Community heroes honoured with 2014 Pride Of Stevenage awards - Credit: Archant

Volunteers and charity stalwarts get public recognition at gala event

The seven winners of the 2014 Pride of Stevenage Awards have been announced this evening, with trophies and prizes presented at the Mayor’s Celebration of Stevenage event at the town centre Forum banqueting suite.

The awards recognise and reward local heroes and celebrate the people, groups and projects that are making great things happen in Stevenage, recognising acts of kindness, selflessness and ‘going the extra mile’.

George Bollen received the Dedication Award which recognises long service and longstanding dedication to voluntary or community work in Stevenage, for his many years of work with the Stevenage sea cadets corps.

The town’s Green Space Volunteers group received the Green Award, for their work helping to care for and improve the town’s woodlands, grassland, ponds, parks and hedgerows.

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YMCA Space Volunteers picked up the Team Award, for a group of people who work together to improve their local area, enhance people’s lives or provide support and opportunities to community members.

Richard Howard, whose annual charity balls have raised tens of thousands of pounds for local and national causes, was honoured with the Caring Award.

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Stevenage Borough Juniors Girls FC were winners of the Sporting Award.

Judges also made two special awards - one to former ambulance officer Gary Sanderson to recognise his contribution to Stevenage communities over many years, and one awarded posthumously to Sarah Sheldrick, for her work with Dogwatch.

Prizes were donated by local companies and organisations including Brookers, Gold Star Taxis, Ken Brown Motors, Pumped Gym, WJ Rowe Fish and Chips, and UK Tents and Events.

Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor, who also chairs the SoStevenage strategic community partnership, presented the awards and said: “Stevenage is a great town and our winners help to make it that way.

“All of the Pride Awards winners have achieved great things in different ways – for their communities, their neighbours, or for themselves, their families, friends, or even complete strangers – and I’m honoured to have presented them with their awards.”

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