Awarded for their role in Welwyn Hatfield

COMMUNITY-MINDED residents have been rewarded for their efforts during the AGM of Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Borough stalwart Christine Novelli, Hatfield resident Pauline Honour and teenagers Rachel McCullough and Oren Blindell were named as the winners of the 2010 Civic Awards at Campus West Theatre in WGC.

The awards, sponsored by Serco, recognise the work and achievements of residents within the borough, as nominated by their friends, family and work colleagues.

Christine was described as “a dedicated pillar of our community”, by council leader John Dean and his wife and fellow councillor Irene, who nominated her.

Christine is a founding member and chair of the Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group, and is also vice chairman of the Welwyn Hatfield Alliance, representing churches, children and young people across the borough.

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She has also been instrumental in the success of Space, a community centre for young people in Church Road, WGC.

A second centre is due to open in Hatfield later this year.

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Christine said she felt “very privileged” to receive the honour.

“My passion has always been bringing young people and the community together,” she said. It’s my driving force, and I really do believe the resources are out there, to bring people together and make it happen.”

Teaching assistant Pauline Honour was acknowledged for her contribution to education in Hatfield, where she has worked at what is now known as De Havilland Primary School in Travellers Lane for 31 years.

“It means everything to me,” she said. “It’s my whole life. When I got the letter saying I’d been nominated I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

“I thought it was Welwyn Hatfield Council telling me I hadn’t paid my council tax or something!”, she joked.

The third award was shared between 15-year-olds Rachel McCullough and Oren Blindell.

The pair, who both play for Welwyn Girls Rugby Club at Hobbs Way in WGC, successfully applied for a �10,000 grant to fund the Herts Rugby Awareness Week, and managed to involve 44 schools across the county in the campaign.

Rachel, who lives in Harpenden, said: “We’re really grateful. It creates publicity for our campaign. Rugby is such a good physical and social game. You can keep fit and have a laugh with your friends.”

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