Entries for the Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards 2023, in partnership with the Harpur Trust, are now open, focussing on individuals and teams who have made a positive impact within Bedford Borough between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023.
This year, entries have been opened earlier to make sure all the great deeds from the last 12 months aren’t overlooked, and it means there is still time for individuals to do something amazing, as entries are for activities from 1 January 2023 up to 31 December 2023.
You can then make nominations right up until midnight on 31 January 2024.
We are looking forward to receiving lots of entries as we know there are so many people who go the extra mile to make a difference, so don’t be shy in coming forward. Get nominating, we believe they need to be recognised.
This year our nominated charity is FACES Bedford, a local independent charity offering practical and emotional support to families and we shall be highlighting their work. You can read more about them at their website.
How to enter
Submissions must be no more than 300 words and include evidence of how the nominee or their work has made a positive impact within Bedford Borough between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023.
We also need a short description of no more than 50 words that will be used to highlight those who reach the final stage.
To help, please read the shortlisted shortlisted entries from 2022.
We’d like to pay a special thank you to our award partners The Harpur Trust, and all our award category sponsors. Without them, these awards would not be possible.
Do you know someone who tirelessly volunteers for a charity or good cause within Bedford Borough?
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.
Whatever they do, we want to hear about how they’ve helped make Bedford a better place in their free time.
2022 winner: Robert Labe
Robert has given 50 years of voluntary service to support those in emotional distress in our communities. He’s passionate about ensuring everyone’s supported in their time of need and he’s made it his life’s mission to ensure people get help when they need it most.
This award recognises excellence from an individual in teaching, coaching or other educational disciplines.
Teaching, coaching, or educating is so much more than just a job. Those people inspire, encourage and make a difference in a child’s future.
We are looking for someone who has truly gone above and beyond in helping a young person or class to recognise their potential and shine.
2022 winner: Gina Dunn
Gina makes so much effort to learn the individual needs of her disabled students and goes above and beyond to accommodate and encourage them.
My autistic daughter has excelled in her classes, growing in confidence, even whilst having to leave other provisions.
Do you know someone who has achieved something that has put Bedford Borough on the map? If so, this award is for them. As an individual, they may have organised an event, campaigned to make our town better, or shouted loudly about the positives of Bedford on social media. Whatever it is, tell us how they’ve helped shine a light on our borough.
This isn’t just an award for those doing great things in our Borough, if you know someone who is shouting about Bedford, helping point to all the brilliant things here, or associating Bedford with their own achievements further afield, they’re eligible for this award too.
2022 winner: Chelsea Beckford-Procyk
Chelsea Beckford-Procyk has not only excelled in her chosen studies of Midwifery but also through her extra-curricular work on anti-racism in midwifery care she won ‘Student Midwife of the Year’ at the Student Nursing Times Awards and was nominated in the ‘Mary Seacole Award’ category which recognises students’ outstanding contribution to diversity and inclusion within nursing and healthcare.
If you know of a group of people or an organisation that proves to people in other parts of the UK and beyond that Bedford punches above its weight, then this is the award you need to nominate them for.
We’re looking for teams* who have done everything from organising events to representing our Borough in their chosen field and promoted Bedford as either a brilliant place to be or home to excellent people.
If they help make Bedford look brilliant then we want to celebrate what they do.
*Two or more people
2022 winner: John Bunyan Community Boat Operations Team
The Operations Management Team of the John Bunyan Boat work tirelessly to encourage visitors to the town, making the Community Boat a leading feature of Bedford tourism.
This new award honours an individual aged 13 or under who has achieved over and above the expected. We are looking for young people who show sporting, community or charitable excellence and the positive impact it has on Bedford Borough.
This award honours an individual aged 14 to 21 who has achieved over and above the expected. We are looking for young people who show sporting, community or charitable excellence and the positive impact it has on Bedford Borough.
This year the category has been split into two age groups so see below for the previous winner and also a shortlist for someone younger.
2022 winner: Maddie Axford
Talented hockey star, Maddie Axford, has been progressing on the GB hockey pathway. She was selected in the Women’s Elite Development Programme for Team GB and won gold for the University of Nottingham at the BUCS champs last year.
2022 winner: Grayson Wood
Grayson started roller hockey about four years ago and plays for the Bobcats Inline Hockey U10 club team, even though he is just eight years old. In autumn 2022, he succeeded in achieving a place to represent Great Britain in the U8 team.
We’re looking for someone who has worked hard to raise awareness and cash for their chosen charity. Whatever they’ve raised funds for, and no matter how much, we want to hear the creative ways they gained support and why it was important to them to support their cause.
Individuals will be judged on passion, creativity, and commitment to their cause.
2022 winner: Hugh Maltby
Hugh tirelessly raised over £5,000 for Country Days by cycling over 10,000 miles in Bedfordshire, including a marathon stint at the Bedford River Festival.
We’re looking for a team* who has worked hard to raise awareness and cash for their chosen charity. Whatever they’ve raised funds for, and no matter how much, we want to hear the creative ways they gained support and why it was important to them to support their cause. Individuals will be judged on passion, creativity and commitment to their cause.
*Two or more people
2022 winner: Caring For Humanity – Naima Khanom and Emma Chamberlain and Bedford School Movember MoBros
Caring for Humanity – Naima and Emma are two Year 10 students have worked very hard on various fundraisers, such as raising money for children in developing countries who need educational resources, period poverty and for winter blankets in times of need. They have raised well over £2000 in 2022.
The Bedford School ‘MoBros’ is a group of around 80 Upper Sixth Form schoolboys who raised a staggering £14,272 placing them first (out of 603 teams) in the UK School’s challenge and were ranked 15th in the whole country for their fundraising efforts. Additionally, they educated others and created awareness of men’s health in the process.
Bedford Borough is full of unsung heroes, and we think it’s time to help them shine. Do you know someone who is always looking out for their neighbours, gives back to their community or has recently shown an act of bravery?
This is our broadest category, and we want to hear inspirational stories about great Bedfordians. So, if you know someone who has done something outstanding to help others, that does not fit into any of our other categories, then this is the award for them.
2022 winner: Mike Hyden
Having jointly set up a homeless support charity Mike has now moved on to advising and supporting charities and individuals about Homelessness. His support to Domestic Abuse victims across Bedford has been invaluable to the womens’ centre and over and above expectations.
There are 800,000 young carers aged 5-17 who care for an adult or family member in the UK and we want those in Bedford Borough to be recognised for what they do.
To be nominated for this award, the carer must be under the age of 18. Being a kid is hard enough but these genuine heroes give up so much to help often without people outside of their immediate family being aware of their sacrifices.
While a young carer may also do the same things that an adult carer does, they may also have to carry out daily tasks that non-carer children only do occasionally, such as cooking or cleaning.
They often then don’t have time for themselves or school work.
They may also have to help someone like a parent get dressed and move around, and give them a lot of physical help and emotional support, too.
More guidance on young carers can be found here.
2022 winner: Isla Keep
Isla spent most of her childhood helping care for her brother Joe. She is amazing with him, supporting and helping him with all his physical and emotional needs. Isla has sacrificed so much because of her brother. She never complains and is always happy. She is amazing.