Mayor’s Pride Awards finalists unveiled

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News release: 13 March 2018

Inspiring individuals, community groups, environmental projects and hard-working volunteers are among the finalists in this year’s Mayor’s Pride Awards.

The Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal Zia
These community heroes will be celebrated at a special awards evening at St Michal’s Manor on Tuesday 27 March, when the overall winners will be announced.

The Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal Zia, said: “These amazing finalists have all demonstrated great commitment to their local community. All the finalists are invited to the awards evening where we will celebrate their good work by giving them the recognition they deserve. We will also be announcing the winners of the Mayor’s Pride Awards at this special event.”

“I want to thank everyone who nominated organisations, businesses or individuals for these awards. We received 87 nominations in total. The judging panel and I were really impressed with the dedication, hard work and public spirit of all the nominees.”

The finalists for the Mayor’s Pride Awards 2018 are listed below by category:

Community Champion of the Year

Freddie Latham is an inspiration to others, overcoming personal challenges to raise funds for Rennie Grove Hospice Care, which provided support to his family.
David Law is a keen volunteer who until recently was Treasurer of Wheathampstead Community Group. He continues to chair a club for elderly disabled people and a local Patient Participation Group.
Hillary Taylor gives up her spare time and generates much-needed funds and publicity for numerous community groups, initiatives and events in Hertfordshire.

Cultural Innovation Award

Philip Shad is the inventor of a wireless sewing machine for special needs school pupils so they can learn skills to help gain employment in the fashion industry.
Helen Singer, a Trustee of St Albans Masorti Synagogue, has pioneered the heritage Roots project, securing Lottery Funding for a biographer to record the stories of 12 community members.
St Albans Girls’ School’s STAGS in Colours cultural diversity celebration brings pupils together to share traditions, culture and experiences, culminating in an end-of-year performance.

Young Person of Distinction

Asha Banks, is a talented 14 year-old actress and singer, who has performed professionally since the age of 7, after being cast in Les Miserables in the West End.
Lewis Covey-Crump, from Sandringham School, trains up new volunteers at the Sandpit Theatre tech club, in front-of-house skills and technical expertise, so they can support theatre performances.
Sharone Kallingra, a pupil at Loreto College, volunteers at the Armoral Hill’s weekly club for the elderly, setting out tables and chairs and making tea for members. 

Community Orientated Business of the Year

Hertfordshire Practical Parenting Programme CIC has been providing packages of tailored support to individual families in crisis for the last 15 years.
Odyssey Cinema offers support to small local charities, by giving them the opportunity to share their messages from the cinema’s stage.
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks’s landlord Christo Tofalli, who is described as “hugely community-minded”, recently introduced a pub paper so residents, businesses and charities can share their news. 

Environmental Champion of the Year

FoodSmiles St Albans aims to build a community of food growers. It is creating two community food gardens and a second community agriculture site at its Hixbury Lane allotment. 
Food Waste Ninja is run by Heather, Ruby amd Sabrina, who visit schools and cub groups to educate children about where food comes from and how to reduce waste.
St Albans Girls’ School’s Eco Council is working to improve the sustainability of the school with weekly recycling collections, assemblies on waste and a relaunched school garden. 

Voluntary Sector Award

Citizens Advice St Albans has 65 volunteers who give two days a week to help residents deal with issues around debt, bereavement, divorce, homelessness and employment disputes. 
StarScope offers help to families affected by cerebral palsy. Recently, the charity has been giving emotional and social support to vulnerable adults while they were being re-housed following a care home closure.
Volunteers at Radio Verulam run the community station, broadcasting on FM and online, providing news, interviews with local figures, events information and traffic and travel updates. 

Inclusive Communities Award

Ashley Church hosts a weekly baby and toddlers group and a community café which are open to all, regardless of their faith or background.
London Colney Islamic Centre is nominated for the work it does in supporting the local community, raising awareness of different faiths and promoting social inclusion.
St Albans District Scouts promotes scouting “for all”, assisting people from all socio-economic backgrounds to take part. It has given support to a new local scout group affiliated to the Muslim Scout Fellowship.

Community Project of the Year

Hearts Milk Bank offers donor human milk to hospitals and community-based clinicians for the feeding of premature and sick babies.
Sandringham School Youth Health Champions trained to give peer support around health. They also organised a conference on improving the wellbeing of young people for this Youth Connexions Herts’ project.
St Albans Art Development Team’s Arts on Prescription Project helps people with poor mental health to build their confidence by expressing feelings through creative writing, visual arts and drama.

This year the Mayor’s Pride Awards are being sponsored by Morgan Sindall.

More information about the 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 Mohammad Iqbal Zia

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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The Mayor’s Pride Awards aim to celebrate the achievements of inspiring individuals, hard-working community and voluntary groups, as well as public-spirited businesses. The award categories are:

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 with ideas or achievements that 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
This award will be given to a project that has made a real difference to local people or has helped make St Albans District more vibrant.

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

Environmental Champion of the Year
A group or individual showing innovation or commitment to improving the local environment will be honoured with 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.