of Derbyshire County Council, Councillor Janet Hill and by the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield Councillor Steve Brunt and Jill Mannion-Brunt as well as representatives from organisations locally and nationally including VisitEngland and the National Trust.
Accessible Derbyshire also chose the evening to launch a brand new scheme to give carers a break. The scheme called 'Carefree Breaks' asks local hotels and businesses to donate a break for carers who desperately need it. The New Bath Hotel and Spa at Matlock Bath is the first hotel to sign up to the scheme donating two nights dinner, bed and breakfast for two at this luxurious, newly-refurbished hotel in the heart of Derbyshire. The recipients of these first two breaks were Jenny Hands and Jackie Solaiman who recieved the breaks on Saturday evening from Jane and Gillian.
The Awards were sponsored by Clos-o-Mat, Kingcraft and Terrain-Hopper all of whom specialise in equipment to improve accessibility as well as by Rivendale Caravan Park, Chesterfield-based Rompa and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors of Sheffield. VisitPeakDistrict also supported the evening. The Awards themselves were sponsored by Awardco.
Photographs on the evening were taken by Mr. Si Homfray of Hammer Design and Accessible Derbyshire photographer Mr. Stephen Bullock.
The significance of the colour purple is that it is the colour associated with the spending power of disabled people. The 'purple pound' is worth £200 billion per annum in the U.K.
Accessible Derbyshire is in the final few weeks of its 'Big Push' initiative: a two year project aimed at making the Peak Park and Derbyshire the most accessible area of the U.K. The following short film produced by Stephen Bullock showcasing just a few of the things Accessible Derbyshire has been involved in over the past two years was shown at the Awards Ceremony. Click on the arrow to take a look!

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