A SPECIAL honour that rewards and promotes initiatives that help bring together communities is now open for applications.

The Oxfordshire High Sheriff’s Award for Community Integration has previously funded loorganisations such as Innovista’s Thrive project, which works with disadvantaged young people, and Oxford Hindu Temple, which was able to hold a number of open days with the money.

The award is organised through Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action and provides up to £3,000 for any individual project, or smaller amounts depending on requirements.

Morgan Williams, part of Thrive, was thrilled to win last year. It helped him achieve his dream of helping Filipino families living in poverty to build their own homes. The 17-year-old then used his experience there to inspire other young people to achieve their dreams.

He said: “Everyone in the Philippines is more friendly and more smiley. To be able to make someone a house like this, which is what they really wanted, feels very good.”

The deadline for applications this year is next Friday, with the awards ceremony due to take place in the Mayor’s Parlour at 5.30pm on December 8.

The High Sheriff, Tom Birch Reynardson, said: “Oxfordshire enjoys great diversity in its geographic character, its economy, its social structures and its people.

“This award seeks to reward and promote new initiatives to foster community integration and to build greater common knowledge and understanding between communities.

“Projects may focus on any aspect of community life and may be new or already exist. We look forward to the applications.”

Applications can be made via the OCVA website at ocva.org.uk/high-sheriff-2015