Back in January 2020, the Bedford Independent announced the launch of our Everyday Heroes awards.
The nominations poured in, the judging panel was on standby and the wheels were in motion for our awards ceremony to take place at the Quarry Theatre at St. Luke’s that April.
Back then, little did we know that in a matter of weeks a virus would sweep the world, close all non-essential venues and put face-to-face contact on hold.
We postponed until September hoping that by then some normality to life would return, how naive we were.
As the year wore on, it became apparent that venues would not be opening, so a plan to move the event online was hatched.
While this wasn’t our original vision, we were joining countless others who had moved their own events online, plus it also gave us a chance to create two new awards.
Through our own reporting, we were aware of increased community support overcoming the challenges brought about by Covid.
So, in October, two new categories were added to reflect the incredible responses of individuals and organisations to help others during the lockdown.
People stepped up to help
Back when we hatched the idea of an awards event, we always knew we wanted to do something a bit different, we just didn’t realise how different it would end up being.
It is to the credit of everyone involved that they stepped up to the mark, devising, filming and producing a virtual awards evening that we cannot wait to broadcast on Thursday 25 March.
Sponsors got dressed up at home or in their offices to record over Zoom their opening and closing speeches, or announce the highly commended and winners of each award.
Mark Lewis at Bedford School spent time editing and polishing the recording, adding artwork and creating a virtual ceremony to help celebrate those who make Bedford brilliant.
And of course, no award ceremony would be complete without an actual award.
So, we were thrilled that award-winning designer, Carli Pfurtscheller created the stunning award artwork that runs throughout the ceremony and onto the awards themselves.
And those awards were professionally and expertly framed by Gemma and her team at The Arc.
While the organisation of the awards and the ceremony may be virtual, the awards will be real. Thanks to Carli and all at The Arc, each winner will have a piece of original artwork to display in their home or business.
(Do we get an award for the sentence featuring the most uses of the word ‘award’?).