Civic Awards 2022

The inspirational achievements of local people were celebrated at the Annual Council Meeting last night (Monday 23 May), with the announcement of the Civic Awards 2022.

Photographed left to right are: Cllr Peter Hebden, Joy Ifarimoyo, Joy Chance, Cherie Button, Mayo Vondee, Harley Lieberman and Geri Ward, Dean of Students at the University of Hertfordshire.

The new Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Councillor Barbara Fitzsimon, invited her predecessor Cllr Peter Hebden to announce the awards, which celebrate their achievements in mentoring, supporting, and helping others.

This year the awards - now in its sixteenth year - were once again given in partnership with the Mears Group and the Young Person Award was also sponsored by the University of Hertfordshire for a recipient under the age of 21.

The winners were:

  • Harley Lieberman- Civic Award - despite being only 21 and suffering from social anxiety, Harley is an integral part of the Hatfield Men's Shed community group. He supports the other shed members, particularly the younger members like himself, also sharing his considerable joinery expertise on woodwork projects.
  •   Mayo Vondee - Civic Award - the University of Hertfordshire law student has volunteered on the Hertfordshire Law Clinic as well as the Shelter Court Desk Runner project. She has shown real passion for the law and commitment to supporting others, and to helping ensure justice for all.
  • Cherie Button and Joy Chance - Civic Award - for extending the hand of friendship around the borough during the pandemic. The duo has spent time outside the Howard Centre in WGC town centre every second Saturday, chatting to anyone feeling isolated or in need of a friendly face. Their Facebook page, 'Cherie and Joy - we grow community' aims to do the same.
  • Martin Connolly -Community Award presented by Mears - in recognition of his tireless work as a volunteer leading the marshals for the vaccination clinics at the University of Hertfordshire. His cheerful demeanour in all weathers put everyone, particularly nervous participants, at ease.
  • Joy Ifarimoyo (Young Person's Award) - is presented by the University of Hertfordshire - in recognition of her fantastic contribution as a midwifery student in helping others, both as a site rep for peers at her placement at Barnet hospital and as a midwifery ambassador to course applicants.

The winners each receive a crystal engraved trophy or a medal, a certificate, a cheque for £250 and a place in the Civic Awards Roll of Honour, recording their achievement for posterity.

The Mayor, Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon, said:

Once again we've had an amazing set of nominees and the winners here today are awe-inspiring. To support others so selflessly in the way that they all have is something we can all learn from, and I couldn't be happier to be shining a light on their heroics, with the recognition they truly deserve.