2019 WINNERS 

Mayor's Award 

Winner - Sam Torabi

Sam works within the local community to improve the confidence and health of people.  Sam has worked with the Peace Hospice to deliver exercise groups to patients and has taken part in and organised numerous charity events to raise money for them.  Sam’s energy and enthusiasm motivates those around him empowering them to improve their health and wellbeing.  He runs HiiT classes, bootcamps, get moving classes for the elderly as well as personal training sessions at the leisure centre.  Sam has positively influenced so many people in their health journey in and around Watford. 

Carer of the Year Award

Winner - John Cunnane

Since John’s early retirement he has been his wife’s carer, who has been living with multiple sclerosis for the past 30 years.  He’s there for her 24 hours a day and copes with the majority of his wife’s severe needs by himself, with no complaint or need for acknowledgment.  He is active in local charity work especially those charities that have helped his wife over the years.  He is an inspiration to his family and they believe he deserves the recognition for the amazing dedication to his wife and the community even though he doesn’t see this as extraordinary.

Charity Worker of the Year Award

Winner - Tom Billington and Mel Boda

Recognising a lack of opportunity for adults with learning difficulties to express themselves and represent who they really are Tom and Mel created Electric Umbrella in 2013 running workshops once a week and putting on shows.  Today with over 60 members, Electric Umbrella has become a community for their members, extended families, support networks and the hundreds of others who experience the joy of seeing them perform at gigs and events.  Their energy and passion is the essence of Electric Umbrella.   

Public Service Award

Winner - Peter Gilbert

Peter (or Pete as everyone calls him) is a long serving bus driver of the 318 bus.  He has been described as unfailingly kind, attentive, full of cheerfulness and concern by his regular passengers.  Peter is known for sharing a joke, worrying if passengers aren’t on their ‘usual’ bus, always up for a chat and decorating his bus at Christmas.  For those less abled he will drop them off nearer to where they need to be, pick them up along the way or simply wait at the stop a few minutes more so they don’t miss his bus.  His regulars admire and respect him so much they buy him cards and presents at Christmas as well as looking out for him during the very hot days over the summer bringing him bottles of water and ice lollies!

Pride In Watford Award

Winner - Random Cafe

The Random Cafe is a pop up cafe helping Watford reduce the amount of food wasted in the town, thereby making it a greener and more environmentally friendly town.  They hold regular cafes around Watford using food donated by local supermarkets and cafes that would usually go to landfill for a variety of reasons including damaged packaging, over ordering, end of a promotion and past its best before date. They turn it into tasty snacks and meals which the public can buy on a pay as you feel basis.

Young Achiever of the Year Award

Winner - Lee Keogh

Lee has worked hard raising awareness of access to parks and equipment for disabled children.  He is an excellent ambassador for West Herts College at the Chamber of Commerce attending several business network events and talking /presenting at one.  He has also starting a film editing business. Lee likes to be considered an everyday normal bloke … he hates people calling him inspirational … he just gets on with it.

Contribution to Sport & Healthy Living Award

Winner - Julia Ann Riegal

Julia runs a free weekly walking group in Oxhey Village.  She leads these groups herself, coming up with different routes around the local area and publicising them to attract new walkers.  The walks are open to all ages and Julia motivates walkers checking that no-one is in difficulty or left behind.  In organising these walks Julia is encouraging people to improve their fitness levels whilst promoting community spirit as walkers get chatting to each other, making new friendships.  Men, women and even dogs are able to join the walks!

Chairman's Culture Award

Winner - Herts Inclusive Theatre

Herts Inclusive Theatre group give people with disabilities the confidence to express themselves through acting and singing.  The team are well trained and patient when it comes to dealing with children and young adults with special needs.