Katrina Widdicks was the recipient of the Sir Captain Tom Award for outstanding contribution Image Central Bedfordshire Council

A virtual awards event which celebrated the achievements of volunteers throughout Central Bedfordshire premiered on Friday (5 March 2021).

The seventh Cheering Volunteering and Awards Celebration may have been virtual, but the celebrations and gratitude were real.

Tracey Stock, executive member for health, wellbeing and communities, said:

“We may be apart at the moment, but there are still ways we can come together and celebrate our local heroes.

“These awards video shine a light on the incredible work of volunteers and voluntary organisations across Central Bedfordshire for the often-unheralded work they do to help others in their community.

“So many dedicated volunteers devote countless hours to helping people in our community and raising money for charity and Cheering Volunteering recognises the people who carry out a multitude of good work, without asking for anything in return.

“Thank you to my colleagues Cllr Carole Hegley and Cllr Caroline Maudlin who started and have led Cheering Volunteering for the last seven years, they have done a fantastic job in raising the profile of and honouring our volunteers.”

Categories for this year’s awards included:

  • Volunteer of the year
  • Young volunteer of the year
  • Volunteer group of the year
  • Lifetime achievement
  • Sports and wellbeing volunteer of the year

This year’s awards featured two new special categories:

  • Supporting communities during COVID-19 Award
  • The Sir Captain Tom Award for outstanding contribution

The video features a specially recorded message from Captain Sir Tom’s daughter, Hannah, in support of our volunteers.

Katrina Widdicks of Marston Moretaine was the recipient of the Sir Captain Tom Award for outstanding contribution.

Katrina decided to have a fundraising year for Marston Moretaine village and called it ‘Heart of Marston’. She set about raising £4,000 to provide a therapy space at Marston VC Lower School.

When COVID-19 struck she decided she needed to keep going and throughout lockdown, with the support of Marston Lower School she made up individual care packages which were distributed to about 100 of the most vulnerable children in Marston every month.

The winners of the other special category of ‘Supporting communities during COVID-19 award’ went to ‘Every volunteer within the Central Bedfordshire section of the Good Neighbours Volunteer Network’ of the Bedfordshire Good Neighbour and Village Care Scheme Network.

The nomination said that it was ‘impossible to single out just one individual as each is essential in their village or town and each deserves recognition for their amazing work and commitment during COVID-19. Over the last six months, volunteers have undertaken over 18,000 jobs for over 3,800 people needing help.’

Captain Sir Tom Moore Award for Outstanding Contribution 2020:

Winner: Katrina Widdicks

Highly Commended: Helen Gudgin

 Highly Commended: Susan Clark

 

Lifetime Achievement Award 2020:

Winner: Margaret Lowe

Highly Commended: David Footitt

Highly Commended: Maureen Hill and Gill Hayward

 

Panel’s Choice 2020:

Winner: Lily Chan

Highly Commended: Daniela Turner

Highly Commended: Jan Bailey

 

Sports and Wellbeing Award 2020: 

Winner: HLB Runners

Highly Commended: Laurence Paul Zahorodny

Highly Commended: Walking for Health

 

Supporting Communities during COVID-19 Award 2020:

Winner: Central Bedfordshire Good Neighbour Volunteers

Highly Commended: Harry Ward

Highly Commended: Suzan Whittle

 

Volunteer Group of the Year Award 2020:

Winner: BLEVEC Commanders Group

Highly Commended: Cruse Bereavement Volunteers

Highly Commended: Houghton Hall Park Volunteers

 

Volunteer of the Year Award 2020:

Winner: Tracey Murrell

Highly Commended: Ian Blake

 Highly Commended: Jenny Gallucci