HENLEY is to salute its unsung heroes.
A new awards scheme has been launched to reward those people who go the extra mile to make the town a better place to live and work but often don’t receive the accolades they deserve.
The Henley Heroes Awards are being organised by town manager Helen Barnett with a committee of business people, town councillors and community workers, supported by the Henley Standard.
The awards ceremony will be held at the town hall on May 4 with a drinks reception, three-course dinner and entertainment.
Categories will be open to all sections of the community, such as charity volunteers, carers and fund-raisers or people who have faced adversity with great courage.
Nominations are now open for the 10 awards in four different categories as follows:
• Greener Henley Environment Awards — community champion, business environment and waste reduction/recycling.
• Henley Business Partnership Business Awards — for entrepreneur of the year and great place to work.
• Sporting Awards — for outstanding achievement and inspiring individual.
• Community Awards — for child of courage/young person of the year, fund-raiser/volunteer of the year and local hero, which could be from education, the emergency services or any other background.
A winner and runner-up from each category will be chosen by a panel of experts.
Ms Barnett said: “We all know people who do so much to help Henley in whatever way, such as reducing the amount of plastic bottles that we use, clearing the town of snow, or planting the community orchard.
“There are a lot of unsung heroes who help people behind the scenes and we want to thank them for the hard work and commitment that they show.
“These awards are about cherishing those who make a difference. Please nominate all those you know deserve to be recognised.”
Mayor Kellie Hinton, who is one of the judges, said: “I am really excited about Henley Heroes as it will recognise the community champions who keep this town running and makes it such an extraordinary place to live.
“There is no place like Henley and that’s not just because it is a stunning place to live with the river and the landscape, it’s the complete community.
“I come across unsung heroes all the time and I could sit for hours writing nominations.
“This is a real opportunity to show all the incredible things people do, which most other people have no idea about.
“If people realised what they do it could help generate more support for them.”
Niki Schäfer, an interior designer and a member of the organising committee, said: “There are entrepreneurs in the town for sure but I am not sure that we all know about them as they keep themselves to themselves whereas the business community comes together to network and support each other.
“I hope these awards can boost the entrepreneurial spirit and spur people on to do that.
“I think the awards are a lovely idea and they will show that Henley is a great town where people do really good things.”
The awards ceremony will be in support of the youth and community group Nomad, which is based at the d:two centre in Market Place, Henley.
Nominations should say, in as much detail as possible, why that person deserves to win.
These should be sent to: The Henley Heroes Awards, c/o the Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD.
The closing date is Friday, April 20.
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