Village of the Year: Caynham

PUBLISHED: 19:43 07 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:23 20 February 2013

That was the message from the people of the south Shropshire village of Caynham in their submission for the 2008 Calor Shropshire Village Of The Year competition. And it was that great community spirit that impressed the judges of the competit...

That was the message from the people of the south Shropshire village of Caynham in their submission for the 2008 Calor Shropshire Village Of The Year competition.
And it was that great community spirit that impressed the judges of the competition run in association with the Community Council and Shropshire Life.
Caynham, three miles east of Ludlow, was declared a worthy winner after villagers showed what they lacked in traditional amenities didn't deter them from working together to provide activities for people of all ages.
Julia Baron, Chief Executive of The Community Council of Shropshire who judged the competition with Community Council trustee Keith Fraser and Shropshire Life Editor Joanne Goodwin, said: "I thought all the villages we visited had much to commend them. There was a really strong sense of community spirit in all of them and people were so anxious to cram as much information as possible into the limited time they had, my head was spinning!
"As always I feel that the process is as important as the presentation on the day - everyone has to think hard about what their village has to offer and that makes them proud. They see all the good things and don't dwell on the problems and they also start to come up with solutions about how to improve things. They also make a real effort to include everyone - all ages and sections of the community.
"For me though, Caynham really did shine out. I have had the benefit of visiting there twice before and therefore was able to see the progression they have made over the years. It was very clearly a total community effort this time and I was delighted that it was 'third time lucky'. I think that tenacity has paid off and the determination to continually improve (even though in reality they have very little to work with) had benefited them all."

Caynham Village Hall Committee Secretary Sue Fleetwood said: "We are all thrilled and delighted to have been chosen as Shropshire village of the Year. After the presentation I sent out an email to the thirty-plus adults and children whose ages ranged from two to 94 who had come to the village hall to support our entry, some with displays, other just by being there, prepared to talk to the judges, play with the children or make tea, saying: "I thought we put on a magnificent show. It was worth doing just to remind ourselves what a terrific little community we are."

The 'very worthy' runner-up was Whittington where the inter-generational work between the village's young people and senior citizens was particularly impressive.
There were two short-listed villages - Great Hanwood and Ditton Priors. Great Hanwood shone out for its multitude of organisations for people of all ages and for its respect and care for community members. Ditton Priors is a great example of a community acting as a focal point for smaller villages; a place where environment issues are high on the agenda and the judges were impressed by the village's partnership with Oak Farm, the Shropshire County Council smallholding for adults with learning disabilities.
Caynham will be presented with its award at a ceremony in the village on September 13.
www.calorvillageoftheyear.org.

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