The winners of the Sustainable Sidmouth Champion Awards have been presented with their certificates at a ceremony at Kennaway House.

Organisers, judges and nominated groups/individuals attended the event on Thursday, September 21.

Sidmouth Herald: The audience at the awards ceremony

The awards were organised by the Vision Group for Sidmouth and there were four categories: Schools & Educational Organisations, Businesses, Groups & Organisations, and Citizens. More than 40 nominations had been received.

Sidmouth Herald: Nicola Dowsing, Forest school teacher, receives the Schools Award for the work undertaken by pupils

The Schools and Educational Organisations award was won by Newton Poppleford Primary School for its bug hotel, which children in years 3 and 4 had created. Eleanor Carr, the judge presenting the award, said she was impressed by the initiative and engagement of the school in the project.

The runner up for the award was Sidmouth College which had utilised a disused allotment in the grounds to produce vegetables and other produce for the local food bank.

Sidmouth Herald: John Hammond of Ebb Tides receives the Sustainable Sidmouth Champions Award for Business from Cllr

The Business award was won by Ganesha Wholefoods. Chris Lockyear, presenting the award, noted that the business had adopted sustainable practices for many years and was a leader in the field. The runner up was Ebb Tides at The Dairy Shop who have developed a range of products using seaweed as a sustainable source.

Sidmouth Repair Café won the Groups and Organisations Award. They were commended by judge Denise Bickley, who presented the award, for the commitment they show to ensuring items are repaired rather than disposed of. There were two joint runners up, as the judging panel felt that both deserved recognition for their work: Bitesized Gardening, who produce a website with tips for small gardens, and Sidmouth Community Food Forest, who had turned an area of waste ground into an area that produced crops.

Sidmouth Herald: Tess Bisson and Stefan Drew receive the runner-up Groups and Organisations Award for their work onThe Citizens Awards, presented by Sylvia Brownlee, were given to Stefan Drew for his work in so many areas and to Tess Bisson for her developing an underused allotment to make it productive.

Sidmouth Herald: Heather Spratt receives the special Citizens Award from Ian Gregory, chair of the Vision Group for

In addition to the four categories of award, the VGS Chair Ian Gregory presented Heather Spratt with an award in recognition of her many years of volunteering at the grounds of the Norman Lockyer Observatory. Heather devotes significant time each week to tending the land around the observatory to maintain a wildlife habitat and garden.

In his opening remarks the chair noted that it had been difficult for the judges to select the winners and runners up as so many strong entries had been received. It was pleasing to note the progress being made to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle in so many different areas and that there were opportunities to learn from others.

Sidmouth Herald: Simon Jupp MP addresses the gathering

The chair expressed thanks to the judging panel and to Simon Jupp, the local MP, who gave the main address, where he commented on the importance of sustainability and congratulated the VGS on instigating the awards.

Mr Gregory is also grateful to Kyle Baker for taking the photographs at the ceremony.

To see the full list of nominations for the awards, go to the Sustainable Sidmouth Champion Awards website: