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Norwich celebrates green heroes

PUBLISHED: 15:32 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:26 02 July 2010

From left, Howard Tidman, Debbie Murray, Lisa McNaughton, Laura Jennings and Natalie Halsall with their awards at the Norwich Eco Awards presentations

From left, Howard Tidman, Debbie Murray, Lisa McNaughton, Laura Jennings and Natalie Halsall with their awards at the Norwich Eco Awards presentations

Kate Scotter

Community gardeners, businesses and schoolchildren were last night rewarded for their efforts to help make Norwich a more eco-friendly place to live.

About 70 people attended the Eco Awards ceremony at City Hall to celebrate the hard work going on in the city to help the environment.

Community gardeners, businesses and schoolchildren were last night rewarded for their efforts to help make Norwich a more eco-friendly place to live.

About 70 people attended the Eco Awards ceremony at City Hall to celebrate the hard work going on in the city to help the environment.

It is the second time the Eco Awards, organised by Norwich City Council in partnership with the Norwich Evening News, have been held.

Winners on the night included Recreation Road Infant School. Lisa McNaughton from the school said: “It's important to recognise that children as young as four can make a difference to the environment as they are the responsible, caring adults of the future.”

Norfolk Homemakers Furniture Project also won an award. Howard Tidman said: “It's a great honour to accept this on behalf of the team that works so tirelessly.”

Rob Morley, from award winner Fountain Partnership, said: “We are very proud to have been recognised as outstanding. We are committed to helping all organisations who want to promote a sustainable future by helping to get their message across.”

Odeon Cinemas also won. Justin Holmes said: “I'm extremely proud to accept this on behalf of all the team in recognition of their tremendous commitment to changing the business for the better.”

The BTCV Norwich Environment Action Team, which runs a green gym project in the city, won a brand new award, the Eco Commitment title, which was added to celebrate ongoing environmental projects.

Debbie Murray said: “It's really nice that all the hard work of the team has been recognised.”

The top prize, the Eco Hero award went to Natalie Halsall who works as a travel plan co-ordinator at City College Norwich in Ipswich Road.

Miss Halsall said: “I can't believe it, to be honest. I'm so proud.”

This year's awards were presented by last year's Eco Hero John Popely and the evening was attended by the Sheriff of Norwich, Professor Tim O'Riordan.

Prof O'Riordan said: “Norwich is moving rapidly ahead with its eco-credentials. It has an independent climate change commission at work awaiting ideas and reactions to a low carbon future from Norwich residents.

“The awards are hugely important, as they are a sign of a community ready to play its part in helping Norwich to be a clean and lean city.”

There were three categories of award - businesses, schools and community groups - and the Eco Hero was chosen from all the entries received.

Recreation Road Infant School won the Eco School title in recognition of the number of activities the children have been involved in to spread the green message, such as litter picking, waste free Wednesdays and plastic bag free days.

Norfolk Homemakers Furniture Project, which helps the environment and those in need within Norwich, took the Eco Community Group title while Odeon Cinemas won the Eco Large Business award after slashing its energy bills by 60pc.

Fountain Partnership, a copywriters firm in Queens Road, won the Eco Small Business gong for its low carbon operations and Ms Halsall was named as this year's Eco Hero for demonstrating “exceptional passion and action” for the eco cause.

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