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News | 12th December 2019
 

Everyone a winner at awards to celebrate rural life

 
 
 

JUDITH Johnson’s three decades of work in the community of Langholm has won her a prestigious regional award.
Judith, a project manager at the Langholm Initiative, won the Shining Light award at the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER rural awards and is congratulated here by Dame Barbara Kelly, one of the judging panel.

MORE than three decades of supporting the community has earned a Langholm woman a major award.
Judith Johnson, who manages projects at the Langholm Initiative,
received the Shining Light award at the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER rural awards ceremony at GG’s Yard near Gatehouse-of-Fleet last
Thursday.
The award was sponsored by Light Up Your Venue.
Two other finalists from Langholm attended: Hold the Front Page!, the project to take the E&L Advertiser into community ownership; and Kate Knott of the Walled Garden at
Arkleton.
Hold the Front Page! was in the rural resilience category, sponsored by Third Sector Dumfries & Galloway. It was won by Whithorn Roundhouse Iron Age ‘Grand Design’.
Kate was in the rural entrepreneurship category, sponsored by Savills, and the winner was Crafty Galloway which sells produce made in
Galloway.
Judith’s nomination read: “Judith touched down in Langholm for the first time in 1987 and has hardly stopped for breath since.
“A lifetime of supporting the community has seen a diverse range of projects and organisations benefit from her expertise, including schools, Centre Stage Youth Theatre, festivals and the business and arts sectors.
“A consummate and enthusiastic networker, Judith is the lynchpin of the Langholm Initiative and a flag bearer of LEADER in Dumfries and Galloway.”
Judith said: “I was amazed and
delighted to win this award when there are so many worthy people in the
region who do so much for their communities and beyond.
“I have been involved with Dumfries & Galloway LEADER for many years and fully appreciate the effort which goes into the many and varied
LEADER-funded projects.
“I would like to thank the LEADER staff team for their diligence and professionalism in supporting projects, together with the chairpeople and members of the Local Action Group.
“It was fantastic for Langholm to be so well represented with three finalists at the ceremony and, as was said several times during that evening,
everyone there was a winner.
More than 150 guests gathered at GG’s Yard, the rural venue of excellence, for the event, hosted by Cathy Agnew for the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Local Action Group.
The night was held to celebrate the achievements of projects funded by the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
Fifteen projects were shortlisted and hosted visits from independent judges in August.
Given the significant impact of
LEADER funding in Dumfries & Galloway over the years, the two new awards, Legacy and Shining Light were introduced.
They were created to recognise the long-term success of LEADER-funded projects and acknowledge the outstanding contribution of individuals in communities.
Professor Sarah Skerratt of the SRUC delivered the keynote address on rural development.
Jo Gallant of Jo Gallant Textile Studios designed and produced the awards, which, when put together, made up one large textile masterpiece.
Other winners: Coastal and Fisheries Community: Wigtown Bay Skiff Project, sponsored by Alba; Natural Environment: Loch Ken – Passive Pod, sponsored by the Crichton Carbon Centre; Inclusive Communities: Dumfries & Galloway Sensory Project, sponsored by the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership; Legacy: Wigtown Book Festival, sponsored by Scottish Enterprise.
Peter Ross, Local Action Group chairman, acknowledged the LEADER team for their ongoing contribution to the programme and paid tribute to two longstanding members Nicola Hill, programme manager, and Simone Tyrie.
Nicola said: “The contribution these projects make to developing our rural communities often goes unrecognised.
“They are the unsung heroes but their generosity of time and spirit is what makes the difference to the places where we live.
“They are being recognised because they have proven themselves to be invaluable contributors towards change in our rural communities.
“I would particularly like to acknowledge our judges and sponsors for their support and my colleagues and the wider team involved in making this happen.”

 
 
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