High Sheriff gives thanks to ‘heroes’
The High Sheriff of Beds, Deborah Inskip, presented awards to 26 citizens and 10 community groups at her 2013-14 High Sheriff’s Citizenship Awards ceremony at the Higgins Museum and Art Gallery in Bedford on Wednesday evening.
Awards were given to adults and young people from across the county who volunteer their time to the community and who nominators felt deserved to be recognised for their actions.
The High Sheriff said: “I have visited many voluntary and community groups during my term of office, but I am also aware that there are many more that I have not had the opportunity to meet.
“I would like to thank the mayors from around Bedfordshire who have highlighted unsung heroes in their communities. This awards event gave me the opportunity to thank individuals, groups and the community as a whole for their fantastic work in improving the lives of others throughout Beds.”
> Full list of the winners
Andrew White - A volunteer for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, a supporter of environmental projects and a Councillor with Arlesey Town Council.
Pastor Jumbo Isong - Pastor of the Unbounded House for all nations, a growing and dynamic church in Dunstable.
Ben Turner-Weir - Petty Officer running the Flitwick & Ampthill (533) Unit Sea Cadets, growing in strength and offering developmental opportunities to young people.
Tom Waterworth - Principal of the All Saints Academy, Dunstable which specialises in Science and Business, and relocated to a new multi-million pound purpose-built school in 2012.
Desmond Salmon - Working tirelessly for the village of Studham, organising events and acting in the wider community as an advocate for elder people.
Richard Denton - Children and Young People Development Officer and Schools Coordinator at Bedfordshire Police.
Steve Harvey - Head of the Combined Cadet Force at Bedford Modern School – a vibrant youth organisation for pupils aged between 13 and 18, offering significant developmental opportunities and inspiring young people.
Veta Hudson Rae - Offering her time to many local organisations, whilst employed in the NHS for almost 50 years. Including housing associations, Yarls Wood Befrienders, Red Cross, BRASS and many others.
Alma McKenna - Official prison visitor for some 50 years and worked with the Samaritans, CRUSE and Bedford Day Care Centre for many years.
Rev’d John Pedlar - Retiring Vicar of St Paul’s Church, Bedford after many years of excellent service to the whole community.
Graham Mabbutt - Chair of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust promoting the development of a broad waterway linking the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the river Great Ouse in Bedford.
John MacKirdy - A Trustee of the ReUse Centre, Bedford for 15 years, ensuring its continued growth and success. Supporting and encouraging the Charity’s volunteers.
Shirley Watson - Set up the ITP Support Association (immune thrombocytopenia purpura), now with 2,500 members.
Susie Woodman - Chair of the Wyboston, Chawston & Colesden Village Hall, now refurbished and thriving as well as being a supporter of adults with autism.
Dr David Morris - The County’s Senior Coroner for 23 years until his recent retirement.
Barry Patel - Whilst running his own business, still finding time to be a strong supporter of local issues and leading on the North Luton Partnership looking at improving community cohesion.
Janet Parrett - Choir Mistress at St Thomas Church, Luton, arranging choral performances and encouraging young members of the choir, as well as helping with the youth club and in the wider community.
Audrey Lewis - Mary Seacole Housing Association, providing, quality supported accommodation to young single homeless people, enabling them to develop the skills needed to move from a state of dependence to that of independence.
Hillborough Junior School - Leading Luton’s Teaching School Alliance which is passionate about the attainment and achievement of the young people of Luton and beyond.
Midshires Search & Rescue - Assisting in the search for members of the public who have gone missing, particularly if they are especially vulnerable, and to assist county teams in dealing with other types of civil emergencies.
The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum - Uniting on one site three previous cultural venues; Cecil To be Art Gallery, Bedford Museum and Bedford Gallery. The buildings date back 200 years and have their own history of occupation.
Signposts - Dedicated to the support of the homeless across Luton and Dunstable for more than 25 years.
Chris McIntosh - The High Sheriff’s Cadet of the Year, supporting her at many community and Civic events.
Jamie Bate - Working with 1st Sandy Scouts and Bedfordshire Volunteer Centre Central Youth Project as well as engaging in conservation work and marshalling charity events.
Team Spirit - A fundraising group, working incredibly hard to raise money for local charities. All whilst studying for their A Levels.
Fatheema Begum - A role model to her peers, coaching badminton and working for a community organisation raising funds for charity and organising meetings and events.
Shavir Miah - Volunteering for several years for up to 15 hours a week, arranging and executing events including summer projects for young people.
Layla Fields - A young person who has succeeded despite many difficulties. Now presenting at national conferences and helping the training of student social workers and other professionals.
Katelyn Johnson - A volunteer for four years, running youth sessions in Biggleswade including the Stratosphere youth pub and supporting the training on issues such as under age drinking, drugs and smoking.
Stepping Stones Luton - Offering help and support to women affected by any drug/alcohol, domestic abuse, mental health and social care related issues. This is achieved through the various support services offered by the Stepping Stones team.
Chums - Supporting bereaved children for over 15 years with a team of 70 volunteers. Now also operating a Trauma Centre for those young people at greatest need in the county.
Brian Noblett - Leading a local boxing club for many years that has also supported an annual fundraising event for 29 years raising money for local causes.
Sue Horwood - Assistant Chaplain at HMP Bedford
John Plummer - Working for many years with Central Bedfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch and Speed Watch and engaging many new volunteers. His knowledge is sought by other counties who recognise his skills.