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Our Mayor, local dignitaries, business leaders and residents gathered on Saturday 28 October at the Gordon Craig Theatre for the annual Pride of Stevenage Awards ceremony to see a number of local heroes honoured.

The winners were revealed by Leader of the Council, Richard Henry, at an event hosted by the Mayor of Stevenage, Councillor Myla Arceno and compèred by Stevenage FC match day announcer, Jay Drackford.

Prizes were handed out across nine categories - Dedication, Green, Team, Caring, Sporting, Enterprise, Young Star, Wellness and the Judges’ Special award.

Tollers Solicitors were this year’s main awards sponsor, and the winners were:

Dedication Award (Sponsored by Mulalley) – Ann Meldrum, who regularly volunteers at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. She has spent the last 16 years supporting different wards and departments.

Team Award (Sponsored by Co-Space) – The Kaotic Angels, are a group of bikers who are all former or current serving first responders (military, police, NHS, fire service). They are a charitable organisation who support the community by helping a weekly food rescue hub to prevent food going into landfill.

Caring Award (Sponsored by Fosters Legal Solicitors) Chris Goward, for his outstanding commitment as a volunteer with the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Volunteer Service at Lister Hospital. He supports patients living with dementia, helping them to feel more at ease during their stay in hospital.

Wellness Award (Sponsored by Everyone Active) - Camps Hill Primary School, goes above and beyond when it comes to wellness and feeling good. They have 'wellbeing and mental awareness’ programmes where all the pupils and staff participate in activities that boost wellbeing, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Sporting Award (Sponsored by Everyone Active) – Matt Coker, Stevenage Junior Football Club coach. He uses football to improve teamwork skills to help the kids have a brighter future. All the children love going to his football training, whatever the weather because they love what he teaches them.

Enterprise Award (Sponsored by biz4Biz) – Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, has taken ownership of the long-term lease of the "rare and irreplaceable" Astonbury Wood. The trust has purchased the 125-year lease after major public fundraising to secure the 17th century, 54-acre site. It is a delightful place for people to both experience and improve prospects for wildlife in Stevenage.

Young Star Award - Emma Robson, is an inspiration to young girls in Stevenage, especially female golfers. Golf is not always recognised as a female sport. Emma has been determined to demonstrate that young girls can be extremely successful in this sport and has gone on to win many tournaments.

Green Award – Fiona and James Cookland protect local nature across the town by using bird boxes, bug boxes and boxes for hedgehogs. They hand out doggy bags to the public and make water available for dogs. They plant flowers, supply boxes and tubs, and tidy hedges that need pruning, all to help improve the environment.

Judge’s Special Award – The Junction 7 Creatives team who are based in the town square. Junction 7 Creatives provides access to anyone who wants to get creative. Local people can enjoy working with paint, words, photography, sculpture, music, dance and more. This is a great service for Stevenage and the people who live in the town.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council and chair of the judges, said: “These special awards allow us to pay tribute, once a year, to a few of our local heroes – people and organisations that enhance the lives of hundreds of people all over Stevenage every day.

“Ours is a great town and there are fantastic things going on here. Some pretty amazing people are making things happen, making things better, and making a real difference to Stevenage life.

“I’d like to thank this year’s sponsors, Tollers Solicitors, headline sponsor of this year’s Pride Awards, Fosters Legal Solicitors the sponsor of the Caring award, biz4Biz the sponsor of the Enterprise award, Co-Space the sponsor of the Team award and Everyone Active the sponsor of the Wellness award and Sporting award. Thanks also go to Craig Maret, director of Rewind who made the Pride of Stevenage Awards 2023 films and the Gordon Craig Theatre venue team for their help to host this year’s awards event.

“I would like to also thank the judges for giving up their time to choose our winners; Ella Lacey - Stevenage Youth Mayor, Anisa Matthew - Deputy Youth Mayor, Sharon Brown from Tollers Solicitors, Sandra Foster from Fosters Legal Solicitors, Dr Katherine Bean from biz4Biz, Juanita Prescott and Danny Kingston from Everyone Active and Jess Roberts from Co-Space.”