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Hertsmere’s heroes recognised – one year on

Hertsmere’s heroes recognised – one year on Hertsmere’s unsung heroes have been recognised for their efforts and long-standing service – a year later than originally planned.

Hertsmere’s former Mayor, Councillor Rabbi Alan Plancey, was finally able to present eight Civic Awards 2019-20 to members of the public at a small, Covid-safe ceremony held in the Civic Offices yesterday (Wednesday 19 May). The ceremony was due to take place at Elstree Studios in April last year but had been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Among the people recognised for their tireless work and dedication to the community were Nicky Beaton, a Shenley parish councillor who spearheaded the Shenley Neighbourhood Plan which was approved in a referendum last week; Stephen Pearson, a volunteer and boxing coach at Brookside Boys Club; Simon Pyzer, district secretary for Hertsmere scouting and Lynette Sullivan, chair and founder member of the Christmas in Potters Bar group. A Civic Award was also presented to Visakha dasi, President of the Krishna Temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor, on behalf of former president Sruti Dharma das, who sadly passed away before he could receive the award.

Tracey Hanson, the mother of Josh Hanson, who was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack, was presented with the Dave Rankin Award for community safety. Through her charity, The Josh Hanson Trust, Tracey works to support and encourage self-expression and creativity among children and young people. She also works with the borough council’s community safety team to deliver workshops on knife crime at local schools.

In addition, Camp Unity, a Borehamwood-based organisation that provides opportunities for children and their families to meet people from other cultures and communities, also received a Civic Award. Camp Unity’s summer camping experience for youngsters aged six to 11 is returning this year from Sunday 15 August until Friday 20 August. To learn more or book your child’s place email

While, Hertsmere Volunteer Police Cadets, which helps youngsters learn and develop interests in policing and other community activities. was presented with a Youth Award for its work fundraising for a defibrilator. 

Nominations for the awards were invited in January 2020 and the winners were selected by a panel of judges.

Each award winner’s story has been captured in a short film clip, shot and edited by Pink Soul Pictures Ltd and available to view on Hertsmere’s website.