The nominations for this year’s Bedford Independent Awards – in partnership with the Harpur Trust – are now open and we’re loving reading through the early entries, finding out even more about Bedford’s everyday heroes.
There are ten categories to choose from and it’s completely free to enter. If you know someone who deserves to be celebrated for their achievements, or you want to nominate yourself, what are you waiting for?
Nominations close on Friday 28 February – now extended until 10 March 2020 – and the finals will take place at a free-to-attend ceremony at the Quarry Theatre on 23 April 2020. Every winner will receive a voucher from one of our sponsors, The Bedford Swan Hotel.
“This isn’t a popularity contest and entries are free,” said Erica Roffe, managing editor of the Bedford Independent. “Winners will be chosen on their own merit by our diverse panel of judges who can’t wait to get stuck in.”
The quality and content of the applications will determine if the nominee progresses to the finals. Anyone can nominate themselves, an organisation or be nominated by others.
The award categories have been designed to highlight the heroes on our doorstep who make Bedford brilliant in all quarters.
Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by The Harpur Trust
Do you know someone who tirelessly volunteers their time for a charity or good cause? If so, nominate them for our Volunteer of the Year award.
Excellence in Education – Host sponsor Bedford School
An award which recognises excellence in the education sector. This could be a teacher who is making a real difference, a training provider which has helped students gain valuable experience or a group of volunteers who give young people new opportunities to learn. Applications need to show how they have made a difference to the lives of young people.
Raising the Profile of the Town – sponsored by the Quarry Theatre
Have you achieved something that has put Bedford on the map? If so, this award is for you. Organisations, event organisers, individuals and charities, tell us how you’ve helped shine a light on Bedford.
Community Business – sponsored by Woodfines Solicitors
Does your business get involved in the local community? We want to celebrate the organisation that gives something back – whether by attending community events, staff volunteering or offering your services to charities or community organisations.
Independent Retailer of the Year – sponsored by Brewpoint
Bedford Borough has an above average abundance of independent retailers and we think it’s about time we celebrated the Borough’s shopkeepers. Applications need to demonstrate excellent customer service, innovative ideas and community spirit.
Unsung Hero – sponsored by Eagle Brewery
This could be a good neighbour, community hero or act of bravery. Do you know someone who has done something outstanding to help others (that doesn’t fit into any of our other categories)?
This is our broadest category and we want to hear inspirational stories about great Bedfordians.
Young Achiever – sponsored by Bedford Heights
This award honours an individual aged 18 or under who has achieved over and above the expected. We’re looking for young people showing sporting, educational, community or charitable excellence.
Fundraiser of the Year – sponsored by The Bedford Swan Hotel
Our Fundraiser of the Year award honours an individual who has worked tirelessly to raise funds for a single cause or many different causes. Applications need to demonstrate how nominees have gone above and beyond the norm to inspire and motivate others to donate.
Campaigner of the Year – sponsored by Explore Bedford
This award recognises an individual who has worked tirelessly to raise awareness for a cause/s. Applications need to show nominees go above and beyond the norm and the impact their campaign has achieved for the cause/s.
Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by White Hart Press
Have you employed an apprentice who has impressed you with their hard work, proactiveness and the positive impact they have made to your organisation? Applications need to demonstrate the impact the apprentice has had, with testimonials from others in your organisation.
How to nominate
Nominations opened on 27 November 2019 to coincide with the 1st birthday of the Bedford Independent. The deadline for entries is 28 February 2020.
All finalists will be invited to the ceremony on 23 April 2020 with a guest.
Any finalists who wish to apply for more free tickets to the event will be able to nearer the time.
To nominate someone you believe is deserving of one of the awards, download a form from the links above and return it to admin@BedfordIndependent.co.uk by 10 March 2020.