There was plenty of praise handed out with the accolades as the Dunstable and Houghton Regis Business and Community Awards took place once again.
A total of 20 awards were dished out at the ceremony at Dunstable Community Centre on Thursday, November 9. They included:
> The Disability Smart Award went to Kids In Action (Dunstable) who provide support and social opportunities for young and adults with special needs and disabilities.
The citation read: “They aim to support families along with making a difference to each individual - offering family time and one to one sessions. Many of their team are volunteers, who help ensure the support is there to allow the business to continue to offer the facilities and support to those who need it.”
> Most Contributed to Dunstable Town - June Bryne (Tour organiser of Dunstable Council).
“June likes to keep very busy and with her sharp mind she is now turning her attention to helping the Town Council create some interpretation boards for Dunstable Cemetery so that local people can walk the cemetery trail of notable graves at their own leisure. A real treasure of our town.”
> New Business of the Year (1) - Perfect Personalised Parties (Dunstable).
“His high volume of nominations highlights the customer service and exceptional talent in understanding and delivering on his customer’s needs. His continued support for charities and local events, also shows what the local towns mean to him.”
> New Business of the Year (2)- Gents Barbers (High Street South, Dunstable).
“The team have worked hard to make the experience more friendly offering a relaxed atmosphere, high customer service and, according to their clients, a top cut.”
> Environmental Award - British Heart Foundation (Dunstable).
“Run by a team of volunteers and paid staff who are focused on ensuring we make the most of recycling our unwanted items. They also offer lifesaving CPR training kits on loan, allowing local people to learn lifesaving skills and make a conscious effort to recycle and help the environment while helping others.”
> Hospitality Venue of the Year- The Bell in Studham (Studham).
“They provide a welcoming atmosphere and go above and beyond for their customers, whether its cooking additional dishes not on the menu or ensuring their venue is decorated to make each individual special event.”
> Community Business of the Year - BIG Health & Fitness (Dunstable).
“Their expert knowledge, thinking out of the box attitude and passion to help others, has allowed them to create a place that feels safe for so many.”
>Employee of the Year - Sue Cox (Stoten Gillam in Dunstable).
“The business was in a time of need, and that’s when she stepped up and supported many within to ensure the smooth day to day running continued.”
> Business of the Year - Lisa Roberts Catering (Ashton Square, Dunstable).
“A professional, honest and dedicated team who work hard in their business, ensuring their customers event is stress free for them.”
> Carer of the Year - Teresa Andrews (Houghton Regis).
“Referred to as a ‘beyond wonderful woman’. She is kind, thoughtful and deals with situations in a positive way.”
> Lifetime Achievement Award - Roger Turner (Houghton Regis, former town councillor, is now the lead governor at the L&D).
“Our winner is a very respected member and treasurer of the Houghton Regis Heritage Society and has recently worked hard to secure Charity Status for the group.”
> Good Neighbour of the Year - Laura Ellaway (Houghton Regis).
“A working, single mum who puts others before herself. She supports so many within her neighbourhood, especially a family who have gone through some difficult times.”
> Trades Person of the Year - DRJ Building Services (Dunstable).
“His workmanship is outstanding, he’s 100% committed to all work taken on and his work ethic really makes him stand out in his trade.”
> Role Model of the Year - Clare Church (Dunstable WeightWatchers, Salvation Army Centre in Bull Pond Lane).
“After achieving her own goals now dedicates her time towards helping others achieve theirs. She has spent the last 2 decades encouraging people of all shapes and sizes to take back control of their lives, regain confidence and be proud of themselves.”
> Young Hero of the Year- Shannon Lynch (Houghton Regis).
“A young lady who spends so much of time looking after others and making a huge difference to them by making them feel special.”
> Retailer of the Year- The Cake House (Dunstable).
“A visit to their shop, can be an experience in itself where you can purchase amazing cakes or book a course to improve your own skills, from cupcake making to a cake making party.”
> Teacher of the Year - Gail Van Vuuren (Totternhoe Lower) whose commitment and dedication to her pupils was described as “exceptional”.
> Volunteer of the Year - Mr Gifford (Tottenhoe) who has been a volunteer for over 40 years, dedicating his time to support his local school and also volunteering for the British Heart Foundation.
Awards organiser Vicki Stonham, from Collective3 and Networking at Dunstable, said: “Now into our seventh year we are happy to have held a successful event, celebrating the local community and businesses from our towns and villages.
“Our winners are all deserving and have been nominated by the public.
“We are so grateful to all sponsors of the event, our committee, volunteers and judges, as without them we could not give every finalist a free ticket to attend the gala evening.
“We are supporting the Dunstable foodbank again this year and from money raised on the raffle and profit from the bar we hope to feed over 1,200 people this Christmas, which is all thanks for those attending.
“I only wish all finalist could be winners.”