DEDICATED individuals and groups working to make the Dudley borough a better place to live and work have been rewarded for their efforts at the second Forging a Future For All Awards.

The awards, organised by the Halesowen and Dudley News and Stourbridge News, in partnership with Dudley Council, celebrate how individuals and organisations have been working hard to make the borough an attractive, vibrant, health and safe place to live and work.

The winners of the awards were announced at a black tie gala dinner event at The Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill on Thursday, November 28.

We are delighted to announce the winners in each category are:

  • Improving the Local Environment Award (individual) - Sponsored by Ryemarket Shopping Centre - Les Drinkwater
  • Improving the Local Environment Award (group)- Friends of Alder Coppice
  • Outstanding Contribution to Education Award - Sponsored by Fairmont Residential - Skills Training UK Dudley Centre
  • Young Achiever Award - Sponsored by Gaunts of Wollaston- Kesia Blake
  • Community Award - Sponsored by Dudley Canal & Tunnels Trust - Melvyn Blackmore
  • Healthy & Safe Communities Award - Sponsored by NHS Dudley - Lauren Millard, Dudley Young Health Champion
  • Digital Innovation Award - Sponsored by Cushillo Personnel - Antony Cokeley, Working Together for Change
  • Rising Apprentice Star Award - Sponsored by Dudley College of Technology - Lori Arthurs
  • Business of the Year Award - Sponsored by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council - Educational Psychology for Everyone Ltd
  • Visitor Attraction Volunteer of the Year - Phil Harris from Black Country Living Museum
  • Visitor Attraction Lifetime Achievement Award - Sponsored by Tipton & Coseley Building Society - Cliff Sherwood from Dudley Canal Tunnel Trust
  • Town Centre Unsung Hero - Sponsored by Advanced Accountancy - David Harcourt from Stourbridge Chamber of Trade
  • Transport Support Award - Sponsored by Falcon Taxis- Jayne Gordon, Severe Weather Volunteer

Speaking after the glitzy ceremony, Stephanie Preece, editor of the Halesowen and Dudley News and Stourbridge News, said: “What a fantastic night!

“Congratulations to all our finalists but especially our winners. They are all so deserving of their nominations.

“A big thank you to our sponsors who have enabled this fantastic event to go ahead.

“We are so proud of the remarkable work being done by so many in Dudley that truly make this such a great place to live and work."

Our thanks again go to our generous sponsors - Cushillo Personnel, Dudley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Dudley College of Technology, Fairmont Residential, Gaunts of Wollaston, the Tipton and Coseley Building Society, Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust, Advanced Accountancy Midlands, the Ryemarket shopping centre, Falcon Taxis, Lapal House and the Rotary Club of Dudley - whose support helped make the awards possible.