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Celebrating Hertsmere's heroes - one year on

Last Modified May 20, 2021
Hertsmere's unsung heroes have been recognised for their efforts and long-standing service – a year later than originally planned.

Hertsmere’s former Mayor, Councillor Rabbi Alan Plancey, was finally able to present eight Civic Awards 2019-20 to members of the public at a small, Covid-safe ceremony held in the Civic Offices yesterday (Wednesday 19 May). The ceremony was due to take place at Elstree Studios in April last year but had been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Among the people recognised for their tireless work and dedication to the community were Nicky Beaton, a Shenley parish councillor who spearheaded the Shenley Neighbourhood Plan which was approved in a referendum last week; Stephen Pearson, a volunteer and boxing coach at Brookside Boys Club; Simon Pyzer, district secretary for Hertsmere scouting and Lynette Sullivan, chair and founder member of the Christmas in Potters Bar group. A Civic Award was also presented to Visakha dasi, President of the Krishna Temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor, on behalf of former president Sruti Dharma das, who sadly passed away before he could receive the award.

Tracey Hanson, the mother of Josh Hanson, who was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack, was presented with the Dave Rankin Award for community safety. Through her charity, The Josh Hanson Trust, Tracey works to support and encourage self-expression and creativity among children and young people. She also works with the borough council’s community safety team to deliver workshops on knife crime at local schools.

Civic Award group 1

Pictured from left to right are Father Dominic McKenna, Stephen Pearson, Lynette Sullivan, Cllr Plancey, Simon Pyzer, Visakha dasi, Tracey Hanson and Nicky Beaton.

Cllr Plancey said: “I’ve been so looking forward to announcing these deserving Civic Award winners. It was a privilege to end my Mayoral term on this high point.

“After the year we have had, the commitment and determination to help improve their communities shown by this remarkable set of people is even more moving and inspiring than ever.

“They have done so much to benefit others in Hertsmere and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to thank them, in person, for their efforts.

“While the past 12 months has been hard for us all, it’s heartening to know that there are people like our award winners in our communities, giving up their time day in and day out, to make them safer and happier places to live and work."

In addition, Camp Unity, a Borehamwood-based organisation that provides opportunities for children and their families to meet people from other cultures and communities, also received a Civic Award. Camp Unity's summer camping experience for youngsters aged six to 11 is returning this year from Sunday 15 August until Friday 20 August. To learn more or book your child's place email campunityborehamwood@gmail.com.

While, Hertsmere Volunteer Police Cadets was presented with a Youth Award for its work helping youngsters learn and develop interests in policing and other community activities.

Nominations for the awards were invited in January 2020 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 Pink Soul Pictures Ltd and available to view here.

Posted on Thursday 20th May 2021

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