Nominations for the TECT Community Awards will close soon on Friday 29 October 2021 and can be made at www.tect.org.nz/community-awards-2022.
TECT Marketing and Communications Manager Laura Thomson-Bache says she is seeing many great nominations come through and encourages those whose lives have been touched by a community group or volunteer's work to put a nomination in.
"The TECT Community Awards are the community event of the year. It's a time where we can thank those people and groups who are really making a difference in our community – impacting lives, helping our environment thrive, and giving back in so many unique ways.
"Last year we were overwhelmed by the high calibre of nominations that came through, and I know our judges had a tough time choosing finalists and winners – it will be no different this year.
"Community groups and volunteers are so busy doing their work – they don't expect any recognition. Their satisfaction comes from helping others. Well, it is time to show those incredible people and groups that we all see them, we thank them, and we appreciate them, now more than ever during these difficult times during lockdown."
There are six categories open for nominations. These are:
Event Excellence Award – recognising an event that has excelled in bringing our community together.
Sustainable Future Award – recognising a group that demonstrates sustainable practices embedded into the organisational strategy, vision and operations.
Diversity and Inclusion Award – recognising an innovative initiative which supports diversity and inclusion within our community.
Heart of the Community Award – recognising a group that has gone above and beyond business as usual to support a thriving, caring and connected community.
Youth Spirit Award – recognising an individual under 25 who embodies community spirit through their contribution to the community.
Volunteer of the Year Award – recognising an individual who has made a significant contribution to the community.
TECT is particularly encouraging community groups and the general public to nominate worthy volunteers they know, whether it's a young changemaker putting their all into their community passion or a volunteer who has spent a lifetime giving back.
At the 2021 TECT Community Awards, Courtney Bignell was announced as winner of the Youth Spirit Award for her work helping provide meals for the homeless, organising the 1st birthday party of Tauranga's homeless women's shelter, and setting up a successful Facebook group for people in Tauranga self-isolating during the Covid-19 lockdown last year.
"It was an honour to be nominated for the Youth Spirit Award. I don't do what I do for any recognition whatsoever, I do it because I love helping people," says Courtney.
"Making it through as a finalist is something I did not expect to happen. I was beyond pleased to be a finalist and to me, that was enough recognition. When it was announced that I was a winner it was a total shock! I did not expect to be nominated let alone win the Youth Spirit Award. It was amazing to be recognised for the contributions I have made in the community!"
Sibylle Steppat won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the 2021 event. She was recognised for her dedicated volunteer work in the Merivale community.
Whether supporting the community as a board member of the Merivale Community Centre, running weekly fitness classes, walking and coffee groups, or starting a photo competition to celebrate the beauty of Merivale, Sibylle is a fierce advocate for her community.
"Being recognised through the TECT Community Awards was a bit like stepping out of the shadow into the light, even though you don't want to be that one standing in the light," says Sibylle. "But on the other hand, you can feel the warmth; the comfort of the light and that made me really happy and I felt very much appreciated for what I am doing. And also very important, to be recognised gave me a boost of confidence for my self-esteem.
"For those that know a volunteer in their community doing amazing work, I encourage you to think about 'Seven Sharp' – how lovely and heart-warming it is when they recognise people from the community for their voluntarily work. Show your appreciation for your friends who are doing a great job just out of love and not for money. Give them a boost and recognise their work so they will keep doing their much valuable work."
Do you have a family member, friend, or colleague that deserves some recognition for their volunteer work in our community?
Nominate them today at www.tect.org.nz/community-awards-2022. The nomination form is quick and simple and takes only a few minutes to fill out.