The search continues for the district’s unsung heroes as part of Herts Ad 160th celebrations

Caroline Atkins, of St Albans, who ran with the torch in Stansted Mountfitchet on July 7

Caroline Atkins, of St Albans, who ran with the torch in Stansted Mountfitchet on July 7 - Credit: Photo supplied

The search is on for the district’s charity champions as part of the inaugural Herts Advertiser Community Awards.

The Herts Advertiser is launching its Community Awards

The Herts Advertiser is launching its Community Awards - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ leading community paper is turning 160 this year and we are looking for inspirational do-gooders to help make these birthday celebrations even more memorable.

Together with sponsors, The Maltings Shopping Centre and KDW, the paper is launching the awards to honour people from all walks of life who do some good for the city, while celebrating having served the St Albans and Harpenden district since 1855.

Nominations are invited from the public for 11 different categories, including the Charity Champion award, which is for any person or group committed to raising money for good causes. It takes into account evidence of the amount of money raised, the overall impression of the nomination, the amount of time they give to charity work and their willingness to raise money for a number of charities.

The nominations have been flooding in for all 11 categories, and all of the remarkable individuals and organisations nominated will be invited to the gala awards ceremony at The Maltings Arts Theatre on September 8.

To inspire you to get your nominations in before the closing date of August 14, we will be focusing on some of the incredible submissions that have already been received.

Caroline Atkins has been nominated for her outstanding voluntary work and tireless fundraising within the community.

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After devoting 30 years to the Scout Association in Herts, she has now thrown her time and energy into raising funds for the Hospice of St Francis which provided amazing care for her family and her husband, Paul, in the last weeks of his life in 2014.

She has already completed the 10K Mud Pack Challenge, held an authentic Indian curry nIght and, with family friends, held a hugely successful Chocolate Ball which, alone, raised £6,500.

Later this year, she is planning on doing a trek to Nepal to carry out voluntary work there and another Chocolate Ball is scheduled for November 15 which aims to raise a staggering £10,000.

Sandridge resident Clare Duran has been nominated because of the support she provides to her seven children - three of whom have special needs - while holding down a full-time job running her own successful recruitment company.

Hatfield Road businessman Mohammad Akhtar has been nominated for the huge amount of work he has carried out in support of deaf children.

After finding out his daughter was deaf he resolved to improve the plight of deaf people back in his home country of Kashmir. He established a charity shop which has resulted in the opening of a school for the deaf in Kashmir which looks after over 20 pupils, and has now started two units to support deaf children with their learning in Africa.

He has also decided to learn sign language and is currently whizzing through his level one BSL at the local school for deaf children, Heathlands.

All the criteria for each individual Community Award can be found online at