Mayor’s Pride Awards’ finalists unveiled

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News release: 07 March 2017

A host of extraordinary people and outstanding groups that make a positive contribution to the community have been short-listed as finalists for the Mayor’s Pride Awards 2017.

Cllr Frances Leonard, the mayor for the City and District of  St Albans
The annual Mayor’s Pride Awards celebrate community champions by recognising the significant impact they are making on life for people in St Albans District.

In November last year, the public was invited to put forward the names of hard-working volunteers, caring local charities and innovative organisations for an award.

A panel of judges then selected 23 finalists from more than 80 nominations. The judges included the Mayor, Cllr Frances Leonard, and representatives from St Albans Centre for Voluntary Service, St Albans Chamber of Commerce and St Albans Cathedral.

Cllr Frances Leonard, the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, said: “I want to thank all the nominees for making a positive contribution to community life. The judges were particularly impressed with the achievements of the finalists and the hard work that they are doing for people living in the District. They are the unsung stars of our local community.”

The finalists are as follows:

Community Champion of the Year

• Sandy Adams has been a trustee and volunteer for St Albans Citizens Advice for more than 15 years, raising thousands of pounds through events and funding bids.

• Helen Fish is a British Cycling Breeze Champion, who inspires women to get cycling by running weekly rides for all levels in Harpenden, St Albans and Redbourn.

• Ray Postill kept fellow residents updated with the steps taken by local authorities to repair the sinkhole that appeared in Fontmell Close until the road re-opened.

Cultural Innovation Award

• Fosse House, Quantum Care . Staff took part in a sponsored walk to raise money for projects for elderly residents at the care home, including a wildlife garden and a sensory room.

• Look! St Albans engages the community in the architectural development of the City centre through a design “charrette” process, helping to produce designs for key sites.

• The Three Busketeers played their young hearts out during the Christmas period to raise £1,224.45 for three charities: Keech Hospice, Emmaus and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Young Person of Distinction

• Elizabeth Pepper is an active member of St Albans Youth Council, keeping abreast of youth issues and organising events like the Christmas tea party for the elderly.

• Stephen Aghanti has brittle bone disease and is restricted to a wheelchair, yet has a positive attitude, a happy smile and always offers to help people out.

Community Project of the Year

• Bricket Wood Community Choir brings joy and friendship to its 100 members who love singing together at rehearsals, performances and an annual fundraising concert for charity.

• Small Acts of Kindness is staffed by volunteers who deliver bags of goodies, including scarves, hats, mugs and blankets, to the elderly each winter.

• Star Scope , a local charity providing support and grants to adults and children with cerebral palsy successfully campaigned for a Changing Places facility for the disabled.

Community Orientated Business of the Year

• Ye Olde Fighting Cocks hosts fundraising nights for charities, including Earthworks, Open Mic nights for local bands and events aimed at attracting tourists to St Albans.

• JPA Furniture rehomes old and disused furniture from local businesses with charities and people in need and supports Sustainable St Albans Week.

• Popdance founder, Sue Wybrow runs a Facebook page and events for local businesses and choreographed a spoof Justin Timberlake ‘Can’t stop the feeling’ charity video for Homestart.

Environmental Champion of the Year

• Heartwood Volunteers have planted 500,000 trees and planned a community orchard and arboretum as part of Woodland Trust’s Heartwood Forest project, near Sandridge.

• Sustainable St Albans Week 2016 , organised by a small group of volunteers, delivered more than 100 informative and entertaining events aimed at raising environmental awareness locally.

• FoodSmiles St Albans is a local community food growing group where members grow food, share produce through a vegetable box scheme, learn new skills and develop friendships.

Voluntary Sector Award

Tom Nettleton and Tom Waterworth deliver Save A Life First Aid courses at Alban Way Children’s Centres, run lifesaving swimming courses and volunteer for St John’s Ambulance.

• Roger Thomas has recently stepped down as Chairman of the Highfield Park Trust after turning the area into a much-loved community asset with football pitches, allotments and woodland.

St Albans Good Neighbour Scheme has 175 volunteers who assist local residents by providing transport, undertaking odd jobs in people’s homes or gardens and answering a helpline.

Inclusive Communities Award

• Doug Bates runs a free 5km Park Run in Verulamium Park every Saturday, inspiring hundreds of people of different fitness levels to take up running.

• Hertfordshire Asian Women’s Association (HAWA) Saheli Tiffin Club is a luncheon club for black, asian and ethnic minority women providing exercise and literacy and numeracy skills building sessions.

• Townsend CofE School , St Albans promotes inclusivity and respect for all among students who also help run a computer club for people wanting to learn new IT skills.

All the finalists will be invited to attend a special awards presentation in late March when the winners will be announced.

The awards event will be hosted by the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Cllr Frances Leonard, and is taking place at St Michael’s Manor Hotel.

The Mayor will also present her own Recognition Award to a person or group who has made a positive contribution to the community.

More information about the Mayor’s Pride Awards is available on St Albans City and District Council’s website at:

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Frances Leonard

Contact for the Mayor’s office:
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer
Tel: 01727 819544

Contact for the media:
Amanda Wilkinson,
Senior Communications Officer
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317
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Details of the awards categories are below:

• Community Champion of the Year
This award aims to reward people who have given up their spare time and gone out of their way to help others in the community.

• Cultural Innovation Award
Creative people or groups whose ideas or achievements are an inspiration to others can be nominated for this award.

• Young Person of Distinction
This award provides an opportunity to commend an exceptional child or young person for their talent, positivity, energy or strength of character.

• Community Project of the Year
Recognition will be given to a project that has made a real difference to local people or has helped make the area more vibrant.

• Community Orientated Business of the Year
This award celebrates businesses in St Albans District that are working with the public or voluntary sector on initiatives to benefit the community.

• Environmental Champion of the Year
A group or individual showing innovation or commitment to improving the local environment can be nominated for this award.

• Voluntary Sector Award
Recognition will be given to a group or individual for making a real difference to the community through their work in the voluntary sector.

• Inclusive Communities Award
This award will be given to a community initiative that unites people of different ethnic, faith or socio-economic backgrounds.