MEET our five finalists in the Community Project of the Year category of the Coventry Telegraph Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire Community Awards.
These are fantastic projects that have benefited the community and made life better for many, and the award is sponsored by PSA Peugeot Citroen and the Heart of England Community Foundation.
All across Coventry and Warwickshire there are hundreds of fantastic projects, involving thousands of volunteers, making the region greener, smarter and fairer, with their grassroots action really changing communities for the better.
The category winner, along with winners of our other six categories, and the overall winner, will be unveiled at a glittering ceremony at Stoneleigh Park on October 12.
The overall winner at the ceremony will again have their name inscribed on Coventry Cathedral's Millennium Screen.
THE TOOTH Youth worker Mick Breeze and his team
A SMALL and dedicated team of people make sure that the young people of Willenhall in Coventry always have somewhere to go and something to do.
The Tooth is a youth club run by Coventry and Warwickshire YMCA. The unusual name comes from the fact that it is based in an old dentist's surgery in Stretton Avenue. But what they do for the local young people is extraordinary.
Youth worker Mick Breeze and his team lay on an impressive range of activities for the kids, some of whom have been expelled from school.
Others have left school with few qualifications and some have problems with drugs and alcohol.
Mr Breeze said: "We provide a flexible education system in an informal setting that may provide them with the right chances to get back into education or employment."
The youngsters can work towards educational qualifications or try for Youth Achievement Awards.
But there's also fun. Mr Breeze and his team organise sport, activities and trips - football, paintballing, fishing, quad biking and go-karting, to name just a few.
He said: "We develop activities which stimulate and challenge young people in an environment that enables them to take responsibility and find a sense of achievement."
And since the Tooth opened in 2004, crime in the area including burglaries and vehicle crime, has dropped.
WILLENHALL COMMUNITY FORUM Manager Kate Lee
A COMPLETE package of care, advice and fun - that's what the Willenhall Community Forum provides for the people in its part of Coventry.
The forum was created in 1994 when a number of organisations in Willenhall came together to pool their strength and expertise.
Manager Kate Lee explained that the focus of the forum's work is to improve the quality of life in the area and to work for a better Willenhall.
The "jewel in the crown" of the forum is the Willenhall Education, Employment and Training centre (Weet).
Through Weet, local people can take advantage of facilities like a free creche, and a children's centre for kids up to age 11.
Weet's Recruitment Network aims to match local jobs to local people and its First Call service helps people moving into the area by putting them in touch with services they need. There's also an Advice Network which can help point people towards education and employment.
Weet organises the Willenhall festival, and this year there will be a Willenhall carnival.
Weet has helped 400 people into jobs, helped 1,200 local people get qualifications, and provided essential support for 1,000 families.
COMMUNITY BROADCASTING SERVICE Nigel Hewin
HUNDREDS of people in the area can keep in touch with what's happening in Coventry, thanks to the volunteers of the city's Community Broadcasting Service.
CBS provides a talking newspaper for the blind and visually handicapped, and 700 people enjoy the news and entertainment it provides.
Volunteers, including Nigel Hewin, have been keeping the talking newspaper going for an amazing 30 years. …