Herts Ad Comment: Heroes who go the extra mile

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Herts Advertiser comment - Credit: Archant

It’s that time of year again - no not just Christmas or the start of 2017 but the annual honours list when the great and the good get a gong for their efforts.

This year there has been a plethora of sporting stars - a result of last summer’s Olympics - and the usual round of celebrities, not to mention civil servants, company head honchos and many more besides.

A lot of the recipients raise or give money to charity even if their citations suggest that their honours have been awarded for other reasons and that is to be applauded.

But it is still particularly inspiring when someone gets an honour for going that extra mile to help others without having a hugely well-paid job, a very wealthy husband (Victoria Beckham?) or being head hunted by charities desperate to sign them up as donors.

Step forward this year, Ann Rudeforth, who was awarded an honour for her services to the community in Wheathampstead. A former teacher, she has devoted her time since retirement to making sure transport is available for the elderly, ill and just plain lonely in the village who would struggle to get anywhere without the service she has been running for years for Wheathampstead Community Group.

As bus services to villages are in terminal decline, taxis are expensive and in short supply and people tend to live further and further away from their families, the voluntary work carried out by Ann and her ilk is increasingly vital.

It can change the lives of people who would never see anyone otherwise, would fret about how to get to hospital or doctor’s appointments or just desperately need to ‘get out’ once in a while - those people the bus companies long since stopped caring about.

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Most honours are deserved in some way, shape or form but it is those unsung heroes and heroines who genuinely go the extra mile to make life better for their communities who deserve them most of all.