The 2016 winners...
Twenty-four finalists were chosen from a list of eighty nominations from the St Albans District for the Mayor’s Pride Awards 2016. The winners were revealed at a celebratory evening at the Ardmore House Hotel on 15 March in the following categories:
Community Champion of the Year
WINNER: John Brown: a charity volunteer for Computer Friendly, Tools for Africa and the Children’s Society for 10 years.
Finalist: Barry Shadbolt: 30 years of voluntary work with the Scouts, Sandridge Judo Club and as a school governor.
Finalist: Ed Suttie: he is fundraising for four charities with a self-funded trek to the North Pole in April.
Cultural Innovation Award
WINNER: Catherine Fenton: she created an unusual and challenging art competition for children and adults to promote the UN's World Toilet Day.
Finalist: Caroline Jones: she has raised vast sums for Cancer Research by wearing a different pre-owned outfit every day during 2015.
Finalist: Nicole Kelly: head girl at Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School, she has taken on a leading role in improving and promoting the school though charity work in Africa, public speaking and a media officer role.
Young Person of Distinction
WINNER: Gabriella Farrugia: diagnosed with rare auto-immune disease at the age of ten, she has bravely spoken about her condition and raised money for charity.
Finalist: Henry Moody: aged 13, he completed a coast to coast walk for charity in aid of African amputees.
Finalist: Jessica Leigh: the Sandringham School student helped make contact with British astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station.
Community Project of the Year
WINNER: Sustainable St Albans Week: the group organised the highly-successful Sustainable St Albans week in November which held a series of educational events and projects.
Finalist: Sandpit Theatre: theatre at Sandringham School which has encouraged local children to take part and enjoy quality drama through workshops and performances.
Finalist: St Albans Refuge for Mothers and Babies (SARMAB): pioneering work in ensuring children from difficult backgrounds are given a secure and safe start in life.
Community Oriented Business of the Year
WINNER: All Saints Studios: a centre for dance, education and performance involving both children and adults offering free classes for carers and other groups in need.
Finalist: Chloe James Lifestyle: a boutique specialising and showcasing innovative designs which has helped raise funds for charity.
Finalist: Yoga Hall: transformed an unused church hall into a community hub that offers yoga classes for all including beginners, seniors, mothers and babies.
Environmental Champion of the Year
WINNER: Sustainable St Albans Week: environmental campaign group that has raised awareness of important issues in the District.
Finalist: Heather Foster at The Green Kitchen: she opened her family-friendly, vegetarian café in the Hatfield Road in 2014.
Finalist: Penny Jones: she keeps watch on the green belt with activities ranging from highlighting proposed developments to litter picking.
Voluntary Sector Award
WINNER: Sue Hobley: an ambassador for Rennie Grove hospice.
Finalist: John Murphy: the 77-year-old has helped run St Albans Boxing Club for 40 years.
Finalist: The Museum Volunteers of St Albans Museums and Gallery: the team who are working behind the scenes on the new museum and art gallery project.
Inclusive Communities Award
WINNER: St Albans for Refugees: campaign group that helps refugees from war-torn Syria and other countries and has organised collections of clothing and food parcels.
Finalist: Active Lifestyles: group that targets the over-60s to reduce isolation and provide activities, events and facilities which will improve social interaction amongst all cultures.
Finalist: Herts for Refugees: group that also promotes the cause of refugees.
Mayor's Recognition Award
Cllr Gaygusuz personally chose Ms Tyrell for his Special Recognition Award for her work for Oxfam and St Albans Friends of Palestine. She took over as chair of the St Albans Oxfam Campaign Group in 2004 when she retired from teaching science at St Albans Girls’ School. Under her leadership, the annual Oxfam Herts Hike has almost tripled in size. Last year, it attracted 270 walkers and raised £7,000. She has also long campaigned on Palestinian issues, visiting the region, lobbying, organising meetings and collecting funds in support of associated charities.
Thank you to all the nominees, nominators, finalists and winners for all they do for the community of St Albans City and District.