Today our countdown to the Examiner Community Awards presentation night at the John Smith’s Stadium two weeks tomorrow (May 24) focuses on the three groups nominated for Community Project of the Year. Tomorrow we will reveal the shortlist in the Young Personality category.

Ramsdens are an award winning, full practice, local law firm who have been in Huddersfield for more than 140 years.

Ramsdens are proud supporters of the Examiner Community Awards and have been involved for the last six years.

Ramsdens solicitors logo

Managing Partner at Ramsdens Paul Joyce said: “Holding these awards is central to the local community because it establishes a sense of pride in what we are all doing.

“Getting people together to celebrate what we as a community have achieved and also recognising the not-for-profit work in Huddersfield that is important to everyone in the community. These awards reflect all that is good in Huddersfield and we’d like to wish good luck to all of this year’s finalists.”

Being a mum can be a daunting prospect at the best of times ... but imagine if the woman is already burdened with turmoil and upheaval in her life.

This is where the non-profit organisation Auntie Pam’s can help and has centres in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

It helps women who need support and advice and sometimes practical help too.

The volunteers are more than just a sympathetic ear - they can ensure the women get help on a range of services including housing, benefits, support to tackle domestic violence, relationships, post natal depression, healthy eating, baby development, advice on how to stop smoking, free equipment and clothes for mum and baby, feeding support and sexual health guidance.

Some of the women it helps have very low confidence and self-esteem or face serious lifestyle problems which could range from alcohol to drugs.

Auntie Pam's receiving their gong at the LGC Awards. From left: Mike Suarez, Chief Executive Cheshire East Council and head judge for involving communities category; Diane Hargreaves, assistant project officer for Auntie Pam's; Lisa Akester, project officer for Auntie Pam's; Sarah Goodhind, peer volunteer for Auntie Pam's, Dee Haigh, Health Improvement Practitioner (Public Health), Leanne Stafford, peer volunteer for Auntie Pam's; and awards presenter Stephen Mangan.

The project, funded by Kirklees Council, is so successful that many women who have attended as clients have ended up becoming volunteers themselves, studying for qualifications along the way.

Here’s how the service helped two mums.

In the case of one her children had been placed in foster care because of some poor lifestyle choices she had made and she was a quiet person lacking in confidence and self-esteem. She was trying to get her children back and went through a training process with Auntie Pam’s, acknowledged how her behaviour affected her children, slowly built relationships back up with them and they are now back living with her.

Another very introverted mum turned to the charity in distress when she had no nappies for her child and no food. A volunteer made sure she could get what she needed from a food bank and over the next six months each visit increased her sense of worth and confidence, so much so that she managed to get herself a job.

Lisa Akester from Auntie Pam’s says the charity encourages people to become “more self-reliant and less dependent on support services,” adding: “It also supports the notion that people themselves can actually improve and contribute to their local organisations and communities.”

Many asylum seekers who arrive in Huddersfield literally have nothing ... and are also haunted by the terrible things they have seen or harsh experiences they have endured.

This is why the charity Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield (DASH) is so badly needed.

Five part-time staff work with volunteers who are trained to offer friendly practical help across a wide range of complex needs.

Its drop-in centre serves up to 150 lunches every week and DASH helps with clothes, interpreters, accommodation, English language classes and financial assistance along with access to healthcare, education and friendship.

The charity was nominated by DASH volunteer Liz Heywood, who said: “DASH’s clients - men, women and children - have fled trauma and danger in their own countries and have survived terrible journeys to find safety in Huddersfield. In the six years it has been in existence DASH has seen a substantial rise in the number of its clients. It is a case for real pride that since November 2011 no asylum seekers in Huddersfield have been sleeping rough.

Examiner Community Awards. Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield (DASH).Mike Shaw (centre) with fellow volunteers,(from left) Judith Harper, Dave Ramsden, Helene Henson and Ruth Gilbert.

“So far, despite drastic cuts, DASH has managed to maintain and even increase its personalised services, train and monitor volunteers and has not had to reduce the support offered to the most deprived, vulnerable and impovrished in our community.”

DASH staff and volunteers can accompany asylum seekers to appointments with the Home Office, with council services and for legal advice. It also works closely with a designated GP surgery and monitors some asylum seekers who are thought to be at risk of suicide.

Liz added: “It is important for Huddersfield itself that people in difficulty, who have done nothing to deserve those difficulties, are helped and treated humanely.”

Michael Rimicans helps people to learn all about computers ... and what he has done here has been copied both in the UK and overseas.

He started the first Yorkshire based Raspberry Jam in 2014 in conjunction with Kirklees Libraries in Huddersfield.

Based around a popular credit card size computer called the Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Jams are community events with aim of allowing people to learn about technology, coding and digital making.

Credit card device called Raspberry Pi creating new programmer revolution in Huddersfield to help everyday people control anything from cars to robots

It means robots, coding and inventions are all springing to life at the monthly events which are attended by people as young as four and as old as almost 80.

Over the last year Michael has also introduced a monthly CodeClub to the library which is aimed at children between the ages of 9-13. These sessions, while primarily aimed at introducing children to basic coding, allow them to learn about technology at their own pace and by experimenting through play.

Michael Rimicans who started the first Yorkshire based Raspberry Jam in conjunction with Kirklees Libraries in Huddersfield.

Michael, of Dalton, also thought of the idea behind a lending scheme which allowed micro:bit computers to be borrowed by the public like library books. This started in Kirklees and has now been taken up by more than 1,000 libraries across the UK and also in other parts of the world.

He has voluntarily co-ordinated and run the monthly events since the beginning and has helped library staff and other volunteers at Kirklees libraries develop their skills. Michael has also given advice on what equipment they need to launch other jams and code clubs in the Kirklees area.

He was nominated by Amy Hearn from Huddersfield Library, who said: “Michael has helped us offer coding workshops for children in libraries across Kirklees - he has helped hundreds of children take their first steps in coding and his knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication has meant many of those have found a passion for coding and developed skills that will give them a brighter future.

“On top of all this Michael volunteers with scouts - I don’t know how he finds the hours in the day. We would be lost without him.”

Michael, 40, is married to Vicky and has an 11-year-old son, Jack. In his spare time he volunteers with his local scout unit, 37th Huddersfield (Almondbury) Methodist Scout Group.

Michael said: “We want to push this message out there that programming is not as hard as people may think and that it’s accessible to absolutely anyone.”