One Show surprises Potters Bar community hero with award

Potters Bar community stalwart Lisa Worrell.

Potters Bar community stalwart Lisa Worrell. - Credit: Chris Myers

A Potters Bar stalwart who has worked tirelessly for local charities has been recognised by BBCTV's The One Show for her selfless acts on behalf of the local community.

Mother of five Lisa Worrell and her team of volunteers collect items that charity shops won't accept, sell them at car boot sales at Elm Court Community Centre and donate the money raised to charity.

She chooses two different charities every week, and some of the charities that have benefited are Morven Guide Hut, London Colney Hedgehog Rescue, ADD-vance, The Autism Trust, Gratitude, WD6 Food Support, Blaze Potters Bar Food Bank, 4th Potters Bar Brownies and Crusaders Football Club.

Last week Lisa's friends and family joined The One Show team at Elm Court car boot sale to surprise her with a ‘One Big Thank You’ award, an initiative for people who deserve a big shout out because of their selfless work during the pandemic.

The One Show team hatched a plan that involved a spoof Bargain Hunt filming at the car boot for their latest series, with contestants dropping out a the last moment, and it was engineered that Lisa would be asked to take part to save the day.

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Lisa jumped at the chance, chasing around the car boot sale with friend and fellow fundraiser Caroline Presho looking for items to buy and sell at auction.

She said: "As far as I knew, last week was no different to any other week. Our lovely team were all together, and we were busy unloading the van, managing the stall, and serving customers.

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"We shared laughter and as usual there was a great feeling of the team focussing on turning the fabulous donations we receive from our community into much needed funding for charity.

"I was then told that the contestants for the Bargain Hunt episode had failed to turn up for filming, and I didn't need any persuading to join in. I literally had no idea that I had been set up! It seemed so incredibly feasible, and we embraced the exciting opportunity.

"We were told to look out for a silver plate and when we found one, I was told to pick it up and study it. When I turned it over, I saw the words: 'One Big Thank You Lisa Worrell'. It then all made sense! I was dumbfounded and totally lost for words!

Lisa Worrell in her Bargain Hunt jacket.

Lisa Worrell in her Bargain Hunt jacket. - Credit: Lisa Worrell

"I can't tell you how utterly overwhelmed I felt when I realised that I had been put forward for this award by Carl, Joan and Charlotte Ritchie, who play a massive role in supporting fundraising projects.

"My husband and children were watching, and of course my wonderful friends Claire, Sarah, Christian Gray and Chris Myers who are part of our fundraising team watched my reaction.

"I feel so incredibly blessed to have such inspirational people in my life.... without them I couldn't do any of the fundraising projects that mean so much to me. They are the heroes, as are each and every member of our community who continue to donate and support our team. I feel so honoured."

Potters Bar Furzefield Cllrs Myers and Gray, who have worked closely with Lisa on many projects over the years, were on hand to pay tribute to the lady of the hour.

Cllr Myers said: "Lisa has community running through her veins, her work for local charities is simply astounding. Everyone should be more Lisa."

Cllr Gray said that a wet day couldn’t dampen the spirits, adding: "To see the surprise on Lisa’s face was absolutely magical. She couldn’t believe we were all there for her.

"Typical of Lisa, she shared the recognition with everyone around her. She is a very special person. Lisa, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do."

Lisa Worrell organised Easter Bunny visits in Potters Bar.

Lisa Worrell organised Easter Bunny visits in Potters Bar. - Credit: Michael Myers

As well as car booting or organising other fundraisers like the Easter Bunny visits and doorstep Santa Visits, Lisa works for charity ADD-vance ADHD and Autism Trust based in Hatfield, supporting parents and carers of children with ADHD and autism.

The tribute will air on BBC1 in September.

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