Comet country heroes celebrated at awards evening

EMOTIONS ran high as heroes from Comet country were recognised for their fantastic work in the community at an awards ceremony last week.

The Comet Community Awards 2011 saw finalists, joined by family, friends and local dignitaries, descend on Stevenage’s Ramada Cromwell Hotel for Friday’s presentation evening.

Awards across 10 categories were dished out by guests including North East Herts MP Oliver Heald and MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland, with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Formula 1 commentator David Croft acting as compere.

Representatives from event sponsors Ramada Cromwell, Specsavers, North Hertfordshire Homes, Stevenage Community Trust and North Hertfordshire College also helped hand out prizes for categories including Young Achiever, Role Model of the Year and Good Neighbour.

“It was a surprise to be nominated - I got a text saying ‘you’re on page two of The Comet’,” said Heather Good, who scooped the Service to the Community award after more than 10 years spent volunteering at brain injury charity Headway.

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The Baldock resident, who was nominated by Pam Bell for helping her brother following a stroke, added: “I wasn’t expecting to win - it’s just a privilege to work with people like Pam and her brother to help make a difference.”

Glenn Adams was crowned Role Model of the Year for helping young people turn their lives as manager of Groundwork Hertfordshire’s Green Team scheme.

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The 36-year-old said: “I wasn’t expecting it to be honest. I’m not used to this sort of thing and I’m much happier when members of the Green Team are accepting their awards! There’s great job satisfaction in doing something good for the community and I wouldn’t change my job for the world.”

Zoe Cree was also among the winners in the Young Achiever category, Liz Allen was named Teacher of the Year and PCSOs Jason Hart and Chris Watson’s joint effort saw them both claim the Valiant Volunteer prize.

Other winners included Rebecca Leek who was commended for her work in the Great and Green category, Hayley Springham who was crowned this year’s Parent in a Million, Charity Champion Stephen Sapsed and members of Street Watch in Stotfold who earned the Good Neighbour award.

The evening concluded with the Lifetime Achievement award which was presented to Hitchin resident Ron Cohen in recognition of his fundraising efforts for homeless charity Stevenage Haven.

The 78-year-old, who completed his seventh London Marathon for the shelter this year, said: “I’m just amazed that I’ve won. I took up running in 1975 and did my first London Marathon in 1982. I hope to run it again for the charity next year.”

*Photos from the night of all the winners and finalists will be available to purchase by the end of the week by visiting

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