The Best of Ruddington Unveiled

The first-ever ‘Rudd Award’ winners were announced at a special ceremony at St Peter’s Church last night {Friday 18th November}, with a raft of Ruddington favourites celebrated for their contribution to the local community.

The BBC’s Verity Cowley

The inaugural Rudd Awards, organised by Ruddington Village Community Partnership (RVCP), was introduced by RVCP Chair Mike Ader and compered by BBC Radio Nottingham Drivetime presenter Verity Cowley {pictured} with a little help from the Vicar of Ruddington Revd Andrew Buchanan. It celebrated 19 independent village businesses, individuals and community groups helping Ruddington village to thrive by building a community hub and prosperous high street.

After the awards committee had shortlisted six nominees in each category, an independent panel of judges – comprising Ruddington resident and BBC Radio Nottingham presenter Sarah Julian, Ruddington Parish Councillor Ken Piggott and Economic Growth Manager at Rushcliffe Borough Council Catherine Evans – had the tough task of choosing the winners.

On the night, following complimentary drinks, a buffet provided by The Next Episode and sweet treats from many of Ruddington Market’s artisan bakers, the awards were announced across six categories. A different local business sponsored each gong, plus an overall ‘Heart of Ruddington’ accolade recognising outstanding service to the village. Before every award, especially prepared videos highlighting their achievements were played to the invited audience and to those watching at home.

The WINNERS were as follows:

‘Young Star’, sponsored by Ideagen, was won by local youngster Joshua Brooks. The judges were moved by his kindness and dedication in saving his pocket money to support the Mustard Seed Project, which helps families in rural Uganda. The judges commented: “He’s shown such generosity and maturity to save so much money for people he doesn’t know and will probably never meet.”

Joshua is pictured with the Mustard Seed Project’s Sally Squires

Local retailer Perkins Hardware was awarded the coveted ‘Village Retailer or Service’ award, supported by True Story, with judges “blown away by the sincerity and the volume of praise for Perkins”. Respondents described Helen and Simon as “brilliant, polite knowledgeable and obliging”, which was picked up by the judging panel who recognised the retailer as a real asset to the local community that we are very lucky to have on the High Street.

Helen commented: “Thanks to everyone who nominated us for the Rudd Awards and for all the sponsors who made it a great night for everyone. Also special thanks to all at RVCP for creating the event. We’re truly humbled to have won.”

Simon and Helen Beale of Perkins Hardware

The ‘Community Group’, backed by My Care, Ruddington Retirement Village, went to Ruddington Yarn Ninjas. In addition to making knitted blankets for premature babies and for end-of-life care, judges noted the many respondents highlighting that: “This group brings JOY!!”, lifting the spirits of both the knitters and everyone who sees their work around the village.”

Emma Scott from Ruddington’s Yarn Ninjas, says: “On behalf of all of our hardworking, talented yarn ninjas, we are thrilled to receive such fantastic recognition with this award. We couldn’t have imagined when we started just over a year ago, that the wonderful Ruddington community would enjoy our displays so much. A big thank you from us all.”

Emma Scott of Ruddington Yarn Ninjas

Carol Jaggers was presented with ‘Volunteer or Fundraiser’ award, sponsored by MHR. Judges recognised Carol’s dedication and range and length of service in the village and her volunteering across various organisations, including the Brownies and Guides. One respondent said: “She is amazing” and “without her there would be no Ruddington Pantry or over 55s Coffee Club.”

Carol Jaggers at The Ruddington Pantry

The Framework Knitters’ Museum was awarded the Sports, Leisure and Culture’ award, sponsored by Ruddington Grange Golf Club. Described as a “hidden gem in Ruddington”, the judging panel noted the museum’s important role in “putting Ruddington on the cultural map while praising its volunteers as passionate and welcoming.”

Sarah Godfrey from the museum commented: “It was a perfect occasion, good food, great venue and excellent company. We were surprised to win and we couldn’t wait to share the lovely award with our team of dedicated employees and volunteers.”

Volunteers & staff at Ruddington’s Framework Knitters’ Museum

Rounding off the public nominated awards was the hotly contested ‘Village Hospitality Business’ award, sponsored by Quotient Sciences, which went to eco-friendly food and drink specialist The Bottle Top. The judges recognised the outlet’s role in helping to “create a vibrant spirit in the village” and joined others in praising “their welcoming staff, the real ales, coffees and what they’ve achieved with a small space in a short time”.

Co-owner Alex Preston says: “This took us by surprise and we couldn’t be more over-the-moon. We’re so proud of our team and all our friends, aka customers, who make the BT what it is. It wouldn’t be the same without you. Lots of love for our community in Ruddington it’s a very special place (like no other we have known) we are beyond lucky to call it our home.”

Alex and Anthony Preston at The Bottle Top

The final, and probably most eagerly anticipated award of the night, was the ‘Heart of Ruddington’ accolade, supported by main event sponsor Artex and decided by the Awards Committee. This special honour recognises someone who has made an outstanding contribution to Ruddington Village as an exemplary member of the community. It was awarded to Barbara Breakwell for her tireless and selfless commitment to supporting local causes.

The Committee noted that Barbara is a true representative of what a key community volunteer is, always helping out others. Many members of the public highlighted her involvement in numerous local initiatives despite suffering with her own health problems and how she features positively and prominently in every aspect of village life.

Speaking about her unexpected win, Barbara says: “I’m very surprised! Very humbled and very, very surprised. After living in Ruddington and working as a teacher for 14 years, when I retired, I wanted to engage myself in the community as much as possible. I became a Parish Councillor, School Governor and started Ruddington Fun for families to do activities in the holidays. I wanted to make Ruddington, where I live the best place I could. I’m proud. Thank you to the Rudd Awards for not just acknowledging me but everyone else in the village whoever they are however they are contributing.”

Barbara Breakwell picks up her ‘Heart of Ruddington’ award on the night

Mike Ader, Chair of RVCP says: “The awards night was a spectacular celebration of the good and the great that make Ruddington Village such a special place to live and work. So many people and organisations are committed to helping our community to thrive and it was wonderful to give them such worthy recognition on the night.”

He adds: “As our Heart of Ruddington award winner, Barbara represents the local pride and selfless dedication shared by so many members of our community and I extend my congratulations not only to Barbara and all of our winners but to everyone who was nominated for these very special inaugural awards.”

The full list of winners, runners up and highly commended finalists can be found with judges’ comments by visiting

You can watch the video of the entire ‘Rudd Awards 2022’ ceremony below:

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