Celebrating county's Covid heroes

Chairman of Herts county council Annie Brewster's garden party for Covid heroes.

Chairman of Herts county council Annie Brewster's garden party for Covid heroes. - Credit: HCC

Covid heroes who went over and above to support others during the testing times of the last two years were celebrated at a special garden party.

The event took place in the COVID-19 Garden of Reflection at County Hall, and hosted by Herts county council chairman Cllr Annie Brewster.

Nominated by county councillors, Hertfordshire’s Covid heroes included residents who set up food banks, delivered supplies to those who were shielding, launched pop-up schools, organised online fitness classes and much, much more.

They included St Albans' own Raihaanah Ahmed who organised the distribution of food parcels, including home-baked cakes, to people isolating as well as setting up a Foodbank outpost at the Abbey Theatre for the elderly and sheltering individuals.

Speaking at the event, Cllr Brewster said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have many of our heroic volunteers from all over Hertfordshire with us. You have been nominated by county councillors for selflessly going the extra mile to help your communities. Your instant mobilisation of your own supportive actions plus inspiring armies of volunteers desperate to help was staggering.

Chairman of Herts county council Annie Brewster's garden party for Covid heroes.

Chairman of Herts county council Annie Brewster's garden party for Covid heroes. - Credit: HCC

Chairman of Herts county council Annie Brewster's garden party for Covid heroes.

Chairman of Herts county council Annie Brewster's garden party for Covid heroes. - Credit: HCC

Cllr Annie Brewster with Raihaanah Ahmed.

Cllr Annie Brewster with Raihaanah Ahmed. - Credit: HCC

“Your inspiring stories range from those who set up a comprehensive service to support an entire town, to others who manned foodbanks or delivered provisions and vital pharmaceutical supplies, baked cakes to deliver to the elderly, opened a Bereavement Café, manned pop-up shops, made scrubs, launched a remote school, organised online fitness classes, quizzes, magazines and newsletters.

“You have made the entire county unbelievably proud and we salute and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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“Thank you to every single person for all you have done and what you do.”

The Garden of Reflection was opened in June 2021 after staff were asked how they could create a lasting memorial to and for those affected by COVID-19.

The plants in the garden were specifically chosen to remember loved ones and include the Absent Friends Rose and a plant named Angel Wings. There is an Oscar Wilde inscription in the middle of the paving which states: "When it rains, look for rainbows, when it’s dark, look for stars.”