Pioneering social impact organisation, the First Ark Group, has announced the winners of its annual Community Achievement Awards 2015. The unique awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions made by inspiring individuals and businesses in the local community. Throughout the year, residents and members of the Knowsley community nominate people and organisations that make a positive difference and are deserving of special recognition. Entry is open to anyone that has gone that extra mile, an organisation that has made a real difference, sporting inspirations, volunteers, fundraisers, budding entrepreneurs and aspiring young people. The First Ark Group received a record number of entries this year which presented stiff competition in every category. The nine eventual winners impressed an independent panel of judges through their dedication, commitment and willingness to help create a thriving and better community for Knowsley. Paula Thompson, alongside her son Drew, won the Overall Contribution to Knowsley Award in recognition of her dedication in establishing Plan B, an innovative social activity programme which engages with young adults who live with autism in Knowsley. In addition to receiving their award, and as a thank you for their devotion to advocating equality and rights for local people with disabilities, Paula and Drew received £500 to put towards supporting their future activities and aspirations. The successful winners on the evening were: KHT Resident of the Year (sponsored by Innovation Central) – Paula and Drew Thompson KHT Resident Association (sponsored by Structec) – Torrington Drive Green Living Champion or Project (sponsored by United Living) – Nancy Greene Community Organisation (sponsored by Knowsley CVS) – Vee’s Place Sport Achievement (sponsored by Vivark) – Sam Maxwell Creative Achievement (sponsored by ITS Technology Group) – Carole Trenaman Young Person of the Year (sponsored by Orchard) – Amiee Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Fusion 21) – Alissa Koopal Overall Contribution to Knowsley Award (sponsored by Travis Perkins)- Paula and Drew Thompson Bob Taylor, CEO of First Ark Group, said: “At the First Ark Group, we pride ourselves on providing first class services for our customers and creating life changing opportunities. The annual Community Achievement Awards shine a spotlight on the Knowsley residents and organisations that mirror our ethos. “Each of our award winners has gone above and beyond, shown real creativity, leadership and pioneering spirit in making their area a more sustainable, better place to live and work. Deciding on the winners was not easy as the standard was so high, but our expert team of judges did a great job and I would like to offer my personal congratulations and a thank you to all of them.” For the second year running, broadcaster Andy Crane presented the awards ceremony, held on 17th November 2015, and entertained the room of aspiring residents, entrepreneurs and businesses, at The Venue in Huyton. For more information about the First Ark Group, or to enter the 2016 Community Achievement Awards, visit www.firstark.com.