Thank you to all the work of the village volunteers and the Parish Councillors who helped with the entry and to everyone in Braunston who runs or helps with a business, club, organisation or community facility including this website. It was this community effort that impressed the judges.
Who runs the competition? It is run by Northamptonshire ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) which is a countywide, independent charitable organisation working with rural communities to improve their quality of life.
Who pays for the competition? It is sponsored by Hollowell’s Funeral Plans.
How did the Parish Council organise Braunston’s entry? This was a joint effort between village volunteers and parish councillors. At the Air Ambulance Fundraising event last September we asked people if they would like to help. During the winter Christine Stevenson and Sue Harrison planned our entry and contacted volunteers to research and compose the information for each of the sections on the entry form. Andre Gibson, Graham Newman, Abigail Campbell, Jo Longworth and Alan Mawer contributed to this. Alan Kirk drew a pictorial map to go with our entry.
How were the judgements made? The judges are independent and carry out a rigorous process to look at all entrants. They award points for the facilities, activities, businesses and actions to improve environmental sustainability organised in each village. They also tour the villages to make further judgements. In Braunston they met with Christine Stevenson, Sue Harrison, Laura Cooper, Sandra Ashford and Alan Mawer. Peter Biggs took them on a tour of Jetty Fields (in the rain!). IT specialists, including from the University of Northampton, judged our website.
What did Braunston win? In the Large Villages section of the competition we were delighted with the announcement that we were first and had been awarded the cup and a prize of £250. Our population is a little over 1500 which is the threshold for the large village section. We were up against villages with many more people in them. We also achieved the runner-up certificate in the Newcomers’ Section. The Parish Council will consult with all the village volunteers to discuss where we will keep the cup, where the certificates will be displayed and what the prize money will be spent on.
Why did Braunston win? The judges commented on the number of businesses that function in the village and the range of community-run facilities and activities. They were impressed with the age ranges catered for from the pre-school to the Friendly Club. The village website is well designed and kept up to date. The Parish Council notice board is also up to date. There are sports teams which compete with teams from other villages. Braunston has a Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group; the judges took away the Submission Version of the Neighbourhood Plan. They looked at the Pocket Park, Jubilee Garden and Community Herb Garden and visited the Community Café.
Will Braunston enter again in 2017? Please let us know if you would like to help.