We'd seen previous winners and thought Helmsley was just as amazing as many of them - and perhaps we needed to shout about it a bit more!
The great thing about the application process was how it brought everyone in the community together. We were all united in wanting to show off our brilliant town - businesses, residents, schoolchildren - everyone! I think the key thing for us was getting that support from the community - it really drove the application forward and gave it a sense of energy.
The buzz around town was immense - just making the shortlist alone was fantastic, but then winning - the sense of achievement and recognition was immense. Especially when we'd been up against such fantastic towns. Everyone in Helmsley was so proud and absolutely delighted, and that feeling lingered for a long time after the awards were announced. People still talk about it frequently now! We got some amazing press coverage, and we got lots more visitors because of the win. We've also got some great plans for the prize money, which will be a huge benefit to the town.
Don't be put off thinking 'it will be too hard work' or worrying you won't succeed - it really helps cement in your mind what is great about the place you live/work, and that's never a bad thing! It does help having a small committee to head up the entry and drive it forward - if you can step up and be that person, it will definitely be worth it.