8 June, 2016
To mark National Volunteers Week (1-12 June 2016), Housing Association bpha proudly hosted an awards ceremony on 7 June to celebrate and recognise their volunteers, who have given over 2,500 hours of their time to making a difference in their local bpha communities.
Over 60 volunteers braved the bad weather and storms to attend the evening ceremony at the Harpur Suite in Bedford. Some truly remarkable community groups and individuals were presented with Community Hero Awards to recognise how they have helped to improve the lives of people in their communities.
A special Long Service Certificate was also presented to Rev. Richard Howlett, who was inducted as Vicar of the Church of St Mary in Goldington Bedford in 2005. With the support of his wife Katherine, Richard has led on a number of important community initiatives, such as building a shelter in Milburn Road and developing an award-winning community garden project, Golden Gardens. On receiving his award, Richard said: “I am amazed and very honoured to be presented with this award. I have been pleased to work with volunteers and bpha in our common aim to transform our communities.”
Community & Financial Inclusion Manager, Nicky Dahl, who hosted the evening said: “Our volunteers make such a difference in their communities, and they don’t receive a penny for all the hard work they do. Our volunteer awards ceremony is bpha’s way of saying thank you to them for their efforts.”
This year’s bpha Community Hero awards were presented to:
Chris Forse – Digital Hero
Hockliffe Road Community Garden – Green Hero
John Hammond – Local Hero
Ivor and Lind Owens – Local Hero
Elsie Dawson – Local Hero
Rev. Richard Howlett – Long Service to the Community
In June 2015, bpha also launched its first Employee Volunteering programme to mark its 25th Anniversary.
Over the past year, over 300 bpha employees have contributed 2,000 hours of their time to support community projects and initiatives, such as foodbanks and the Re-Use Centre in Bedford.