RCCE’s Essex Village of the Year competition has returned after an absence of four years, accompanied for the first time by a series of Rural Community Awards for village halls, community enterprises and community and voluntary groups.

Essex has a wonderful variety of villages where local people are doing great things to sustain and strengthen community life, much of it through the efforts of volunteers. RCCE wants to celebrate and reward these efforts, especially given the challenges presented in recent years by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

This year’s Essex Village of the Year and Rural Community Award winners will be announced at the RCCE Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 3rd July.

How to Enter:

Any village in Essex with a population of 6,000 or less is eligible to enter Essex Village of the Year.

To enter, please read the Essex Village of the Year and Rural Community Awards Guidelines 2024 and complete the relevant entry form, telling us in no more than 500 words what makes your village special.

In completing the form, please tell us briefly about the activities, events and organisations that contribute most to life in your community today. Key points you should consider including are:

·         Activities and events that bring the community together.

·         Initiatives that have strengthened community spirit.

·         Methods of engaging with the community and identifying local needs.

·         Activities that reduce isolation and support specific age groups.

·         Plans and aspirations for enhancing community life.

Some idea of the numbers benefitting or participating in activities/events is helpful, but we do understand that in smaller villages some activities and amenities will be shared with neighbouring communities.

Please feel free to attach a newsletter, poster, leaflet, or a few photos, if you feel this would support your application but exercise discretion in what you send. We do not require a large amount of additional documentation; for instance, we do not need to see multiple copies of a village newsletter or a lot of photos. A map of the village is not required. There will be no judges’ visits to villages this year, but we may contact you if we require clarification on any information you have provided.

Submitting Your Entry

Entries can be made either online or by post. A copy of the entry form can be found below under Essential Documents. 

If submitting your entry online, please send to: enquiries@essexrcc.org.uk

If submitting your entry by post, please send the completed entry form and any supporting documentation for the attention of Sara Ward, Rural Community Council of Essex, Threshelfords Business Park, Inworth Road, Feering, Essex, CO5 9SE.

Essential Documents:

Rural Community Awards Guidelines 2024

Village Entry Form

Village Hall and Community Building Entry Form

Community Voluntary Group Entry Form

Community Enterprise Award Entry Form

For further information please contact Sara Ward at enquiries@essexrcc.org.uk or on 01376 574330.