BEST OF NORTHUMBERLAND: Community Group

Best of Northumberland awards 2014 at Alnwick Garden'Rothbury WI were presented with their Community Champion  award by county councillor Kathy Graham.
Best of Northumberland awards 2014 at Alnwick Garden'Rothbury WI were presented with their Community Champion award by county councillor Kathy Graham.
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Saving lives by hosting a vintage fair which brought hundreds of people to Rothbury made the village’s WI worthy winners of the community group accolade.

Set up just 10 months ago, Rothbury WI is a flourishing new group in the Coquetdale village with members from across the area and a host of offshoot projects and committees.

Headed by president Kate Holt, the WI decided it wanted to make the Coquet Valley heart-safe, by providing a defibrillator in communities across the whole area.

So, members held a vintage fair, closing off the centre of the village and attracting hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors.

With everything from vintage stalls and cars to entertainment and antiques evaluations, they raised a total of £12,900 for the Stephen Carey Fund, reaching their goal of putting defibrillators across the valley.

Lives will be saved because of the work they did.

Picking up the award, alongside 21 WI members, Kate said: “We have now got 12 defibrillators ready to go in thanks to the money we raised and the Stephen Carey Fund.

“They are due to go in over the next few weeks and it means that there will now, thanks to the work of other groups as well, be defibrillators all the way from Amble to Holystone.

“We are going to do it again next year and the plans are already under way.

“We were thrilled to be nominated for this award and we are just past ourselves with excitement.”

She added: “It is so humbling and so touching to receive this so we would just like to say a big thank-you to everyone for it.”

Also nominated: The Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, a charity which is run by a young group of dedicated volunteers, and The Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project, which offers a range of opportunities that can further the social and personal development of young people.