Everyday Heroes Awards: Who should be Bedford’s Volunteer of the Year?

A volunteer at a Trussell Trust food bank (generic)
A volunteer at a Trussell Trust food bank (for illustrative purposes only)

The Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards are back and we’re really pleased to, once again, be partnering with The Harpur Trust who are helping us to put the people who make Bedford brilliant front and centre.

“The Harpur Trust is truly excited to be the partner for the 2021 Everyday Heroes Award,” says Lucy Bardner, Community Programmes Director at The Harpur Trust.

“We’ve sponsored awards like this for many years because as the charity that’s here for Bedford, we know what makes this such a great place to live and work is the amazing, diverse people of Bedford, quietly doing remarkable things for others.

“Even more so in Covid, when everyday people have stepped up and done great things for the community.

“We don’t hear enough about what they do, so we’re delighted to be working with the Bedford Independent, who are experts at finding Bedford’s untold stories and undiscovered heroes.”

What’s more all finalists and guests will be invited to an awards ceremony on 28 April 2022 at The Quarry Theatre at St. Luke’s hosted by Bedford School.

Volunteer of the Year

Over there next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking closely at each category and hopefully inspiring you to nominate an everyday hero who has made a difference to the borough we live in.

The first category we’ll be looking at is Volunteer of the Year.

As well as being our awards partner, The Harpur Trust is also supporting this category which will recognise someone who tirelessly volunteers for a charity or good cause within Bedford Borough.

Whatever they do, we want to hear about how they’ve helped make Bedford a better place in their free time.

Lucy says: “We have chosen to sponsor the volunteer of the year as we think our Borough relies on volunteers.

“Whilst we all know we couldn’t do without obvious helpers like school governors, there are hundreds of people out there who don’t even realise they are volunteers but give their time for free every week to help others.

“We are so looking forward to hearing about them and giving them the praise they deserve.”

You can tell us about an everyday hero who you think deserves to be recognised as Bedford’s Volunteer of the Year at the form below by 4 March 2022.

Please remember the nomination must be for activity carried out between January and December 2021.

You can also access the form here, or a downloadable form is available upon request here.

2020 winner

Last year’s winner was Joanne Lambert who organises and runs St Andrew’s Brownies, despite having Fibromyalgia, which often brings her to her knees.

She also organises annual week-long pack holidays, sleepovers, carol singing, fun days, theatre, museum and London trips, the River Festival parade, making the costumes and props, so the girls can participate.

In October 2018, Joanne set up a social/educational group for the Young Unaccompanied Refugees in Bedford, “Phoenix Rising”.

Along with two others, she helps the Y.A.R. with college work, learn about UK society and their new life, socialise, build new friendships, and have fun through a series of life skills classes she has designed.

Highly commended was Susie Spyropoulos.

You can find out more about the Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards, in partnership with The Harpur Trust, and the other categories open for entries here.

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