They may have been the Dunstable and Houghton Regis Business and Community Awards, but that didn’t prevent a few accolades being picked up by Leighton Buzzard!
A total of 20 awards were dished out at the ceremony at Dunstable Community Centre on Thursday, November 9.
They included the Customer Care Award to Jackson Phillips Automotive Services of King Street.
The family-run business was praised for its “long history of providing outstanding customer service”.
The citation added: “Their industry is not generally known for supplying a high standard of service, but this particular business has more than proved this is not the case for them, receiving a high volume of nominations.
“Customers praised their clear and unbiased advice, friendly, comfortable environment and consistently high standards of customer care.”
The company was also highly commended in Tradesperson Of the Year.
The Sports Achievement Award went to Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club who have “a small but dedicated core of volunteers who work extremely hard to provide sessions to an ever growing number of junior and senior players.
“The friendly welcoming club also encourage their senior members to get involved in training and supporting new starters and younger players, encouraging team spirit.”
The Apprentice of the Year was Joe Raymen of North Street-based IT support company JamCrackers who has “gone from strength to strength”.
His citation read: “He was extremely shy and nervous at first but has worked hard to learn new skills over the last 2 years.
“He is trustworthy and has a passion to learn more and grow his knowledge further.
“He is a valuable part of his company’s team and has helped the business to grow and improve.”
In the nearby village of Totternhoe, Teacher of the Year was presented to Gail Van Vuuren (Totternhoe Lower) whose commitment and dedication to her pupils was described as “exceptional” and “her energy and zest is infectious and her class moto ‘sparkle and shine’ inspires and engages her pupils daily.”
Sarah Norman from the same school was judged Highly Commended.
Volunteer of the Year was Mr Gifford (Tottenhoe) who has been a volunteer for over 40 years, dedicating his time to support his local school and also volunteering for the British Heart Foundation.
The citation added: “He is a much loved and highly respected individual by the children and the parents at Tottenhoe Lower School and his support helps the school to continue with fund raising.
“A very supportive, dedicated and special volunteer who gives so much of his time and all for free.”
Awards organiser Vicki Stonham, from Collective3 and Networking at Dunstable, said: “Now into our seventh year we are happy to have held a successful event, celebrating the local community and businesses from our towns and villages.
“Our winners are all deserving and have been nominated by the public.
“We are so grateful to all sponsors of the event, our committee, volunteers and judges, as without them we could not give every finalist a free ticket to attend the gala evening.
“We are supporting the Dunstable foodbank again this year and from money raised on the raffle and profit from the bar we hope to feed over 1,200 people this Christmas, which is all thanks for those attending.
“I only wish all finalist could be winners.”
The full list of award winners:
Disability Smart Award - Kids In Action (Dunstable)
Most Contributed to Dunstable Town - June Bryne (Tour organiser of Dunstable Council)
New Business of the Year - Perfect Personalised Parties (Dunstable)
New Business of the Year - Gents Barbers (High Street South, Dunstable)
Environmental Award - British Heart Foundation (Dunstable)
Apprentice of the Year - Joe Raymen (JamCrackers, Leighton Buzzard)
Hospitality Venue of the Year- The Bell in Studham (Studham)
Community Business of the Year - BIG Health & Fitness (Dunstable)
Employee of the Year - Sue Cox (Stoten Gillam in Dunstable)
Business of the Year - Lisa Roberts Catering (Ashton Square, Dunstable)
Customer Care Award - Jackson Phillips (Leighton Buzzard)
Teacher of the Year - Gail Van Vuuren (Totternhoe Lower)
Carer of the Year - Teresa Andrews (Houghton Regis)
Volunteer of the Year - Mr Gifford (Tottenhoe)
Lifetime Achievement Award - Roger Turner (Houghton Regis, former town councillor, is now the lead governor at the L&D)
Sports Achievement Award - Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club
Good Neighbour of the Year - Laura Ellaway (Houghton Regis)
Trades Person of the Year - DRJ Building Services (Dunstable)
Role Model of the Year - Clare Church (Dunstable WeightWatchers, Salvation Army Centre in Bull Pond Lane)
Young Hero of the Year- Shannon Lynch (Houghton Regis)
Retailer of the Year- The Cake House (Dunstable)