Stevenage’s unsung heroes saluted on a night of glitter and glory
- Credit: Archant
There was glitter and glory in plentiful supply at The Forum in Stevenage town centre on Saturday night at the presentation of the annual Pride of Stevenage awards.
The SoStevenage initiative to recognise and salute unsung heroes of the town’s community paid tribute to business and community role models who help make the town special.
This year’s awards were judged by previous winner and retired ambulance officer Gary Sanderson, Comet editor John Francis and Stevenage’s youth mayor Yvan Tiako, along with Stevenage Borough Council leader and SoStevenage chair Councillor Sharon Taylor.
Councillor Taylor said: “Once again I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of the nominations.
“As always I’d love to have given everyone an award.
“There really are some remarkable people out there and they deserve to be recognised.
“Throughout Stevenage people are working tirelessly and selflessly to make a difference in their communities. The Pride awards give us the opportunity to say a very public thank you to some of them.”
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The winners were:
Dedication award: Vera Fegan for her work at the Bragbury Centre over many years. As well as receiving a trophy, Vera was presented with a shopping voucher and flowers donated by Ivy Florist of Oaks Cross, Stevenage.
Green award: Friends of Hampson Park who give up their free time to develop a prized public space, now home to a new skate park and recognised with covered Green Flag status. The team will be enjoying a tour of Knebworth House park and gardens and a chance to meet the gardeners, courtesy of the famous stately home.
Team award: Stevenage Community Food Bank, which has supplied support to more than 3,000 families since being established in 2012, and is run entirely by volunteers. Award-winning chef Oli Khan will be serving up a takeaway feast for the team from Surma in the Old Town to mark their achievement.
Caring award: Hairdresser Jo Gates of the Old Town-based Cancer Hair Care team, who will be enjoying afternoon tea at Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel and flowers donated by Ivy Florist.
Sporting award: Jamie Drackford of Marriotts Sports Centre, who will be treated to dinner at On The Green as part of his prize.
Enterprise award: Peter Mason, who chairs the traders’ group at Stevenage Indoor Market, who will enjoy a dinner courtesy of the Cromwell hotel in the Old Town.
Young Star award: The Camps Hill Stars cheerleading squad claimed this prize, and will be packing out this year’s Sleeping Beauty pantomime as part of their prize thanks to a free trip supplied by Stevenage Leisure Ltd and the Gordon Craig Theatre.
The pupils who make up the team were represented on the night by head Emma Flawn, but Mayor of Stevenage Councillor Howard Burnell will be paying a visit to the Chells Way school in the near future to congratulate them on their achievement.
There were also two special awards presented on the night.
The first was to the borough’s new alderman David Kissane, a former mayor of Stevenage and long-serving Symonds Green councillor.
As well as receiving the Pride trophy, he will be treated to a tour of the National Stud in Newmarket in recognition of his well-known love of the turf.
The second award went to the team at The Haven, Stevenage’s pioneering hostel for the homeless which will soon be opening the doors on a £3m extension at its Ditchmore Lane base, extending the service it can offer from 18 beds to cater for up to 40 people in ensuite rooms.
As well as their trophy, representatives Barbara Howard and Nikky Dierickx were presented with a flat-screen TV which will be fitted in staff rest room at the Old Town centre.