Businesses, organisations and local heroes were recognised for their efforts at the Dunstable and Houghton Regis Business and Community Awards.
The awards, organised by Networking at Dunstable, give businesses the chance to celebrate success, and the community part of the awards have been designed to celebrate the achievements of people from the local area, aiming to celebrate and bring people together.
The finalists were invited to a Gala Evening at Dunstable Conference Centre, on Thursday, November 7.
Suitcase Travel in Dunstable won the Business of the Year award, Kings Fire Ltd in Houghton Regis won New Business of the Year, Four Seasons Dry Cleaners in Dunstable won an award for Customer Care, and Go Houghton won Hospitality Venue of the Year.
Curtain Call Theatre Group in Eaton Bray was awarded the Community Group of the Year, Sharon Marr was named Employee of the Year, Nettie Forsyth won Role Model of the Year and Thomas Fantini from Dunstable won the Young Hero Award.
Clare Copleston, from the University of Bedfordshire was named Teacher of the Year, Sharon Thomas won Carer of the Year, Home Start won the Volunteer of the Year, Sinclair Scaffolding in Dunstable was named Tradesperson of the Year, and Allegro Blinds Dunstable won Retailer of the Year.
Houghton Regis Helpers won the Good Neighbour award, The Disability Resource Centre in Dunstable won the Disability Smart award, and Dance Connexions in Dunstable won the Sports Achievement award.
There was also a Lifetime Achievement award for the founder of Dunstable charity Kids In Action, Paul Bowen James.
A spokesman for Networking At Dunstable said: “The awards go from strength to strength each year, and we saw so many new entries for 2019, showing that the hard work each year is creating more awareness and encouraging entries.
"Our sponsors enable us to ensure all finalists can attend the Gala Evening to celebrate their success at no charge to them, this brings the community and local businesses together in one room to share each other’s success.
“2020 will be the 9th year of Dunstable and Houghton Regis Business and Community Awards and we are already looking forward to celebrating another year of recognition with the community and businesses in our towns.
“We would like to congratulate all those who were nominated, the finalists, those who went to be highly commended and of course, the winners, you all should be very proud of yourselves.
“Our charity chosen is the food bank and we will be donating in food and toiletries in December from all the profits made from the Gala Evening, which will make a difference to the lives of those struggling to make ends meet.”