nene local | helen dawson


Category: Rushden & Raunds

East Northamptonshire Champions Celebrated

cafe @25

The Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) has officially crowned the recipients of an award scheme set up to recognise the unsung heroes of the district.

The East Northants Chairman Champions awards were launched in August 2020 and Cllr Helen Howell, ENC’s final Chairman, has now had phone and Zoom calls with all the recipients of awards to congratulate them and find out more about the work they have been doing.


The winners of the awards in each of the categories are:


  • Cafe@25, Irthlingborough
  • The Woodpecker, Raunds


Community Organiser

  • Rob Giddings
  • Anne Gilbert
  • Linda Gretton
  • Mike Herring
  • Camilla Sherwin
  • Charles Tomalin


Good Neighbour

  • Colin Godfrey


Helping in the Community

  • Cathryn Brightwell
  • Tarot Crick
  • Richard Lattimore
  • Florence Muzvaba
  • Cheryl Tompkins
  • Joanne Vissian
  • John Wooding


Voluntary Group

  • 1st Raunds Scout Group
  • East Northants First Responders
  • Raunds and Thrapston Area Volunteers
  • Support@Titchmarsh



  • Damian Stiles
  • Katie Sorrell


Young Person

  • Lily & Maisie Howe


Cllr Helen Howell said:

“When I originally launched the awards, I hoped we would be able to meet in person to hand over the awards, but sadly this couldn’t happen. However I was delighted to still be able to congratulate the recipients of my Chairman’s Champions awards, some via Zoom and some on the phone.


“I was truly inspired by their commitment to this community, its environment, and the ways they have provided support, mentoring and companionship throughout the pandemic and before.”


To find out more about the awards and the winners, please visit

Nearly £200,000 Awarded to Community Groups across Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire Community Foundation, the leading grant-making charity in the county, is delighted to continue to offer strategic support to vulnerable individuals and families on behalf of their generous donors and partners.

Last year, the charity launched the Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund to benefit charities and community groups that offer vital support to vulnerable people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak

With support from the National Emergencies Trust (NET), the fund aims to help such organisations in their ongoing steps to provide much needed essential support to the most vulnerable members of our community. The fund currently offers crisis response grants to support immediate community action as a result of the most recent lockdown and has made a series of longer-term, strategic response grants to several groups working in partnership to alleviate a range of issues presented by the public health crisis.

A total of £117,439 was awarded to seven organisations across the county.

Serve Rushden

SOFEA, Support Northamptonshire, United African Association, Northampton Hope Centre, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, Home-Start Wellingborough and District and Serve Rushden each received a strategic response award through the Foundation.

  • SOFEA – Received £20,000 to work in partnership with Community Larders across rural West Northamptonshire to deliver free food parcels to those in need.
  • Support Northamptonshire – Received £16,030 to work with several BAME organisations to tackle food poverty, with a key focus on Northampton and Wellingborough.
  • United African Association – Received £16,235 to support the African communities in Corby and Kettering to tackle food poverty and to offer virtual workshops and counselling services for young people.
  • Northampton Hope Centre – Received £20,000 to work alongside several food projects and food banks including Northampton Foodbank, Weston Favell Foodbank and Shine, to tackle food poverty across Northamptonshire
  • Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire – Received £15,444 to work with local resilience groups and Northampton Borough Council to support existing organisations and schemes with information and guidance and signposting individuals to appropriate voluntary, community and social enterprise groups.
  • Home-Start Wellingborough and District – Received £14,023 to continue their support hub for families, working in partnership with Mind, Service Six and Relate.
  • Serve Rushden – Received £15,707 to support vulnerable individuals and families as part of the community resilience hub in East Northamptonshire.

Jess Slater, of Serve Rushden, said: “Serve are delighted Northamptonshire Community Foundation awarded us funding from their strategic grants to support our community resilience project, which helps people with multipole needs. The funding has gone a long way to support those who are suffering financial hardship, mental health concerns, family concerns and many more needs have been addressed as a result of this project.”

Through extended support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), a further £79,499 has been awarded to continue their vital work in supporting local communities across Northamptonshire.


Rachel McGrath, Deputy CEO and Grants Director of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “During the pandemic, in addition to crisis response grants, we have also deliberately awarded strategic funds to a number of groups working in partnership across Northamptonshire, using their expertise addressing health inequalities, poverty, wellbeing support and providing help to vulnerable people that also tackles some of the underlying issues and promotes collaboration. Thank you to our generous donors and partners who have supported this crucial philanthropic response to the public health crisis.”


Walk the Cransley Way

Cransley Hospice is inviting everyone to join them for a fabulous NEW adventure walk, along The Cransley Way between the 1st and 30th April.

Cransley Steps Challenge

The 100-mile virtual route is around the same distance walked by a Cransley Hospice nurse during a month. Participants will be able to track their distance along the path, posting a “Cransley Way postcard” from each point via their social channels to let people know that they have reached the next milestone and as a reminder of why they are doing it.

Whether walking, running or whizzing on two wheels, The Cransley Way winds its way to the summit of Snowdon (9 Miles), along the historic Hadrian’s Wall (25 miles), to trek the Brecon’s (62 miles) and through the rolling countryside of Northamptonshire (50 Miles). Each point equating back to the number of days or weeks that a nurse would take to cover the same distance.


Getting outside and getting daily exercise is good for both our physical and our mental wellbeing. But it’s not always easy. The nights are still long and it’s chilly but a daily walk is just what we need to put the spring back in our step! By April spring will be blossoming so whether you walk alone or as a household, jog or do a few laps of the garden, there couldn’t be a better time to dust of the trainers, to get out, get active and walk The Cransley Way from wherever you are!


The Cransley Hospice team have been working throughout the pandemic, adapting to the challenges, but still providing the specialist end of life care for patients and supporting their families at one of the most difficult times.


Registration is £10 for individuals or £20 for a household (up to 6 people) and Cransley Hospice Trust is hoping that people will aim to raise £120 or more which is the average cost of a nurses’ day shift.  Participants can set their own goals and register their places via the Cransley Hospice website:


Once registered participants will receive a special fundraising pack with their downloadable postcards so that they can let everyone know how well you’re doing, and how far they have got along the Cransley Way and why they’re doing it. Everyone completing their challenge will receive a special celebratory Cransley Hospice trophy.


Anyone wishing to use the Cransley Way as a warm up for something bigger, or looking for an adventure in 2021 can find out more about the Cransley Challenge Event programme via the website:


Under-Equipped COVID-19 Homeworkers “At Risk” Unless Employers Recognise Duty of Care

A new generation of long-term homeworkers created by COVID-19 is at risk physically and mentally through inadequate employer support. CORONA VIRUS COVID 19


Research reveals employees are already feeling the negative effects of a home environment often ill-equipped for the working day. The company behind the research, EIZO, warns there may be a rise in ‘Homeworking LOSERS’, or ‘Laptops On Sofas and Employment Rights Shelved’.


Almost forty per cent (39%) of people are functioning without any additional, employer-provided equipment such as a laptop, mouse, keyboard, monitor or desk chair. And staff who are receiving some form of extra kit for working at home make up – at most – just over a third of the total polled (37% receiving laptops).


While employers might be doing their best to support staff by providing laptops, a mouse (33% of total) and keyboard (27% of total), this lack of appropriate equipment – and low provision of desk chairs (17% of total) – can lead to physical effects on homeworking staff.


The problem is exacerbated by only a third of people having a dedicated home office space and even 12% claiming to work from a sofa with a laptop on their knees.


Colin Woodley, CEO at EIZO, said: “As many of us are facing new lockdown restrictions, more people working from home is inevitable. Even when restrictions start to ease we understand many organisations may offer a more flexible way of working in the future.”


“This increases the risk of creating a nation of ‘Homeworking LOSERS’ – in other words, ‘Laptops On Sofas and Employment Rights Shelved’. Employers need to understand their duty of care to employees extends to their homeworking technology and furniture requirements.”


According to Health and Safety Executive guidance on long-term homeworking and display screen equipment, employers should ensure “full workstation assessments” and “provide workers with appropriate equipment and advice on control measures”.


According to the research, employees are already suffering the ill-effects of homeworking issues: back strain (28%) and neck strain (20%) feature among the top five working from home issues currently experienced. Back strain places second after “interruptions in the home”, with working longer hours in third place (26%) and “negative impact on mental health” (24%) coming in fourth.


Colin continued: “We know homeworkers want their employers to take action on these issues: almost a third (32%) who responded to our research would like them to provide more equipment, better equipment (25%) and discuss needs with employees on an individual basis (28%).


“At a minimum, this should include a desk and chair for posture, neck and back health plus a monitor for eye and neck health, space saving keyboards and computers with adequate audio-visual equipment to support the increasing number of online meetings.”


For more information and the full research overview, visit