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