Bedford-based housing association bpha hosted an awards ceremony to recognise their volunteers who have given 2,168 hours of their time to bpha projects and in their communities.
The event, which was held at the Harpur Suite, Bedford, on Tuesday, June 2 proved emotional and inspiring to all in attendance, and coincided with National Volunteers Week.
Groups and individuals were presented with Community Champion Awards - awarded to people living in communities where bpha has homes and have gone the extra mile in working towards ensuring the quality of life for people in those communities has improved.
Community Champion Award winner Emma Lovelock, who was recognised for her work with Loves Farm Community Association said: “It was a complete surprise and lovely to be recognised for the things I do. It’s great fun coming up with new ideas and listening to the residents. Loves Farm Community Association is a great bunch of people and winning five awards between us was great.”
Long Service Award winner Sylvia Peacock added: “It was a wonderful surprise to win this award. It will be one of the most memorable moments in my life. I am so grateful to bpha for all their support over the years, and I have enjoyed being an involved resident from day one.”
Highlights of the evening included music from the Barford Avenue All Stars and a Line Dancing demo from members of bpha’s Fit at Sixty exercise and games programme.
This year’s winners were:
Community Champions - Kirsty Pitt, Ben Pitt, Matt Baffoni, Margaret Stocker, Christine Gibson, Emma Lovelock, David Redding, Marcus Pickering, Wixams Playgroup, Mile Road Allotment & Leisure
Gardeners’ Association and Wixams Allotment Group Outstanding Group Award - Loves Farm Community Association and Loves Farm House.
For a passionate team of people who have worked together to make a real difference to the community, bringing people together for a range of events and activities.
Outstanding Individual Award - Matt Baffoni
For his hard work and dedication to the Volunteer Gardening Project, and his sensitivity and support to our most vulnerable residents.
Long Service Award - Sylvia Peacock
A founder member of bpha’s Service Improvement Panel, which is now in its fourth year – Sylvia’s consistent attention to detail has enabled her to assist her SIP colleagues tom deliver a number of successful service reviews.
Director of service delivery, Julie Wittich, who presented the awards, said: “We are privileged to have so many passionate and dedicated volunteers willing to give up their own time to help improve the communities in which they live. Our annual awards ceremony is a small way of bpha showing how much we appreciate the good work they do.”