The awards that recognise the dedication of Western Bay of Plenty’s philanthropic community are back for 2023.
Previously known as the TECT Community Awards, the awards return with a new name, the Western Bay Community Awards.
The Bay’s funders Acorn Foundation, BayTrust, TECT, Tauranga City Council, and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have joined forces to deliver the awards and celebrate the community groups and volunteers who make our region such a special place to live, further reflecting the collaboration of local funders.
TECT Chairperson Bill Holland says it is the local community groups and volunteers who keep our region thriving and the awards are a way to acknowledge and thank them.
“The Community Awards shine a spotlight on many of the unsung heroes working quietly in the background to make our community a better place to live.
“From supporting people’s health and wellbeing, to protecting or revitalising the environment, to hosting events that keep us connected, there’s so much good work being done by dedicated volunteers and community groups that deserves to be acknowledged.”
Nominations are now open for the six categories in the 2023 awards. These are: Event Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion, Sustainable Future, Heart of the Community, Youth Spirit, and Volunteer of the Year.
The general public are able to vote for their top pick of the finalists in the People’s Choice Award.
At the 2022 TECT Community Awards, YWAM Ships Aotearoa won two awards – the ‘Heart of the Community’ and the ‘People’s Choice’ awards.
YWAM Ships Managing Director, Marty Emmet, says being nominated for the Community Awards was an honour.
“We were humbled for our mahi to be acknowledged in this way. These awards are the result of hundreds of volunteers that enable all the activities of YWAM Ships Aotearoa to take place; we feel lucky to have such a strong support base.”
The 2023 Awards will be held in March at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, following an online showcase of all the finalists in the six weeks prior on Facebook and Instagram.
Tauranga Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the Western Bay Community Awards are a great way to highlight and celebrate the invaluable work of community-minded groups and volunteers.
“Their often-thankless work has a significant positive impact on many people’s lives, making Tauranga a better place to live for all. The awards are a small way of thanking them for their contributions.”
Western Bay of Plenty District Mayor Garry Webber reiterates this sentiment.
“We’re proud to be involved in what has been a hugely positive event, and strongly encourage people to nominate a community group that has impacted their life or a volunteer who deserves some recognition. Their selfless work is the foundation on which our society is built.”
Any not-for-profit organisation or volunteer in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty working in the interests of the community can be nominated, including one of which you are a member.
Nominations are quick and easy, and close on Sunday 30 October. They can be submitted at https://www.tect.org.nz/community-awards-2023/.
The awards ceremony will take place on 16 March 2023 and will be a night for those who work behind the scenes in our community to take centre stage and be recognised for their hard work and community spirit.
Event Excellence Award – recognising an event that has excelled in bringing our community together.
Sustainable Future Award – recognising a group that demonstrates climate related practices, either through projects that protect or improve the environment, or sustainability-focused thinking and action within the organisation’s 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.