The great and good of Watford have been rewarded for their dedication to making the town a fantastic place to live in Watford Borough Council’s annual Audentior Awards.
The winners – announced at a ceremony in the Watford Colosseum on Friday – were recognised for going the extra mile to help friends, family and the wider community. Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill and Council Chairman Darren Walford were at the event to congratulate them.
Rev Helen Roberts from Watford’s Wellspring Church was joint winner of the Mayor’s Audentior Award. Rev Roberts organises the Flourish annual gathering of women – which, among other charitable deeds, funds sewing machines for women in Burkina Faso. She said: “I feel really honoured to have received my Audentior Award and I love the fact that people are talking about the empowerment of women. That to me is an amazing thing. Seeing a woman realise her significance so that she can change her world is amazing.”
Sonja Timme and Monica Lakey, who have each given 23 years of voluntary service to Watford Shopmobility, won the Chairman’s Award for Volunteer of the Year. Al Zahra Youth, meanwhile, were named runner-up in the Sporting Achievement category – with Watford Harriers the category winners – for organising the charity fundraising Ali Naqi Memorial Football Tournament to remember Ali Naqi. Ali died aged 20 on 26 March, 2006. You can find the full list of the winners and runners up and hear their stories on Watford Borough Council’s YouTube page www.youtube.com/watfordcouncil.
Dorothy Thornhill said: “We have a lot of good people in our town who give up their time for many different really good causes. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to them. They have a lot to be proud of, and we want to make sure that they know that they are appreciated.
Councillor Darren Walford said: “Our Audentior Awards ceremony was fantastic, and I really enjoyed personally meeting and congratulating all of the winners. Long may they continue their good deeds for Watford!”
The sponsors of this year’s Audentior Awards were Warner Brothers Studios Leavesden, Everyone Active, Watford FC, Watford FC Community Sports & Education (CSE) Trust, intu Watford and McNicholas.
The winners for each of the Audentior categories are as follows:
- Sporting Achievement (runner-up) – Group: Al Zahra Youth.
- Chairman’s Award for Volunteer of the Year: Sonja Timme and Monica Lakey.
- Sporting Achievement – Individual: Student of Watford’s Francis Combe Academy Briar Thornbury-Snelling, aged 14, who has won a multitude of regional, national and international titles and medals for diving.
- Sporting Achievement – Group: Watford Harriers, a group for athletes of all abilities who recently won a ‘Club Mark’ Sport England accreditation for excellent administration of the club. The Watford Harriers also organise the annual Watford Half Marathon.
- Lewington Price Disability Award: Disability Recreation Unity Movement (DRUM) Watford, a charity that offers day services and support to adults with disabilities in South West Herts.
- Mayor’s Award (joint winner): Rev Helen Roberts from Wellspring Church, Watford.
- Mayor’s Award (joint winner): Pastor Erica Tuxworth, who has helped put Watford’s Woodside Community Church of the Nazarene at the centre of the community.
- Charitable Group: Holywell YMCA Youth Club, which is active and welcoming to Watford’s young people, who themselves decide on the sports, arts and crafts and what to cook. Its members also pick up litter, make meals and provide a gardening service for residents.
- Charitable Business: Corona Energy (winner), which dedicated 75 ‘giving days’ to its charitable partners in 2015.
- Charitable Business: UD Salon (runner-up), which has played an active role in Watford’s community events, donated prizes, organised zumbathons and helped charities.
Special Achievement Award – Watford Celebration Committee, made up of people from all faiths and none who organise the town’s annual celebration of diversity.