Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre welcomed many of BedsRCC ‘s staff, volunteers, trustees and patrons on Monday (6 September) to celebrate the charity’s successful win at the SME National Business Awards in July.
The event was a celebration to recognise and thank all those staff and volunteers who have worked so tirelessly throughout the pandemic to support residents and communities across Bedfordshire, many of whom were extremely vulnerable, and to celebrate winning the SME National Business award for Best Community Business of the Year.
The original nomination detailed all of the work that BedsRCC does from community referral (social prescribing), community agents, good neighbours, across passenger transport, community rail and the not for profit businesses, to community led planning, conservation and village halls.
Some of the stories included described how
• the Good Neighbour Network Team supported Central Bedfordshire Council’s Covid-19 Community hub by contacting 1,750 residents identified as potentially vulnerable to find out who needed help
• the Village and Community Agents worked to support 537 isolated and vulnerable residents by phone instead of the usual home visits
• the Community Transport Department Team re-purposed itself to support the Covid-19 response in Bedford Borough, using volunteers and those drivers not isolating
BedsRCC won the regional final in June 2021 for Bedfordshire and Luton, which secured the place at the July final held at Wembley Stadium, but with so many worthy nominees the team were genuinely surprised and highly delighted to be announced national winners.
Paula Grayson, BedsRCC Chair of the Board of Trustees said “Ensuring the volunteers and staff are celebrated, and able to celebrate, this achievement is so important. They are the reason BedsRCC is able to deliver such vital services and it’s their work that has won this award. The effort across the whole of BedsRCC throughout the pandemic was immense and all our teams have worked tirelessly and with determination to provide vital support in such a difficult time, and we are incredibly proud of them.”
Tracy Cowan, BedsRCC CEO added ” I am so proud of the amazing work our teams do and I was really pleased to see such a large turn out. It was a pleasure to be able to say thank you in this way.”
Attendees included Deputy Lord Lieutenant Robert Goodwin and BedsRCCC Trustee High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Eric Masih.
Take a look at the photos, kindly taken by Andy Buckley, on the BedsRCC Facebook page.