So many shining stars - winners from Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth take a bow at glitzy Comet Community Awards celebration
PUBLISHED: 06:01 16 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:17 19 May 2015
Moving tales of selfless dedication to others were hailed as an inspiration to all at Friday night’s presentation of the annual Comet Community Awards.
The gala presentation at The Forum conference and banqueting suite in Stevenage town centre was hosted by Sky Sports Formula One commentator David Croft, who took time out from tracking the progress of Stevenage race ace Lewis Hamilton around the world to once more return to his roots and helm the life-affirming celebration.
Over the course of the evening, there were whoops of celebration and tears of both excitement and emotion as winners were revealed, and the audience heard details of the achievements which had led to their recognition.
The winners were:
• Young Achiever, sponsored by Altro Ltd
Letchworth teenager Immy Blackburn-Horgan, who galvanised her community to create a sensory garden for a young girl with autism.
Finalists: Darragh Lane and Hannah Price.
• Carer of the Year, sponsored by B&M Care
Sonya Chedumbrum, for her dedicated work fostering children over 25 years.
Finalists: Jackie Nealon and Tracey O’Connor.
• Charity Champions, sponsored by BBW Solicitors
Pat and Richard Mott, who helped the Stevenage Poppy Appeal total top £100,000 before the end of 2014.
Finalists: The Priory School, Hitchin and Stephen Sapsed.
• Great and Green, sponsored by Bracey’s Accountants
Camps Hill Community Primary School, Stevenage, where pupils have an allotment and rescued chickens, and take part in litter drives to spruce up their wider community.
Finalists: Letchworth Community Garden and Hitchin Forum’s Big Spring Clean Up.
• Parent in a Million, sponsored by Lancaster Volkswagen Letchworth
Maddie Samson, who battles to get the best for her two children even though all four members of the family face significant health issues.
Finalists: Jean Day and Kerry Mitchell.
• Good Neighbour, sponsored by North Hertfordshire Homes
Ash Class, Garden City Academy, Letchworth, for work including tackling dog fouling and littering in their community.
Finalists: Michelle Philcox and Dawn Sheldrick.
• Service to the Community,sponsored by PayPoint
Anne Brown, for her indefatigable work for good causes in Stevenage, including running a grandparents group at Chells Pavilion.
Finalists: Immy Blackburn-Horgan and Jackie Nealon.
• Nurse/Care Worker of the Year, sponsored by Pinehill Hospital
Wendy Darnell, for her work championing and supporting carers in Stevenage.
Finalists: Deborah Bone and Sharon Pearson.
• Role Model of the Year, sponsored by Specsavers Stevenage
Darragh Lane, who has overcome serious illness to inspire other young people in Letchworth.
Finalists: John and Sarah Mead and Jeanette Pearson.
• Valiant Volunteer, sponsored by Roaring Meg
Lorna Hemmings of Hitchin Volunteer Army.
Finalists: Carers in Hertfordshire – Bereavement Group and Victoria Usher.
• Teacher of the Year, sponsored by the University of Hertfordshire
Siobhan Eckersall, who received dozens of nominations from health and social care pupils at Hitchin Girls’ School.
Finalists: Zara Richards and Stephen Sapsed
Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by Morrison Utility Services
Deborah Bone MBE, who died in December and was nominated posthumously for her achievements in the field of mental health care.
Finalists: Sonya Chedumbrum and Anne Brown.
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