UNSUNG heroes from across Worcester were honoured at a prestigious awards evening at the city’s Guildhall.
The Best of Worcester awards were held on Friday (March 3) and saw members of the community come together to celebrate those who give a little extra to boost their local areas.
Former city mayor Coun Alan Amos once again organised the event which was on a similar theme to an evening he hosted during his year as Worcester’s civic head in 2015.
He was able to revive the event with support and funding from fellow city councillors Marc Bayliss and Andy Roberts.
Among the six categories of awards was the Rising Star prize which recognised a young person or young people (aged 16 years or under) who had done something extraordinary.
The category proved hard to judge and forced the judging panel to award two prizes; the first to John Ruggerio from Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College and the second to Lucy Dawson-Bowman from Nunnery Wood High School.
John was honoured for sharing his family’s experience of the Holocaust while Lucy won the award for her outstanding charity work.
A further two prizes were handed out for the Community Champion awards, aimed at rewarding an individual or group who have improved the lives of the Warndon and Gorse Hill area.
George Davidge was celebrated for his work in keeping the Warndon Community Centre going while Tudor Grange Academy students Lauren Tandy, Lauren Tudge and Jessica Jones were praised for their project to fund a special year 11 tie.
Kind-hearted individuals who give endless time and commitment to improving the lives of their community in a voluntary capacity were sought for the ‘Unsung Hero’ award.
And Pat Richardson was handed the title for the dedication and support she gives to activities run for older people at Cripplegate House.
Observer editor Rob George presented the ‘Extra Mile’ award, given to a team of people who go the extra mile to improve life for people in their community.
The award was handed to the KGV fireworks team Mal Furlong, Jason Holder and Natalie Gowing who raised thousands for charity with the annual event.
Maxine Hirschfield and Mark Lloyd were handed the Green Community Champion’s award for their work on Warndon Community Garden.
The evening came to a rousing finale when Sylvia Render from Lower Wick was honoured with the special award for her tireless work with St John’s Church.
Coun Amos hailed the evening as a ‘stunning success’ and said the three months of work in organising the event was well worth it.
“The number, quality, and breadth of nominations was greater than ever including from schools, the NHS, police, Fortis Living housing association and individuals,” he said.
“The evening opened with a delightful choir from Hollymount Primary School who serenaded the arrival of the guests.
“Everybody could take pride in their achievement as they enjoyed the tension and excitement of a superbly choreographed evening.
“Sylvia Render from Lower Wick, who won the Special Award, is an exceptional person amongst all the other exceptional people at the ceremony.
“She personifies how much one person can do for others without ever seeking or expecting anything in return,” he added.
THE WINNERS IN FULL:
Young Rising Stars – John Ruggerio (Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic School) and Lucy Dawson-Bowman (Nunnery Wood High School) – Presented by Amanda Blakeman, Deputy Chief Constable of West Mercia Police
Community Champions (Warndon & Gorse Hill ) – George Davidge and Tudor Grange pupils Lauren Tandy, Lauren Tudge and Jessica Jones – Presented by Nathan Travis, Chief Fire Officer, Hereford and Worcestershire Fire Service.
Unsung Hero – Pat Richardson – Presented by Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council.
The Extra Mile – KGV fireworks team (Mal Furlong/Jason Holder/Natalie Gowing) – Presented by Rob George, Worcester Observer editor.
Green Award – Warndon Community Garden (Maxine Hirschfield/Mark Lloyd) – Presented by Rev Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester
Special Award – Sylvia Render – Presented by Coun Alan Amos.