TWO Huddersfield community groups have been given top national awards.
Paddock Community Forum and Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club have been given Duke of York's Community Initiative Awards.
The awards - set up by Prince Andrew in 1997 - recognise groups that create community spirit in their area.
The award is valid for three years.
The boxing club and the Paddock group were inspected by the award judges - the trustees of St William's Foundation in York - last year.
They had to show judges they had made a significant impact and brought benefits to their community, increased community spirit and attracted resources to the area.
John Bostock, chairman of the Paddock organisation's trustees, said they were delighted.
He added: "We were encouraged by the assessors' enthusiasm for the many ways in which the forum is part of its community. It is wonderful."
The forum is a charitable company set up in 1998 to promote social and economic regeneration in Paddock.
It is based at Paddock Village Hall and helps about 40 voluntary groups to find cash and support.
Over the past eight years the forum has attracted £1.3m for projects. They include Paddock Learning Centre, which provides Learning and Skills Council computer training.
The forum works with Kirklees Council Social Services and Health Service trusts to provide a healthy living programme for Paddock people.
The forum has an environment group to help conservation projects. Its crime and safety group works with police on crime prevention and its community buildings group ensures local venues offer as many activities as possible.
Members work with Kirklees on matters affecting children, education, highways and housing in Paddock.
The forum also has links with the boxing club.
The club, based at the Gas Club on Gasworks Street in Hillhouse, provides boxercise sessions as part of the Paddock forum's healthy living programme.
The boxing club was recommended for its award by Kirklees's anti-social behaviour officer, Bill Swap. He was impressed with the way the club had helped divert young people from nuisance behaviour since it was set up in 1998.
Club coach Mark Reynolds said: "We are over the moon to get recognition for the work we do to help our community. It is great to get a pat on the back and the kudos that goes with achieving these awards."
This award is the fourth accolade the club has achieved in as many years.
In 2002 the club's organisers won the Sports Personality of the Year prize in the Examiner Community Awards.
In 2003, the club won the national British Urban Regeneration Association award and in 2004 it came third out of 151,000 sports clubs in the Central Council for Physical Recreation Awards.
The club has more than 250 members, aged between six and 75.
It is run by a committee of coaches and parents, all of whom give their time on a voluntary basis.
Over the years the club has been supported by the Dalton, Rawthorpe and Moldgreen regeneration project, Huddersfield Pride and Kirklees's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit.
But it has no constant source of cash. Mr Reynolds said: "We have a massive demand for our services, but have to do it all ourselves.
"To sustain our work we need further backing, possibly private sponsorship. Anyone helping us is helping their community."
Anyone who thinks they can help should phone 07747846977 or visit email@example.com