For several years the Town Council has presented an award to people who have made a significant contribution to the community.

In 2022 the Community Award was presented to Helen Gundry and John Warriner at the Town Meeting on 3 May 2022.


Helen was nominated by friends and members of the Kirkbymoorside Environment Group and Public Transport Group.

For many years, Helen has worked unceasingly on improving the local bus services and creating safe cycle track/footpath along the A170. The survival of the summer Moorsbus service is entirely due to her perseverance. The ‘Path for Everyone’ project, which is intended to provide a cycle track from Kirkbymoorside to Helmsley, involves complex surveying, planning, permission seeking etc. Fund-raising in going well, but there is some way still to go. Nevertheless, Helen never stops working on this project. It will be wonderful when children from both Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley can cycle safely to Ryedale School in Nawton Beadlam.

Helen has also made a significant contribution to the community through her voluntary work with the Environment Group, which she is currently Chair. Kirkbymoorside Environment group was adopted as the Co-op’s Good Cause for 2022.

Over the years Helen has initiated a number of climate change projects and many activities that promote the physical and mental health of those involved, for example the ‘Give or Take days’ encouraging people to re-use and recycle and the ‘Thermal Imaging Camera’ project increasing household energy saving.

Helen’s active participation with the Environment Group has inspired others in local villages and towns to set up their own groups.

Thanks to Helen for her commitment to the community and active participation with these local groups.



John was nominated by friends and fellow members of the Kirkbymoorside Bowling Club.

John has been the greenkeeper and caretaker of the club since its inception in 1977. He is also the club president.

John has voluntarily maintained the Bowling Club grounds, enthusiastically and tirelessly over the past 45 years. As any good groundsman will tell you, it’s not just a matter of cutting the grass, it needs to be scarified, brushed, fertilised and rolled in order to be maintained to John’s high standard.  The quality of the Kirkymoorside green has been such that Bowls England have asked the club to host annual inter-county matches and from 1990-2012 Yorkshire Bowls Association used the Kirkbymoorside Club facilities for their National County play off matches. Tis in addition to the League and Cup matches played by the Club throughout the summer months. Not surprisingly, John is often asked for advice and guidance by other Bowling Clubs in the area and it is always willingly given.

John has never received any numeration and on occasion when he has received a gift as reward for his efforts he has always donated this by return as a raffle prize, unwilling to accept any credit for his time.

Thanks to John for giving Kirkbymoorside one of the best Greens in Yorkshire.


In 2021 Charlotte Frost and Katy Kallagher received the Community Award for their selfless contribution to the community during the pandemic. When presenting the awards at the annual town meeting, held via Zoom on 4 May 2021, the Mayor, Cllr Holroyd, explained how fantastic they had been by helping the vulnerable in this small society. On behalf of the Town Council, he said that he couldn't thank them enough. They had both demonstrated outstanding care, devotion and initiative throughout the coronavirus pandemic and particularly during the lockdowns. He offered congratulations explaining that they were worthy recipients of the award and thanked them for everything they have done. The collective response by the community was also acknowledged and Cllr Holroyd concluded that the willingness of so many to offer support to those in need is great for Kirkbymoorside and makes us value the community we live in.

In 2020, John and Chris Simmonds were nominated for the Community Award for their participation in the Kirkby Fruit Project:

The Kirkby Fruit Project (KFP) was formed in 2012, under the auspices of Kirkbymoorside Environment Group, to pick and distribute surplus apples in the local area to help prevent them being wasted. Very quickly it moved on to the production and sale of apple juice, cider and, to a lesser extent, other local fruit products. In 2018-19 (the most recent year for which figures are available), it processed some 6 metric tons of apples, producing 1218 bottles of juice for sale, 1114 bottles for ‘buy back’ (a scheme for juicing apples for return to the donor) and 671 bottles of cider. For more information on the Project’s activities, please see their website

Sales give rise to an annual profit, which in recent years has been in the region of £2000. This is distributed to ‘good causes’ in the town and nearby villages on the basis of consensus among the volunteers. In 2019 funds were distributed as follows:

  • Kirkby Library £240, to purchase two book shelves

  • KMS Tennis Club £500, towards kitchenette in the proposed new club house

  • Friends of KMS School £500, parking safety banner and bollards

  • KMS 10k Run £256, for safety barrier hire for the event

  • KMS History Group £180, to purchase equipment to aid display making

  • Marton Village Hall £284, towards purchase of stacking armchairs

  • KMS Band £250, towards the cost of a wide 2.5 octave glockenspiel.

From the beginning, the group has operated as a co-operative without formal officers (except for a treasurer), decisions being made by consensus among the volunteers at any one time.

John and Chris were instrumental in setting up KFP, and remain its focal point, not least because they provide space for the large equipment without which it would be unable to function. John manages the accounts, and Chris organises the volunteers, in addition to both taking a share of the work (picking apples, pulping, juicing, bottling, pasteurising, labelling, bottle washing) as well as being wholly responsible for ordering bottles, storage, distribution to sales outlets in the town, and organisation of two annual market stalls.

KFP products are not available anywhere outside the town. Purchasing them brings shoppers into the town, and there are reports at the Christmas market of their value as a unique gift. The Project meets a very real need in saving produce that would otherwise go to waste, and enhances the town’s reputation for environmental awareness. Finally, the distribution of profits gives much valued support to other groups in our community.

On Tuesday 7th May 2019, at the Annual Town Meeting held in The Moorside Room, The Town Mayor, Cllr Angus Ashworth, presented the Community Award to Sarah Louise Ashworth. 

Sarah Louise Ashworth was nominated for the community award by former students of the Sarah Louise Ashworth School of Dance:

‘Since January 2006, Miss Sarah has inspired and motivated hundreds of young people in this community through dance. Her ‘Sarah-Louise Ashworth School of Dance’, which I attended from the beginning, has given so many people in Kirkbymoorside and the surrounding area the opportunity to discover a love for dance and an appreciation of the performing arts.  It is not only as the founder and lead instructor of the dance school that Miss Sarah has contributed to our community: through her dedication and commitment, her passion for dance is a catalyst for changing people’s lives.

Through Miss Sarah’s influence, students reach a superb standard in a huge variety of dance styles. The school has become not only a lifestyle for many of the students, but also a home. Miss Sarah is one of the most genuine and supportive people I have been lucky enough to work with. Without her dedication and the passion that inspires her students, so many of us would not be where we are today.  The school is a point of love, inspiration, and dedicated hard work within the community, especially for the younger generations. I can think of no one better to nominate for this award, as someone who single-handedly has such an important impact on the younger generations of our community.’

At the 2018 Annual Town Meeting the Community Award was received by all the Kirkbymoorside fire fighters:

Adrian Sleightholme
Chris Clark
Philip Kay
Sean Kay
John Watson
John Harland
Ryan Rivis
Ben Gamble
Tom Eddery

2018 Community Award Group resized


The Mayor applauded the firefighters for their commitment to the community and expressed that the choice to volunteer to this particular role is highly commendable and greatly appreciated. The commitment involved in being a retained firefighter is not to be underestimated and the service they provide is invaluable. Thank you on behalf of Kirkbymoorside.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was represented by Marc Warren, Group Manager, Scarborough & Ryedale who gave the following commendation:

“Training is no different whether you work for the fire service full time or part time because we don’t have such things are retained house fires. The level of training the staff get in itself requires an extreme level of work and dedication. Once they have completed the training they carry an alerter and every week they go and practice their skills on a drill night, usually a Monday, and then they declare what hours they are available during the week. It sounds like a great plan and everyone has time set aside to spend with their family. But invariably through the week, usually about 1 hour after everyone has declared their availability, something changes and somebody has to give up time that they had set aside to spend with their family and they have to become available again.

I’ve never been a retained fire fighter myself but as Group Manager for Scarborough and Ryedale I know a lot of them and the amount of stories I have heard of families having picnics outside fire stations because they had planned to go for a picnic and the kids are all dressed and ready and then somebody is not available at the station so somebody else has to commit. The amount of things that get cancelled for families and the amount of things that families have to put up with, it is a real team effort to be able to be a retained fire fighter. Still, to this point in time, I don’t understand why they do it but I know that North Yorkshire wouldn’t survive without them.

It’s not just the families that make a commitment and the officers themselves, their employers make a commitment. Some of the staff here tonight are self-employed, some are employed in primary employment. Any time that the alerter goes, it’s not planned, you don’t know when the next car crash is going to happen, they need to be available, so it does impact their employment. I would like to formally recognise the employers within Kirkbymoorside that allow them to attend emergency incidents as that in itself is part of the team effort, that is the dedication and impact on those employers.

For the self-employed it is perhaps a little easier but the impact is probably even greater because the amount of times that you rely on somebody to come do a job for you, when they’re self-employed, if they don’t turn up the impact on their business is great and this level of commitment needs recognition.

All said and done I would like, on behalf of North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, to formally thank you, the Town Council and the Kirkbymoorside Community, for recognising the level of commitment that most people don’t realise. Well done!”

At the 2017 annual Town Meeting held in the Moorside Room, 9 Church Street at 7pm on Tuesday 9th May the Community Award was presented to John Woodward for his contribution to the Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band.

2017 Community award - John Woodward.pdf

John has been band leader of Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band since 1992 and retired in May 2017 but his involvement in the band extended back over many years during which he played, taught and deputised for the late Les Maw. He has lead the band with musicians taught and developed from within our small rural community and it is remarkable that due to John's musical direction the Kirkbymoorsode Town Brass Band has ably competed at the highest level.

In 2016 two Community Awards were presented, to Graham Jemison and Stuart Webster.

                                   2016 Community Award Graham Jemison                2016 Community Award Stuart Webster

Graham Jemison received the award for his contribution to the youth cricket and football teams.

Graham has been coaching the (now) under 11s Kirkbymoorside football team for two years. Prior to this he was the assistant coach for three years. In the summer months, Graham also coaches the Kirkbymoorside Junior Cricket team so he is coaching young people from the Kirkbymoorside area the whole year round. Graham works full time, therefore his role as coach is all-voluntary and absorbs much of what would be his spare time.

Stuart Webster receives the award for his contribution to the Cubs as Assistant Cub Leader and for his commitment to the community, beyond Cubs.

For several years he was an active member of the play area committee and he volunteers with the tractor run. He always looks out for his neighbours, especially the elderly, and is always ready to give a hand. Stuart is an all-round great guy and is an asset to the community.

He is a committed Cub leader, he has been involved with Kirkbymoorside Cubs for nearly 7 years and is a great asset to the group. His practical skills and down-to-earth, can-do attitude make him invaluable, both to his fellow leaders and to the children, for whom he is a strong role model.

The 2015 Community Award was presented to June Cook for her significant contribution to the community.


June was Kirkbymoorside District Nurse for many years and also midwife until she retired when she took on charity work for Marie Curie Cancer Care. In June 1999 June set up and remains Chair of the Kirkbymoorside & District Fund Raising Group who have raised in excess of £304,798.05 for Marie Curie Cancer Care. June is also involved in many community groups and activities such as her involvement with Messy Church at the Methodist Chapel, the Red Cross, Brownies, Elderberry Club, pre-school play group to name but a few. June’s contribution to the community is certainly noteworthy.

In 2014 two awards were presented. Sarah Woodward was nominated for the way in which she has brought music to the community through many different avenues and on a voluntary basis over a number of years.

Edward Clarke Ted Clarke was nominated for his contribution to the football and cricket club as groundsman at the Sportsfield for almost 15 years.

2013 There were no nominations

2012 Paul Magson was nominated for his contribution to the Junior Football club.