A celebration of environmental action by local community groups, businesses and schools took place at the Marriott Hotel last week as people from across Swansea gathered for the prestigious Sustainable Swansea Awards presentation dinner.
The aim of the awards is to encourage local organisations and individuals to do that bit extra for their community and the environment and to reward those that show real commitment to good environmental practice and sustainability. The awards were started in 2004 and are run every two years by Swansea Environmental Forum in partnership with Swansea Council, SCVS and the Environment Centre.
This year there were 24 finalists across eight different award categories covering various issues from wildlife to water and waste. The award winners included the Vetch Veg Community Garden which won the Community Project Award for creating a remarkable, productive green space on the derelict site of the former football ground, and Crwys and District Sports Association which won the Biodiversity Award for its work to improve the Crwys Community Woodland.
There were also awards for Bishopston Comprehensive School (Sustainable Schools Award), Swansea Canal Society (Clear Streams Swansea Award) and Henbury Cottage in Southgate, Gower (Built heritage Award). Two large businesses received awards with Morgan AM&T (commonly known as Morganite) winning the Low Carbon Swansea Award for its achievements in getting their whole workforce involved in cutting down their energy use; and S&C Electric Ltd who won the Waste Wise Business Award for their successful Zero Waste Initiative.
The final presentation of the evening was the Champion Award for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to sustainability in Swansea. There were three finalists – Sally Hyman, for her work with Llys Nini RSPCA, Ben Rees for setting-up and helping to run the Kites and Dippers wildlife club at Cwm Clydach RSPB Reserve, and Michael Norman for his efforts in protecting and promoting Penllergare Valley Woods. On the night, the award went to Michael Norman but everyone was in agreement that all three were amazing.
We are absolutely delighted that Michael’s work has been acknowledged and celebrated in this way – congratulations! Michael has, for nearly twenty years, worked tirelessly in an entirely voluntary capacity to ensure the survival of Penllergare Valley Woods as a vital safe and accessible green space in north Swansea for everyone to enjoy. His efforts, are without doubt, notable in the ongoing contribution to true sustainable development.
“These projects and individuals are incredibly inspiring and show just what can be achieved when people get together to make a long-lasting difference in their community or workplace.” commented Awards organiser, Philip McDonnell.
“There is a huge amount of good work going on in Swansea to improve our environment but it often only comes to the fore at events like this. The award winners and other finalists give us real encouragement for the future and an exciting glimpse of a more Sustainable Swansea.”
Cllr. Sybil Crouch closed the presentation ceremony congratulating all the finalists and praising Swansea Environmental Forum for its great efforts over three decades in supporting environmental action and promoting sustainability in Swansea.
Information about all the winners and finalists will be posted on the Sustainable Swansea website, http://www.sustainableswansea.net, and a small display will be put up at the Environment Centre.