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Celebrating the very best at our Network Awards

Honouring those making a real difference


Through innovative campaigns, dedicated volunteering and new partnerships, the ten winners at the 2018 Network Conference Awards are improving their local areas and inspiring others. From a ten-year-old Litter Hero, to celebrations of our parks or sprucing up a whole county, the winners show that together, everyone’s actions can add up to make a massive difference.

We were delighted to announce our Network Award winners at a glitzy ceremony in Brighton in February, presented by one of our Ambassadors, actress and charity campaigner Vicki Michelle MBE. The ceremony followed another successful Network conference - bringing together local authorities from around the country to learn from each other (and our experts).

One deserving award winner was Wayne Dixon, who attended the awards ceremony with his loyal companion Koda the dog. His 7,000 mile litter-picking journey is an inspiration to us all, and why he won the outstanding Litter Hero award. Delighted on receiving this award, and being the charity’s first #LitterHeroes ambassador, Wayne’s message to everyone is, “If you feel as passionate about our country, the people, the wildlife and the environment as I do, then please volunteer your time and energy, and help create a better future."

The winners included:

  • Durham County Council who won Campaign of the Year award, for “Operation Spruce Up”. Council departments and communities came together to give the county’s towns and villages a deep clean – improving the area and achieving more by working together.
  • Leicester City Council’s Environmental Volunteers - Community Engagement award. Helping local people by offering conservation volunteering on land and water, this innovative scheme has engaged nearly 6,000 people already, as well as improving the city’s natural environments.
  • Amir Delic, from Central Bedfordshire Council, won the Excellence in Enforcement award. A dedicated staff-member who shows that, when used correctly, enforcement is a winning tool in the fight against environmental crime.
  • Jess Stones from Hartlepool who won the Litter Hero award. An inspiring ten-year old with an unwavering passion for protecting the environment, Jess had been fundraising, organising and litter-picking, to put her passion into action, with outstanding results.
  • Northumberland County Council who won the Love Parks award. Winning for their social media campaign highlighting why communities, residents and visitors love Northumberland’s parks. It was also a great way to announce £2.3m of Lottery Funding to improve one of their urban parks.
  • East Herts Council on behalf of Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group who won the Partnership award, for their work across the county, cutting fly-tipping by 15% with the multi-agency Hertfordshire fly-tipping group.
  • Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council who won the Outstanding Service Delivery award, for transforming their street scene services. With efficiency savings needed, Doncaster put customers at the heart of what they do, recognised there was an increased demand for a seven-day service and up-skilled their workforce to achieve this.
  • North Lincolnshire Council won the Great British Spring Clean award, for supporting over 300 Litter Heroes to clean up for the campaign, and to sustain the initiative in the long term.
  • Ashfield District Council who won the Local Authority of the year award, for the fantastic breadth of their work. Centred on improving the area and services for their residents, they’ve improved local green spaces, innovated how they tackle fly-tipping and helped residents with their waste, to name a few examples.
  • And finally, Wayne Dixon is our outstanding Litter Hero. Wayne’s 7,000-mile walk with his faithful dog Koda around the UK coastline, litter-picking and raising awareness as he goes, is an inspiration to us all. And he’s leaving a legacy of motivated school children, new litter-picking groups and a real feel-good factor along his tour. A true Litter Hero.

At the ceremony, our Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton said:

“Each year, our award winners show just what is possible when people have the passion and commitment to make a difference to the environment on our doorstep. This year is no exception and I would like to congratulate them and thank them all for their incredible work.”

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