Nominate now for the Pride in Bedfordshire awards
The Pride in Bedfordshire awards are brought to you by the Herald & Post, Luton News, Dunstable Gazette and the Bedfordshire Times & Citizen, sponsored by the Harpur Trust and in association with Costa.
Pride in Bedfordshire is a special awards event that recognises the achievements of special people within our area; those who have gone out of their way to help others, those who have overcome hardship and those who support a positive attitude within our community.
People's Choice Award
Voting is now open to choose the winner of the People's Choice award. Details »
Adults £26.50 and children (12 and under) £16.50. Includes reception drink and three-course meal.
For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Pride in Bedfordshire, The Events Team, c/o Northants Newspapers Ltd, Rothwell Road, Kettering, Northants NN16 8GA.
Award categories and sponsors
Sponsored by The Harpur Trust.
This award is for someone under 21 who has achieved great things in sport, represented their school, been involved in volunteer work, or achieved distinction in some other field. An individual who has gone above the expected and is setting new standards in a particular field.
Charles-Hargreave-Mawson (TEXT VOTE: 1007): Selected to represent England at the International First Aid Competition in Australia as part of his voluntary work with St John’s Ambulance in January 2014. Charles been a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance for eight years and was made Regional Cadet for the East of England in 2012. On hearing of his selection for Australia he was elated; feeling it a once in a lifetime opportunity. Recently Charles offered over 30 hours to support The Notting Hill Carnival. Charles is also involved in Bedford Modern School’s Outreach Programme where he is Coordinator and leader of with the School’s drop-in sessions for some fifty senior citizens on Friday afternoons. Nominated by John White.
Lorna Scott (TEXT VOTE 1020): A 15 year old and is a member of Dunstable Youth Bowling Club; the club meets every Saturday morning at Go Bowling in Dunstable. Lorna has represented England three times at Tenpin Bowling. last year she took part in the World Sports Festival in Vienna Austria and she won a gold medal in the under 14 girls division, in 2012 part of the Junior England Team which took on the other home nations Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the Junior Triple Crown tournament held in Wales, won 2 gold and 3 silver medals in the under 16 division and being one of the youngest bowlers there. She aims to continue her bowling career with a bowling scholarship in the USA at Webber University in Florida. Nominated by Jackie Scott.
Muhammed Adam and Devado Anderson (TEXT VOTE 1026): Two very ambitious boys that applied for funding at the age of 11 for a football camp in there local area for themselves and other young people. They are part of a football club but they wanted to give other young people who could not afford to pay fees and were not part of a club a chance. They understood that when other young people don't have anything to do they get bored and get into antisocial behaviour. The boys presented their project as they do in dragon den and came second out of 21 other young people and won an award of £560 for their project; a football tournament in the summer. Nominated by Salma Khan.
Tommy Fisher and Damian Czwerwiak (TEXT VOTE 1034): With most young people from their area were getting into trouble including themselves they were all at risk of getting an Antisocial Behaviour Order. But with guidance from the Aldwyck Housing Community Team, they opened the Youth Hub a weekly youth club encouraging young people in the area to engage in positive activities. They now have over 100 names registered with on average 30 visitors a week. Nominated by Hafizul Rahman.
Sponsored by Costa.
This will be an individual or a team that goes that extra mile when it comes to customer service setting a superb example and making you want to return again. Those people who make our community a friendlier place to be and deserve to be recognised for going that step further.
Bethany Pestell and Mahmoud Mehdizadeh (TEXT VOTE 1002): Beth and Mahmoud started Chiff-Chaff Café as a new joint venture business just over a year ago. In that year they have been consistently in the top 5* ranking restaurants in Bedfordshire on Trip Advisor (*currently number 3 in Bedford)…No mean feat for a new small business in Kempston, Bedford! This is a testament to their passion, quality produce and superb customer service.The café was shortlisted and became a finalist for ‘Café of the Year 2014’. They were visited and interviewed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and have had several successful Groupon campaigns. Nominated by Rebecca Solesbury.
Bluebird Care (TEXT VOTE 1003): I am a carer for My wife and daughter, both disabled. I can do most things but I do need help with their showering. I have used several care agencies and always they could only help at THEIR convenience, not ours. Finally I found Bluebird Care. The carers are wonderful. always on time, and with a smile. The office Staff arrange the calls when WE need them. and are courteous at all times.Easily the best care agency we have every used. Nominated by Paul Buckton.
Goldington Day Care Centre (TEXT VOTE 1012): Whilst this Day Care Centre is part of the Borough Council and all the staff receive a salary, each individual working at the centre go that extra 10 miles not just one to provide a personal friendly and accommodating place and environment for all the people who attend. This is from the drivers who pick up the clients, the carers, the Manager and the office staff. Nothing is too much for them. They know the clients by first name terms and take the time to know about their families and history. My Mother being Italian, did not want to go. She has now been going there for some 2 years and she goes three times a week. She cannot wait to get into my car so that she can spend time there. Nominated by Gaetano Moliterno.
Rob Hedges (TEXT VOTE 1029): Assistant Services Manager, Wyboston Lakes. Wyboston Lakes is a family owned business, developed over 30 years to become the UK’s largest privately owned single site specialist venue. Rob is the perfect example of excellent customer service. His entire focus is putting our customers first and ensuring their stay with us is relaxing, enjoyable and successful. From his first interaction to his last goodbye he leaves a lasting impression on our customers. We regularly receive request from our clients for Rob to be their contact on the day when they return. His quick wit and never say no attitude make him a very popular figure not just to our clients but to his colleagues as well. Nominated by Gill Holloway.
Sponsored by The Harpur Trust.
This award recognises individuals who have shown incredible patience and understanding, often for many years, caring for and supporting a friend or loved one. This award recognises those who have cared for others without thought for themselves or any public recognition.
Caraline Charity (TEXT VOTE 1006): Established in February I994, by Claire Beeken in order to provide a confidential counselling and support service for people living with eating disorders following the death of her dear friend Caraline from an Eating Disorder. She started the helpline in the front room of her home in Luton and from there moved to a small office. In 1998 she got funding from the National Lottery to purchase a larger building in which Caraline is now based in Luton. Claire has written a book which brought me to tears. Nominated by Stephen Wood.
FACES Bedford Volunteers (TEXT VOTE 1010): A group of 125 people from within the Bedford community who have chosen to give their time, energy and care to improve the lives of others. The Volunteers, who come from all walks of life, are passionate and committed to supporting parents to improve the quality of family life. The FACES Volunteers provide a highly important intervention that can break the cycle of abuse and prevent unnecessary escalation where children end up in care. During 2013/14 125 FACES Volunteers supported 188 families. Which means that 398 children were supported and their future improved in Bedford Borough during this period, which is phenomenal. Nominated by Charlotte Morgan, Wendie Lovatt and Sarah Janes.
Jady Haggerwoord (TEXT VOTE 1015): For her many involvements as a volunteer; 30yrs teaching needlework at Clapham School for Seniors as well as being chair for 10 years for over 50s to learn, socialize and make friends. A church steward with 12 years experience and serves on the church committees for Pastoral Care, Social activities, and property. Is an escort to the driver on vehicles used by Parkinson's OK (Bedford), is on the fundraising Committee for the MS Society (Bedford) and on committee for RBL (Clapham), a member of the National Federation of Pensioners Committee (Bedford), received a Millennium Fellowship Certificate in 2000 for her work with young children in Clapham and amid all these activities she is always available for a chat. Nominated by Berta Barnes.
Luton Foodbank (TEXT VOTE 1035): Luton Foodbank is the result of more than 50 local organisations and many more volunteers who were committed to ensuring no-one goes hungry in our town. On 1st November 2012, the Luton Foodbank was formally constituted as an independent Community Benefit Society with charitable status managed by volunteers from diverse backgrounds and professions. On 2nd April 2013, Luton Foodbank offically launched and began providing emergency food supplies for people in crisis in the Borough. The Foodbank is a major initiative in Luton and the positive response of volunteers and local organisations willing to help has been phenomenal. Nominated by Tariq Khan.
Sponsored by Nisa Local.
This award is for someone who has actively promoted the town via press releases to local media as well as national/ international media and promoting the positivity of the district outside the area.
Richard Harpham - The Canoe Trail (TEXT VOTE 1005): A man who lives and breathes promoting his love for his town "Bedford" including his famous Bedford Canoe Trail and kayaking lessons and festivals up and down the River Ouse to his "inspired Life Bedford" talks to school pupils around the Uk. So many people never knew what fun, beauty and learning a new skill was right on their doorstep. Nominated by Andy North, Tobias Mews, Edward Taylor, Darren Woodward and Lloyd Conaway.
Lucy Nicholls - Houghton Regis Art Town (TEXT VOTE 1008): Lucy has been working on the Houghton Regis Art Town project since March this year and it is an initiative to develop the arts and cultural activity that takes place in Houghton Regis. The idea behind the project is to work with members of the local community to create arts activities and events for residents of the town. So far, the project has set up two weekly youth groups called Arts Starters (11-14yrs) and Arts Leaders (15-20yrs). These sessions are free to attend and offer a range of arts based workshops as chosen by the young people, supported by Lucy.
Jane Harvey (TEXT VOTE 1016): Jane moved to Shortstown in 2004. She has a passion for history and was shocked to see there was absolutely nothing available in the library and local archives about Shortstown. In 2007 she Jane knew started researching in 2007 and was surprised at what she found; neglected archives of the importance of Shortstown in our national history. She set up a website to bring in more information and Jane is active resident and a member of the Shortstown Focus Group who are working hard towards bringing the community together to commemorate Shortstown Centenary Year in 2017. Nominated by Kim Burrows.
Golden Gardens (TEXT VOTE 1011): Chaired by the Rev Richard Howelett, The Golden Gardens project brings countryside into Bedford. Run by volunteers they transformed two derelict pieces of land into two glorious gardens open to visitors everyday; The Elliott Crescent garden and the Millburn Road garden. Three x winner of the Bedford Times and Citizen Community Garden of the Year, Campaign to Protect Rural England Living Countryside award. The gardens were also instrumental in Goldington winning the Small City Anglia in Bloom Gold Award in 2008 and 2009 and the wider Bedford Overall Anglia in Bloom Award in 2011. The Gardens have projected a positive image of Bedford and Goldington in the past 6 years. Nominated by Jim Playle.
Sponsored by Eagle Ale.
Everybody needs them, as the song goes, but good neighbours really can transform lives. This award recognises those who have done so much for the people who live near them.
Jim Robinson (TEXT VOTE 1017): Lead volunteer at the Nursery Garden, one of the Golden Gardens in Goldington. He attends the garden every day and puts in a massive effort to keep this award winning garden in shape. He runs the little shop alongside his other duties and in his spare time, has establish a small allotment garden in land provided by St Mary's Church which he runs to teach young people how to garden.bye also volunteers at BPHA helping erect fences for the elderly and vulnerable, garden equipment maintenance, promotes learning activities at the annual Adult Learners Week event. An enthusiastic volunteer whose passion for helping others. Nominated by Jim Payle.
Diane Sharp (TEXT VOTE 1009): Diane, with the help of her friend Pat .has been making dinners once a month for the elderly in Flitwick. She started serving them in her own home but when the numbers got too big moved them to The Baptist Church where she is a member. During this time she had a stroke but managed to overcome it and carry on with the Lunches for the Elderly. By doing this wonderful service she and her support team are able to be aware of their many needs and therefore give the help needed. Diane does all this and much more in the community with such love and always with a smile on her face even though she herself is eligible for the over 60s lunches as she is 70 herself. Nominated by Claire Neville.
Nicola Beddall (TEXT VOTE 1027): Wixams Playgroup. Living in a new house in a new build area brings many benefits, but there are also disadvantages such as lack of facilities and services. Nicola Beddall, a resident of Wixams, recognised the need for a playgroup where she lived, so with the support of another resident, set about establishing the Wixams play group for all ages. This is a volunteer led group run by two members of the community which offers weekly sessions for parents and carers to bring their child(ren) along for play and stay activities. In a year since wixams play group opened, sessions attract 50 children/20 parents(carers). Nominated by Linda Whitfield.
Leanne Judd (TEXT VOTE 1019): Has been an enthusiastic volunteer and resident in the new village of Lakeview, Wixams for the last 5 years. Has organised regular litter picks to inspire residents to care for their community with refreshments and certificates for children. She has encouraged children to be Street Champions and to take care of their community whilst working with the community services of Wixam (BPHA). Last November Leanne was the quizmaster at the Wixams Neighbourhood Watch community quiz attended by over 100 residents. the quiz was to raise money for the work of Neighbourhood Watch in the village, it was great success! Nominated by Alan Pibworth.
Sponsored by BPHA.
For an individual who gives freely and unselfishly of his or her time to help others
Sarah Broughton (TEXT VOTE 1030): Bedford Foodbank (BF) volunteers work with referral partners to provide emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in our community. Sarah, with a large family, some how alongside family life, maintaining friendships, church involvement, she volunteers full time hours to help with the admin and management of the BF. She is the driving force in helping the Bedford Foodbank run six distribution centres in Bedford. She goes to schools to talk about poverty and hunger. She has championed the Bedford Foodbank at numerous events and talks of it in her own time. Nominated by Deborah Tooth
Tariq Khan (TEXT VOTE 1032): Set up a football club to encourage young people that had been rejected by other football clubs, due to how competitive the sport is. In his first year the club had 14 teams and this year they have more than 21, this is something clubs that are well established and have been running for years cannot achieve. To know that over 200 children are now participating and playing league football by being given an equal opportunity is amazing. This has been due to a year of volunteering full time for the community. It takes a lot of time to manage 21 teams and he has done this through hard work and commitment. Nominated by Salma Khan
Katarina Darcy - Bedford ParkRun (TEXT VOTE 1001): Bedford park run bring together people of all ages and abilities every Saturday morning for a 5k run/walk in Bedford Park. Every week, over 200 people, from babies in strollers to 80-somethings, get their weekend off to the perfect start by joining in the Parkrun in the beautiful surroundings of Bedford Park. The event manages to be slick and professionally run, with electronic timing and barcode scanning, while remaining informal and fun, and it has become a fixture in many people's lives. It would not be possible without Katarina and the volunteers who make it all possible every week rain or shine. Nominated by Andy Cole, Rose Parkes, Martin Keepfer, Charlie Hempstead and Lorraine Fussey
Hospice at Home Volunteers, West Mid Beds, Ivel Valley (TEXT VOTE 1014): This care charity has been working in the community since 1986 as a free and completely confidential service. The Volunteers complement the other services such as community nurses, Macmillan nurses, social workers, hospices and home carers to support the patient and their family/carer. A group of amazing caring people who give up their free time to help patients in their own homes who are affected by life limiting illnesses. Caring for someone you love at home can be tiring and isolating. The Volunteers can relieve the family/carer, giving them time to see their friends, go shopping or simply relax. Nominated by Nicola Mills
Sponsored by Univeristy of Bedfordshire.
This award is for anyone or any organisation involved in education; a school, a teacher, teaching assistant, community group leader/worker, community, sports, music group etc. It is to recognise the work and effort they put into promoting and enhancing education in its widest sense e.g. learning in general not just exam achievement.
Maria Riley - The Haven 2000 (TEXT VOTE 1036): Maria not only leads on the preschool education at The Haven 2000 but has instilled an ethos of learning and education from the baby room through to the pre-school group. Her positive and inclusive leadership of the education agenda in the nursery, along with the rest of the management team, is evident to anyone who walks through the door. With the use of baby sign language, parents/carers can communicate with their children from an early age. "Outstanding in 2008/9 and 2014/15 OSTED inspection reports. Also awarded the Shine A Light award by the Communication Trust in 2012 for Early Years Setting of the Year. The Maria and her team continually strives to be the best it can be. Nominated by Claire Tester.
The Elisabeth Curtis Centre - Riding for the Disabled (TEXT VOTE 1033): A purpose built riding centre in Bromham, providing riding sessions for groups of disabled riders. The benefits of riding are clear to see, improvements such as improved balance and strength, and the emotional wellbeing that riding and interacting with the ponies can provide. Riding sessions also help riders with their education, through the RDA ASDAN programme; riders are able to learn about the ponies and their care. The Centre receives no government funding, and running a Riding Centre for the disabled is a very challenging and the Charity can not operate with the invaluable 140 volunteers and employing only 2 part time grooms who ensure professional care is provided for the ponies. Nominated by Victoria Liston.
Hafizul Rahman (TEXT VOTE 1013): A youth and ASB intervention officer for Aldwyck Housing Community Group. He has worked with Targeted young people and built a strong relationship with them. He has helped them build a Youth Hub and gain grants to purchase equipment He introduced the "Connect Challenge" to learn about DIY, repairs, electrical and plumbing challenges. These young people will receive a AQA Unit Scheme Awards for learning through the Connect Challenge The AQA is a national recognise certificate. Nominated by Shalim Hoque.
Mark Rutherford School (TEXT VOTE 1022): Mark Rutherford School has been running a highly successful school Business Group since 2011. Sam Baker, Head of Dept. for Business Studies saw the need to help students make a better transition from education to the world of business. He also felt that businesses could benefit greatly by taking an interest in the life of the school. The school invites local businesses to regular breakfast meetings, where they have developed close relationships that benefit both parties. businesses have the opportunity to discuss topics and students gain experience and knowledge about the business world. nominated by Sue Munn.
Sponsored by Keens Shay Keens Limited.
This award recognises the achievements of individuals or groups that go out of their way for others or their community as a whole. From spreading good news to voluntary support, this award is for people who are not recognised for their years of commitment.
Michael O'Mahoney (TEXT VOTE 1025): He has been in Bedfordshire Police special constabulary for over 45 years and is the longest servicing Special in Bedfordshire.During his time serving as a special he has seen the force and laws change considerably over the years and has many interesting stories. He is very well known in Bedfordshire police and in the local community. He has done everything from driving the riot vans to training the new recruits. He is an inspiration to many people, in the police and in the community, he has saved lives and supported vulnerable people and his given 1000s and 1000s of hours of voluntary time to the Bedfordshire Police and community. Nominated by Melissa Gordon.
Richard Spencer (TEXT VOTE 1028): Richard, 62 sustained a spinal cord injury after breaking his neck in a car crash over 30 years ago causing him to be paralysed from the chest down with limited hand function. Since 2009, he has been a volunteer mentor for Back Up, providing support for people who had just had an injury and In 2011, Richard became a power chair skills trainer to share his wealth of experience using a power chair to teach people how to use their power chairs and help build their confidence and independence when they return turn home. Richard has really great communication skills which enables him to have a huge impact when teaching wheelchair skills and a true role model for people who are paralysed with a spinal cord injury. Nominated by Stuart Wheeler.
Brenda Farrow (TEXT VOTE 1004): Has worked unstintingly in Kingsbrook and Cauldwell as the Group Scout Leader of the 1st Bedford Scout Group The Onesters for 41 years. She also organises a very energetic range of activities for her youngsters during the school holidays including Camping, Days out at Swimming Pools, Canoe & Kayak events, and visits to Woods & Forests. She is extremely enthusiastic about encouraging her youngsters to accomplish the Duke of Edinburgh Award. In the last 18 months alone, they have achieved 6 Gold Award and is passionate about investing in children and young people of Bedford. Nominated by Pam Litherland.
Lance Haggith (TEXT VOTE 1018): Lance has inspired 100's of young vulnerable, disadvantaged and/or disabled people to make a positive change in their lives. He offers young people the chance to gain retail experience within the charity Sports Traider and delivers daily sports coaching sessions which offers them a chance to escape from their troubled lives. Last year he organised an Olympic Legacy charity event at the Olympic Park called Hoops Aid, raising awareness for disability sport and Cancer, involving wounded soldiers, paralympians and celebrities. It was such a success that the next one will be at the O2 arena. Lance is also a guy who saved a girls life by pulling her from a burning car and was awarded the Queens Royal Humane Society for bravery. Nominated by Rob Flynn.
Sponsored by Mayfair.
This award is to recognise the achievements of the many people that raise money for others. Many of these people so often go without recognition.
Mark Smith (TEXT VOTE 1023): Has ran 20 marathons in aid of the wonderful children's cancer charity, Clic Sargent. He has travelled all over the world, from London to New York, and raised over Â£80,000 for the charity. Mark can be seen running around the streets of Bedford from the early hours of a Saturday, to dark and cold winter evenings. During his 50th birthday year, he pushed himself to the limits and completed the "Big Five": The London, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Boston run. Despite his training dedication, he works full time and still finds time for his family including care for his disabled granddaughter. Nominated by Holli Smith.
Mohammed Nadeem (TEXT VOTE 1024): Widely known for his huge fundraising initiatives, he took it upon himself to create a 'buzz' in the community, bringing together individuals of all ages and backgrounds to raise awareness and funds for charities. Working closely with Living Luton TV, a new online community channel, a variety of volunteers- both young and old gave up their spare time to give back to those in need. Cake and food sales were organised by Nadeem, with local businesses and residents donating food, funds and other items. Volunteers gained vital work experience for future employment. Mohammed is also working with the Luton and Dunstable Hospital to raise vital funds for the neo-natal department in the hospital. Nominated by Zaherah Saghir.
Mark Butcher (TEXT VOTE 1021): After the death of his younger sister Angela. 29 who passed away in January this year due to rare ovarian which has no cure. Mark decided to fundraise and help fund research into this cancer. All this time Mark along with his family and friends were grieving but their determination was and still is to help prevent others suffering like Angela. in June this year Mark reached his goal Â£25,000 by selling unwanted furniture, cakes, and organising sponsored walks, but he hasn't stopped raising and plans for next year on the first year anniversary of Angela's death -New Year's Day' are charity discos, calendars and much more. Nominated by Heather Charlton.
SS Philip and James Golf Society (TEXT VOTE 1031): This year was the 24th year of fund raising for this golf society. Each year they hold a golf day to raise funds for local charities. This year saw them raise a staggering £6000 which went to two Bedford Charities. Over the years they have raised an amazing amount of money for local charities. Giving up their time to arrange the whole day of golf (with sponsors) and an evening meal and awarding of trophies to the golfers who took part. Nominated by Andrea Badman.
Sponsored by Stanair.
This award will be decided by public vote following the short listing of entries by the judging panel.