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Hertsmere's Heroes celebrated

Last Modified April 18, 2023

Unsung heroes have been recognised for their efforts and positive contributions to the local community at the Mayor of Hertsmere’s Civic Awards Ceremony.

The Mayor, Councillor John Graham, presented eight Civic Awards to members of the public at a prestigious ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel held on Sunday 16 April.  Each winner received a framed certificate and glass award in front of a distinguished audience of dignitaries, councillors and community members.

Among the individuals recognised for their hard work and contribution to society were: Becky Liddell and Katie Appleford, volunteers at Borehamwood Rainbows and Brownies Girlguiding dedicating their time to teach young girls new skills and encouraging adventure; Esther Chelliah, who set up Potters Bar foodbank to provide aid to local families needing support; Haberdashers’ School Partnership Programme, which builds educational opportunity through community partnerships such as the Refugee Learning Hub and the Broadening Horizons Programme; Rosamund Gray, a passionate volunteer for a range of local societies and organisations; Shoshana and Lloyd Gilmore, founders of charity Help for the Homeless which supports rough sleepers across Hertsmere and the centre of London; and Vera Eccleshall who has dedicated 41 years to being treasurer of the Wednesday Community Club in Potters Bar.

Additionally, the Youth Civic Award was given to Ava Smith and the Pupils of Saffron Green Primary School. Following a devastating fire at a block of flats on Balmoral Drive in Borehamwood, Ava Smith suggested creating pictures to send to the survivors, and from this idea, the school decided to hold an art competition from which over 100 entries were submitted and the winning designs were spray painted on the boards outside the flats, displaying messages of hope to survivors.

Lastly, the Dave Rankin Award for community safety was, for the first time ever, presented posthumously to Simon Winters OBE, who passed away last year from brain cancer at age 62. Simon was awarded an OBE for his charitable work in 2009 and named Hertfordshire Special Constable of the Year twice. Over the years, he raised over £12 million in his charitable efforts. Simon was a Community Security Trust (CST) volunteer and was instrumental in establishing the security team at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue where he met Dave Rankin.

Mayor Cllr Graham said:” I was truly honoured to present these awards to the great and the good of Hertsmere.

“I am blown away by the selflessness and generosity these individuals and groups display in their day to day lives. They are an inspiration to all and are so deserving of this award. I would like to thank them all for their positive contribution to our borough.

“I was particularly touched to give away a posthumous award. Simon Winters OBE will be forever remembered by all those his actions have impacted and for his positive influence on society.”

Nominations for the awards were invited in January 2023 and the winners were selected by a panel of judges.

Each award winner’s story has been captured in a short film clip, shot and edited by Rob Finlay and will be available to view on our YouTube and social media channels, or on our website from Tuesday 9 May.

Posted on Tuesday 18th April 2023

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