Awards celebrate our Letchworth COVID heroes
- Credit: Letchworth Heritage Foundation
The winners of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation’s first-ever Community Awards have been announced.
Nominations were received from the public throughout December with a community panel selecting the winners.
The over-18 category went to Chris Taylor, who impressed judges for creating displays outside her home, such as a knitted advent calendar during the Christmas period and rainbows celebrating NHS key workers, to cheer people up at a time when mental health has been so important.
She was awarded a £100 voucher for a meal in a Letchworth restaurant.
Four-year-old Liliana won the award in the under 18-category. She was the youngest nominee, and was praised for drawing pictures for residents in care homes, sending Christmas cards to those who felt isolated and sharing information flyers with neighbours. Liliana received an 18-month pass to Kids Club at Broadway Cinema.
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The panel was blown away by the generosity of the team at Vutie Beets which took home the Business Award. The restaurant provided free school meals for children during the October half term and organised group exercise for all abilities.
They also created a workspace in their restaurant for those who felt isolated working from home and set up an online shopping service for those who were struggling to book a supermarket delivery slot. It was awarded a £1,000 marketing support package for 2021.
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Best Charity Award went to volunteers at the Best Before Café, who were commended for reducing food waste by sourcing surplus or unsold supermarket food and making it available to everyone in the community.
The panel felt this was especially important at a time when accessing food was a challenge for some people and with a global drive to reduce waste going to landfill.
They were also commended for the personal touches they added to their delivery service which included cards for clients and keeping birthday cakes for children, so they didn’t miss out. Their prize was a team night out at Broadway Cinema.
Each winner will also be presented with a keepsake bowl hand made by artists Debbie from Made With Clay and Neil Wake.
As well as recognising the contributions of individuals, groups and businesses, the aim of the awards was to inspire the people of Letchworth for the future and encourage residents to volunteer.
The community panel made up of local businesspeople, volunteers, the Letchworth BID and charity workers deliberated over the nominations via video last week.
Pam Burn, chair of the Foundation, said: “The awards were launched to celebrate the contributions of those who went above and beyond to support the Letchworth community in 2020, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The nominations we received were moving and inspiring and the stories of exceptional generosity, courage and determination highlighted the importance of the community working together.
“By highlighting what was achieved under the most challenging circumstances we hope this will reenergise our community, empower further social action through cross-community partnerships and encourage an ongoing spirit of innovation and adaptability within the business community.
“We also hope the winners carry on with their work and continue to be an inspiration for the town we love.”
Following the positive response to the awards, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation plans to make the awards an annual event.
If you are interested in volunteering in the community in 2021, visit North Herts CVS to sign up.