Role of volunteers supported by housing association in Pride in Bedfordshire awards 2016

The important role of volunteers in our community will be among those recognised in this year's Pride in Bedfordshire awards.

Among the supporters this year is housing association bpha who are sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year award.

A spokeswoman for bpha said: “bpha is a housing association committed to providing its customers with high quality, value for money services whilst continuing to develop sustainable and affordable housing. Our goal is to create places where everyone feels proud to live. We are a leading provider and developer of affordable homes – for rent, sheltered, residential care and shared ownership.

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“bpha is about much more than just housing though. We are passionate about creating and maintaining thriving communities where people want to live. We work together with communities to improve opportunities, independence and quality of life for residents.

Volunteers are an integral part of every community. With our own community volunteers dedicating over 2,500 hours each year to supporting local initiatives, we see first-hand the great work that they do. To mark bpha’s 25th anniversary in June 2015, bpha pledged to give staff one working day each year to support projects in the communities we serve. In just one year, bpha staff volunteered over 2,000 hours of their time.

“Volunteers do not get paid a penny for what they do, so it is important that their efforts are recognised and celebrated. For this reason, bpha is delighted to be sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year accolade at this year’s Pride in Bedford Awards.”

If you would like to find out more about how to become a bpha volunteer, please get in touch by calling 0330 100 0272 and ask for the community development team.

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As your local newspaper, we believe the efforts of those unsung heroes and heroines should be recognised, and now you can nominate someone for our Pride in Bedfordshire 2016 awards.

They are launched this year in association with the Harpur Trust and Costa, supported by Quantum Print.

The Pride in Bedfordshire awards will be presented at Bedford Corn Exchange on Thursday, November 3, with guest ​Jon Moses, a finalist in ITV’s Superstar.

We want to hear from you about people in your community who have made a real difference.

The categories are:

Excellence in Education/Apprenticeship: sponsored by Costa

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This award is for an individual or group who has enriched their lives through a commitment to learning, maybe an adult who has returned to education and achieved excellence in their chosen field, or someone young or older who inspires others with their enthusiasm and love for learning.

Volunteer of the Year: sponsored by bpha Ltd

For an individual or organisation who gives freely and unselfishly of his or her time to help others, go above and beyond their role, inspire and motivate others to volunteer and have made an impact.

Care in the Community: ​sponsored by The Harpur Trust

​This award recognises individuals who have shown incredible patience and understanding, often for many years, caring for and supporting a friend or loved one. This award recognises those who have cared for others without thought for themselves or any public recognition

Unsung Hero/Heroine: ​sponsored by Keens Shay Keens Ltd

​This award recognises the achievements of individuals or groups that go out of their way for others or their community as a whole. From spreading good news to voluntary support, this award is for people who are not recognised for their years of commitment.

Raising the profile of the town: ​sponsored by Eagle Ale

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​This award is for someone who has actively promoted the town via press releases to local media. An individual or group who has worked towards making their area a safer or stronger community and promoted the positivity of the town outside the area.

Fundraiser of the Year: ​available to sponsor

​This award is to recognise the achievements of the many people that raise money for others. Many of these people so often go without recognition.

Courage & Kindness: ​available to sponsor

This award recognises the courage and/or kindness that individuals have shown in their lives. Courage may be in the face of a difficult or challenging situation or in the face of personal adversity or suffering. Kindness is about care and concern for others and is reflected in attitudes and actions towards others; kindness inspires kindness and can lead to a cycle of happiness.

Young Achiever: ​available to sponsor

​This award is for someone under 21 who has achieved great things in sport, represented their school, been involved in volunteer work, or achieved distinction in some other field. An individual who has gone above the expected and is setting new standards in a particular field.

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The Harpur Trust will also sponsor a Winner of Winners award.

How to nominate

Full details of how to nominate someone for an award is at

You can also email [email protected] or call 01536 506123 for further details.

Please submit your nominations no later than October 5, 2016.