Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars cancelled for second year running due to Covid-19 concerns

The Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars has been cancelled for the second year running due to fears around the increase in Covid-19 cases across the region.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 10:54 am
The Winners from the 2017 Harrogate & District Volunteering Oscars Awards with Jean MacQuarrie, former editor of the Harrogate Advertiser

The annual event was set to draw in more than 450 people, with nominations and attendance growing year on year since its debut in 2008.

Throughout the past year, volunteers have never been more needed and they have stepped up to provide vital services to local people who have nobody else to turn to.

The awards celebrate the achievements and the hard work that volunteers across the district put in to help others in the community - but due to the number of Covid-19 cases across the county, the organisers of the event feel the decision to cancel is the correct one.

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John Fox first organised the event in his Mayoral Year back in 2008/9 with the help of former Editor of the Harrogate Advertiser, Jean MacQuarrie, together with the Harrogate and Ripon Centre for Voluntary Service.

John said: “The main aim of the awards has always been to celebrate volunteering across the Harrogate District by having a large attendance of volunteers with Civic heads and community minded businesses together saying ‘thank you’, on behalf of the community.

“Covid numbers in Harrogate are the highest in the county and seem to be rising so I feel that the decision to cancel the ceremony is right and justified.”

This is the second year running that the ceremony has had to be cancelled.

In 2020, a ‘Celebration of Volunteering’ virtual event was held which featured the amazing work of voluntary groups across the Harrogate District and also individual volunteers.

John is hoping that this year will be the final time that the event will have to be cancelled and is looking forward to bringing the much-loved awards back next year.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone for all the help and support over the years and lets hope that 2022 is better and we can come back with a real bang and catch up on celebrating the work of our volunteers and voluntary sector organisations.”