THE best and brightest in North Kesteven celebrated last night following the annual NK Community Awards.
The awards ceremony, organised by North Kesteven District Council and supported by the Echo, took place at Whisby Nature Park, near Lincoln.
Among the winners were Branston Ltd, who won the award for community business of the year, and 18-year-old Joseph Hayat, who picked up the young achievers award.
The teenager, of Sleaford, won his award for his outstanding work on the Lincolnshire Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament. He was nominated by Lincolnshire County Council's participation officer Andrew Garbutt.
Mr Garbutt said he nominated Mr Hayatt for his unbridled passion and dubbed him an inspiration to other young people in the district.
He said: "It's just the fact that Joseph is very pro-active and very committed.
"He's very passionate about issues for young people and is a real inspiration.
"Joseph is pretty much one-of-a-kind and it would be good if there was a lot more young people with just half of his enthusiasm.
"He has a lot to offer and has real drive. Young people can see in him that things can happen if they put their minds to it."
Keven Roberts, of Rauceby, picked up the award for outstanding contribution to sport.
Nominated by former president of the Sleaford Rotary Club, Norry Bell, he was given the award for his work with charity Sailability, which helps disabled people enjoy competitive sailing.
Mr Bell said: "Keven has been outstanding in not only organising Sailability, but also getting sponsorship and making it available to anyone."
Three people were nominated in each category after a panel of judges drew up a shortlist from hundreds of nominations.
Ian Cartwright, chairman of North Kesteven District Council, said: "The awards ceremony was a wonderful way to say thank you to some really outstanding people.
"This year's awards were bigger and better than ever before, with six different categories to honour those individuals, businesses and groups that have made a real difference to their communities."
The list of winners...
Young Achievers Award: Jospeh Hayat, of Sleaford
Community Business of the Year: Branston LtdCommunity Spirit: Mikela Conboy, from Swinderby
Contribution to a Better Environment: Reg Johnson, from Billinghay
Contribution to Arts and Culture: Jim McQuade, of the Sleaford Concert Band
Contribution to Sport: Keven Roberts, of Rauceby