The 2021 Helping It Happen Awards categories

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Our categories for the Helping It Happen Awards 2021 provide yet another opportunity for us to showcase the fantastic work going on all over in rural Scotland.

The categories are tailored so that there will be something to suit every kind of business or project. Whether you submit and entry for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, we want to hear your stories!

Find out more about this years categories below.  


The 2021 Helping It Happen Awards categories


*New for 2021* Business Resilience Award

sponsored by: barclays

The Business Resilience Award will highlight a winner who has shown resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to hear about those businesses who have faced challenges head on, adapted, and succeeded despite the difficulties they have had to take on over the past year or so.


• Maybe your business has adapted in order to retain staff and cash flow for example from a restaurant to a takeaway service.
• Maybe you have adapted your outdoor activities to include social distancing and other measures to make them Covid-safe for the public.
• Perhaps you have had to completely change the way in which your business operates, and the very nature of your work has changed.
• Perhaps you provide a service or product which has significantly helped businesses during the pandemic.


Conservation Award 

sponsored by: Anderson Strathern

This award highlights best practice in conservation work across Scotland, where land managers and rural businesses are protecting some of Scotland’s most iconic species and habitats for future generations to enjoy.


• Maybe your organisation works towards the preservation of a specific part of Scottish Wildlife.
• You might manage parts of your estate to create a safe home to rare or unusual species of wildlife.
• Perhaps you have evidence of successfully improving the local environment for plants or animals.
• Perhaps you participate in raising awareness about the local wildlife and encouraging landscape-wide environmental protection.


Education Award

sponsored by: bi

The role of education in raising awareness of land management practices and all aspects of rural life is of critical importance. This award recognises those who are reaching out to future generations to pass on key rural skills and enhancing the opportunities for learning in Scotland’s rural communities.


• Maybe you are involved with schools/colleges/universities/youth outreach programmes.
• You might be involved in mentoring programmes.
• You may be reskilling unemployed individuals and offering them new opportunities.
• Maybe you are offering work experiences and the opportunity to learn on the job.
• Perhaps you are offering activities, nature trails, etc. to get people interested and engaged in the countryside.


Enhancing Our Environment through Land Management Award 

sponsored by: NatureScot

Scotland’s world-beating rural landscapes and natural heritage have long been a major draw for its own people and visitors alike. Not only are they a draw for visitors, but they also play a vital role in our fight against climate change through activities such as tree planting and peatland restoration. This award recognises the fantastic projects, both large and small, being carried out across Scotland to support these goals.


• Maybe you are involved in river, peatland or other landscape restoration.
• Perhaps you are engaged in a tree re-planting project.
• You may manage land which is home to a rare or iconic species of plant.
• Perhaps you actively work to remove invasive/harmful species.
• Perhaps you have adapted processes in line with environmental considerations and are seeing net-benefits from this.


Innovation in Farming Award 

sponsored by: Douglas Home

The agricultural sector in Scotland is changing and innovation will be vital for businesses to succeed in the future. This award recognises those who are doing things differently, no matter what size or scale of farming is being carried out, whether that be in diversification or the introduction of new or exciting farming techniques.


• Maybe you are able to demonstrate how you have embraced new practices which are beneficial from a business or an environmental perspective.
• Maybe you take risks – perhaps your ideas are designed to solve real-world problems and to explore new potential opportunities.
• Perhaps your innovations could revolutionise the industry – do you think you are at the forefront of something big? 
• Maybe you've made a small change but are seeing big results.
• Perhaps what may have seemed like a common-sense, easy change to you could be the spark that changes farming across Scotland.


Iver Salvesen Award for Combatting Climate Change

sponsored by: mbm

The Iver Salvesen Award for Combatting Climate Change is for businesses which are finding success, either while or by implementing processes or measures which contribute towards efficient and sustainable goals.

• Maybe your business operates with a mindful approach towards the issue of climate change.
• You might have taken additional steps to reduce your businesses’ carbon footprint and to reduce emissions.
• Perhaps your business produces environmentally friendly produce.
• Maybe part of your profits go towards causes designed to fight the climate crisis.
• Perhaps your business operates using easily recycled and renewable materials.
• Maybe your business is finding significant success and is known in your community because of the measures you implement.


Rural Business Award 

Sponsored by: sh


This award recognises the innovative, diverse and even quirky business opportunities being grasped by a range of estates and land-based businesses across rural Scotland. A diverse category, this award aims to ensure that any rural business which is making a contribution to the local or national rural economy has a chance to be recognised.


• Maybe you are part of a business that has stood the test of time.
• You may be branching out into other areas of business – perhaps in addition to being a functioning farming property, you also have a café, sell produce direct, or other forms of attractions designed to encourage direct engagement.
• Maybe your business has established itself as a landmark of the local area.
• Maybe your business is just starting out, but has already created a significant name for itself.
• You can demonstrate a significant contribution to the local economy.



Rural Housing Award

sponsored by: velux

In some rural areas, private rented accommodation is often the main, or only, housing option for many. The aim of this award is to highlight those who are providing vital high-quality housing in rural Scotland.


• Maybe your business designs or builds high quality housing.
• Maybe your business engages with the community by using local suppliers and dealers.
• Maybe your housing can demonstrate high environmental standards.


Tourism & Visitor Management Award

sponsored by: glm


This award is for those businesses and estates with a focus on tourism and visitor management, who have continued to attract visitors in a safe way, or who have been looking ahead and are investing in the future.


• Maybe you have been able to continue welcoming visitors because of steps you took to comply with Covid restrictions.
Perhaps you have adapted your tourism business during the pandemic so you can still welcome some visitors.
Maybe you have been planning and preparing to open new innovative tourism focussed opportunities for when national and local lockdowns are finally lifted, which shows significant promise.
Perhaps you provide a service or product which has significantly helped businesses in the tourism and visitor management sector during the pandemic.


Working with Communities Award

sponsored by: mrt

This award is for those who are engaging directly with those who live in their local area. Whether through voluntary work, participating in local events or contributing to other local enterprise, this award aims to highlight those doing all they can to make their local communities a great place to live.


• Perhaps your business has provided space, funding, or opportunities for collaboration with local groups.
• Perhaps your business has participated in fundraising or aid for local causes.
Perhaps your business regularly engages with community groups in their activities.
• Maybe your business showed true community spirit during the Covid pandemic by offering a service or assistance to your local community.