Heroes every one
PUBLISHED: 11:25 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:44 27 October 2009
FIVE 'community heroes' who have given up their time to help others have been honoured at a prestigious ceremony. From jam-making or raising vital funds for a hospice, to picking up litter or running groups for the elderly or disabled, these people are tr
FIVE 'community heroes' who have given up their time to help others have been honoured at a prestigious ceremony.
From jam-making or raising vital funds for a hospice, to picking up litter or running groups for the elderly or disabled, these people are true citizens of Welwyn Hatfield.
Eve Bowring, Suzie Scambler, and Fred Houghton were all presented with Civic Awards on Monday night.
Rosemary Mitchell also picked up a joint award for herself and her late husband Brian, who died after the couple's nomination for their work with Handside Neighbours' Club over the last 34 years.
Each award winner had worked for many years doing small things that make a big difference for our community.
Eve Bowring raised cash for Isabel Hospice, Suzie Scambler founded ActOne ArtsBase allowing disabled people to fulfil their dreams of being on the stage and Fred Houghton won the Serco award for clearing up his neighbourhood in the Haldens area.
Former mayor Carl Storer, who presented the awards, said: "One thing that struck the judging panel in this year was that it's the small things in life that have an impact.
"Whether it's picking up the odd bit of litter or making jam for charity.
"Many of this year's nominees were fine examples of the fact it's the small gestures that can make a huge difference."
WHT editor Terry Mitchinson was also on this year's judging panel, he said: "It is humbling to see the amount of selfless work done by some many people for the good of others.
"All the nominations deserved to win. It was a hugely tough task to choose.
The Award is presented in recognition of Mrs Bowring’s outstanding fundraising work for the Isabel Hospice.
Nominated by Mrs Meg Dennis and Jean Holford. The following text is drawn from their nomination form:
Eve Bowring has done sterling work over many years. Following the death of her husband from cancer, Eve wanted to do something to repay the kindness he had received.
She joined a bereavement clinic and learned that £6 million was needed to build a local hospice.
She decided as her contribution she would make marmalade – in her first year, charging 50p per jar, she raised £500.
From these humble beginnings she branched out, taking stalls at local fairs, holding coffee mornings, house-to-house collections and many other activities.
In 1988 she became chairman of the North Mymms support group for the Isabel Hospice and now had a small committee so horizons could be widened.
The marmalade making extended to include jams and pickles and the gift of a large amount of wool left from the sale of Mrs Tingey’s wool shop in White Lion Square started Eve off on her knitting campaign.
She also branched out into the entertainment business by holding quiz nights, dances, bridge drives and ploughman’s lunches.
This has been going on for 20 years and in that time £130,000 has been raised.
Although Eve (now in her 80s and confined to a wheelchair) is no longer chairman of the support group she continues, with her friend Joan Barnes, her jam and pickle making and knitting.
At the 2007 Hatfield House Christmas Fair they made £800 on their stall.
Winner of the Serco award for environmental service.
The Award is presented in recognition of Mr Houghton’s outstanding dedication to voluntarily assisting in litter picking, tackling graffiti and looking after plants in the Haldens area of Welwyn Garden City.
Nominated by Sara Johnston and Natasha Gasson. The following text is drawn from their nomination form:
Fred is one of the most public spirited people we have ever met.
Whatever the weather you will find Fred and his trusty litter picker tidying up the neighbourhood.
He looks after shrubs and flowerbeds and has even been known to paint out graffiti in the Haldens underpass.
He makes sure older people are cared for despite being older himself and is generally concerned for the wellbeing of everyone. He looked after his mother until her death and is a gentleman.
His achievements are being cheerful no matter what and helping everyone in the neighbourhood.
We could do with more people like Fred and he deserves this award to thank him for years and years of unpaid service.
Brian and Rosemary Mitchell
The Award is presented in recognition of Mr and Mrs Mitchell’s outstanding work with the Handside Neighbours’ Club.
Nominated by Mr James Morgan and Mrs Sheila Morgan. The following text is drawn from their nomination form:
Brian and Rosemary Mitchell have been involved in the Handside Neighbours’ Club for the last 34 years.
Brian Mitchell was chairman for many years and Rosemary has undertaken the running of the weekly meetings at the Backhouse Rooms in Handside House.
The main object of the club is to promote and maintain a close-knit group of Senior Citizens in Handside.
Bearing in mind that the Handside Neighbours’ Club meets on a weekly basis it means that Rosemary has organised a total of 1,700 meetings and all through this period has maintained and promoted companionship and concern for all its members.
The meetings for Senior Citizens in Handside have involved inviting guest speakers, arranging outings, competitions, suppers and a raffle.
Rosemary and Brian have always been there with help and support in joyful and sad times for their members, but above all have always given of themselves at all times.
It is our privilege to nominate them.
Following this submission, the Judging Panel was saddened to hear that Mr Mitchell passed away earlier this year.
We extend our sincerest sympathies to Mr Mitchell’s family and friends.
The Award is presented in recognition of Ms Scambler’s outstanding work in establishing and running ActOne ArtsBase.
Nominated by Mick Long and Andy Birchwood. The following text is drawn from their nomination form:
Suzie's outstanding achievements cover many fields. Not only does she overcome personal challenges every day due to disability, she also contributes a huge amount to the community through the performing arts organisation and charity she founded: ActOne ArtsBase.
Suzie has always been very committed to dance and her long term goal was to become a ballet dancer.
At 16 she won a full scholarship to go to a London dance school where she worked hard to achieve that goal.
Shortly into her training she developed the neurological condition Dystonia which causes extremely painful, involuntary muscle spasms.
In Suzie’s case the condition is generalised and can affect any part of her body.
The condition is constantly present in her hips and legs which prevents her from being able to walk or stand unaided so she needs to use a wheelchair.
While she was not able to continue her training in the way she had anticipated, she still wanted dance to be a focal part of her life. She researched disciplines such as yoga and martial arts.
Mixed with the classical and contemporary dance techniques she was so familiar with, Suzie discovered she could extend her range of movement well past the bleak prognosis she had been given by her doctors.
In her words, “I could find new ways to move and looked at my wheelchair rather like a dance partner.”
This method now enables her to reach a great many people who otherwise would not have imagined being part of a dance class, and makes Suzie's work unique – even in the field of inclusive arts.
Frustrated with the lack of opportunities for disabled people to access training and professional work in theatre, Suzie set up ActOne ArtsBase.
From just one inclusive drama project in January 2000 with eight participants, the charity now runs many projects, holiday workshops, and partnerships all over Hertfordshire, helping over 500 disabled and non-disabled young people conquer prejudice and fulfil their dreams on stage.
What drives Suzie is seeing people achieve something they thought impossible and be proud of themselves for it.
Despite the success of her organisation, Suzie still finds time to work closely with all of her participants.
Each and every one, their parents and friends, love and respect Suzie for the difference she has made to their lives and will be immensely pleased to see her achieve some recognition in the community.
Full list of nominees
Eve Bowring, Jan Brand, Geoff Clark, Marion Dawson, Terry and Chris Densham, Tony Grice, Paul Hadley, Dennis Hedges, Andrew Herbert Trotter, Fred Houghton, Jack Kampmeier, Brian and Rosemary Mitchell, Christine Novelli, Robert Ross, Suzanne Scambler, Owen Snell, Tania Taylor, Martin Waldock, Judith Watson
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