Community Awards 2013 – Biggest Contribution to Arts in the Community

Neil Lawson-Baker with Richard Howard-Grffin. ''Picture by Louise Adams C130629-11
Neil Lawson-Baker with Richard Howard-Grffin. ''Picture by Louise Adams C130629-11

OUR new combined Contribution to the Arts category is proving popular, with multiple nominations for our first two contenders.

Neil Lawson-Baker has been nominated by three people for his role in bringing street art to Chichester.

“He’s made the art of younger people visible in Chichester and raised the profile of Chichester as an inclusive and visually-engaged, modern city,” said Tim Sandys-Renton in his nomination.

“Neil is inspirational!”

Sehila Craft said Neil had really put Chichester ‘on the map for contemporary art’.

Lin Peet agreed, saying Neil had ‘awoken’ the community and the street art had started conversations between viewers.

The Regis Centre in Bognor was also nominated for its contribution to all-round family entertainment.

“They put on really good entertainment to suit all ages and all tastes in music and drama,” said Mrs Lamprell in her nomination. “The staff in the box office are all volunteers and are always very helpful and friendly.”

Mrs Whitaker agreed, describing the theatre as ‘friendly and comfortable’ with a ‘wide range of shows’.


This year will once again see Chandlers sponsor the Sports Team of the Year category.

“As a local company, Chandlers was delighted to once again be approached to sponsor the Sports Team of the Year category,” said a spokeswoman.

“Community is extremely important to Chandlers as is sport, so it made perfect sense. From hockey teams to side-car duos, Chandlers support a number of sports initiatives in the local area.

“As such, Chandlers has a good understanding of the number of amazing sports organisations out there and wants to have a role in recognising and celebrating their achievements.

“Furthermore, people both young and old need to know what is on offer in their local area from a sporting perspective and this is a great way of spreading the message. 2012 was such a big year for the sporting history of this country and Chandlers wants to play a part in keeping the legacy of the Olympics alive.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring an award can get in touch with Claire Carter by emailing

Alternatively, call Claire on 01243 534147 or 07912671045.


There are more ways than ever to nominate your local stars for this year’s Community Awards.

Nominations will be open until mid-July, with voting taking place before the awards ceremony later this year.

You can nominate by emailing

This year, there is also a new way to nominate via our Community Awards Facebook page:

You can also fill in the form in the paper and post it to the Observer offices.

All nominations should include a contact name and number for both the nominee and nominator, the category and no more than 50 words on why they are being nominated.

We want to hear about all your local heroes and what they do!


A full list of categories and sponsors is below.

The full list of categories in year’s awards is:

Best Volunteer

Best Community Person

Mini Hero, sponsored by Families for Children

Hero to Animals

Best School, sponsored by Natures Way Foods

School Star, sponsored by South Downs National Park

Super Senior

Best Coach, sponsored by South Coast Skips

Sports Team of the Year, sponsored by Chandlers

Best Sportsperson

Special Recognition

Best Local Voluntary/Charity Group

Outstanding Bravery

Voice of the People

Best Community Event, sponsored by Southern Water

Biggest Contribution to Arts in the Community

Observer Award for Special Achievement, sponsored by Rolls Royce

More information on each category is in the paper, along with sponsor logos.