Beds women honoured at awards ceremony marking 100 years of suffrage

All the award winners. Picture: Grace Foster

All the award winners. Picture: Grace Foster - Credit: Archant

More than 100 women who make Bedfordshire safer have been recognised at an awards ceremony marking a century of votes for women.

Police and crime commissioner Kathryn Holloway with chief executive Clare Kelly and chair of the pol

Police and crime commissioner Kathryn Holloway with chief executive Clare Kelly and chair of the police and crime panel Paul Cain. Picture: Grace Foster - Credit: Archant

Police and crime commissioner Kathryn Holloway organised the ceremony at Kings House in Bedford, with 10 women receiving awards for their outstanding achievement.

Mrs Holloway believes it is important to recognise the achievements of these women, who play a vital role in the community.

“The fact that there was a need to celebrate these outstanding women publicly and that this has not been happening in Bedfordshire was underlined for me by the sheer number of nominations for these awards,” she said. “The length of testimonials ran to an incredible 7,000 pages in total.

“It meant that anyone who was shortlisted, let alone won, had genuinely been recognised as absolutely outstanding in their field of public service – whether working for the police and other blue lights, in health, education, local authorities, or businesses and charities.

Colleen Atkins won the lifetime achievement award. Picture: Grace Foster

Colleen Atkins won the lifetime achievement award. Picture: Grace Foster - Credit: Archant


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“This event and the legacy it will create are one of the absolute highlights for me of my time in the role as PCC so far.”

Among the winners were Colleen Atkins, who scooped the lifetime achievement award – while Supt Juliette Everett picked up the woman of the year award.

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“I’m so incredibly proud and wasn’t expecting this at all,” said Supt Everett.

“I am so passionate about what I do as a day job. I absolutely love being a police officer and I’m totally committed to making Bedfordshire a much safer place.”

Young person of the year award winner Hayley Mills. Picture: Grace Foster

Young person of the year award winner Hayley Mills. Picture: Grace Foster - Credit: Archant

Colleen’s award was presented by Paul Cain, the chair of the police and crime panel and a former colleague.

He was delighted to attend the ceremony, saying: “I thought it was a fabulous event and I was delighted and honoured to be invited.

“I really do hope this turns into an annual event celebrating the wonderful hard-working women we are so lucky to have in Bedfordshire. It was wonderful to be able to present the award to Colleen Atkins, who was on the very first police and crime panel with me back in 2012.”

A women’s forum was also launched at the ceremony, which will help police consult over policy on offences ranging from domestic abuse to youth violence.

All the award winners. Picture: Grace Foster

All the award winners. Picture: Grace Foster - Credit: Archant

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