Great Shelford Parish Council wanted to celebrate the contributions of the unsung heroes from our village, by recognising the difference they have made to members of our community by launching the first Great Shelford Community Awards in January 2022.  Seven categories of award were chosen and on the evening of Thursday 3rd March, 8 winners were announced at the Annual Parish Meeting.

The awards were kindly sponsored by Redmayne, Arnold and Harris and Oliver Hughes, was able to give up his time to come and present the awards to our deserving winners.  All winners received a trophy, bottle of champagne and a certificate.  Well the Young Hero didn’t get the champagne, but a soft toy and craft kit!  Everyone who was nominated for an award also received a certificate of nomination.

Big thank you to everyone who has embraced the awards and nominated residents.  We had over 50 nominations for residents who have made a difference to many lives in different ways and it was enlightening to read some of the things written about our nominees.  The winners are listed below and we have used the text from provided by those nominating our winners to try and convey the reasons why they were chosen to be our Community Heros.

Young Hero
This award is aimed for anyone under 18 years of age who has overcome personal difficulty or made a stand to improve their life or the lives of others.  This year the award goes to Eliza Hilliard.  Eliza is only six years old and was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 2020.  She has been described as being one of the brightest, happiest people you could meet and has undergone her traumatic treatment with bravery and no complaints.  It is said she is a true inspiration.



Sports & Leisure - Julia CreedSports & Leisure
Aimed at any individual, club, group or organisation who has excelled in their sport or nurtured local talent.  The award this year goes to Julia Creed.  During the pandemic, with so much uncertainty, Julia masterminded cricket training sessions for over 100 local children.  Julia managed to create opportunities for children to be active with a real community feel.




Community Action - Chris SmithCommunity Action
An award for community groups, schools, voluntary sector organsiations, businesses and community interest companies who have introduced local community projects.  For 2022, this was a tough one and one which it was felt there had to be two winners.  Chris Smith and Mary Regnier-Wilson.  Unfortunately, Mary cannot be with us this evening.  Chris was the founder of the Great Shelford Covid-19 Support Group and with Mary’s help they co-ordinated over 200 volunteers, providing in excess of 500 days of support to those isolating, needing shopping, prescriptions collecting, organising food parcels, etc.



Environmental Improvement-Eleanor McCroneEnvironmental Improvement
For community groups, schools, voluntary sector organisations, businesses, individuals and community interest companies who have improved the environment in their local community.  This year, Eleanor McCrone has been awarded this trophy for her enthusiasm and persistence to redesign the recreation ground from a blank rectangular canvas to one which embraces nature and wildlife from the riverbank to the newly opened Playscape.  Eleanor’s vision has been one which has seen the environment of the Recreation Ground change in such a way that everything seems to spring from it and help the community feel part of it.  Along the way she has managed to inspire the community to help and support her through her journey.


Social Wellbeing - Great Shelford Mobile Warden SchemeSocial Wellbeing
To be awarded to community groups, schools, voluntary sector organisations, businesses and community interest companies who continue to improve the wellbeing of others in our community.  For 2022, this award is being presented to Great Shelford Mobile Warden Scheme.  This one nomination says it all ‘I have personally experienced this service myself.  They phone me daily to check on me.  They help me with shopping and medication.  They will advise me on technical problems.  During lockdown they were a ray of light.  Their cheerful voices would keep me going when they rang for a daily chat.  I never felt isolated.’



Local Hero - Keith SugdenLocal Hero
Any individual who can demonstrate excellent projects undertaken in their community improving the environment, community or social wellbeing.  The winner of this award is extremely well thought of within the community which the nominations testify.  Keith Sugden has put an enormous amount of time into the community gardens and parochial charity allotments.  No matter what the weather, Keith is there often with his wheelbarrow.  Not only are there the formal areas, but Keith has been hard at work creating a ‘mini-Eden’ for wildlife, planting trees and sowing wildflowers.  It is only with his leadership, energy, proactive and positive approach has enabled this blank canvas turn into a mature established site.


and last but definitely not least…

Unsung Hero - Francess RichardsonHelping Hand/Unsung Hero
We asked if your neighbour was ‘one in a million’, a true gem or simply an ordinary person you could not do without.  And our residents did not disappoint with the nominations.  Our 2022 Unsung Hero is Francess Richardson.  Francess will visit those who are not well and has been a real hero through the pandemic – meeting others in/from her front garden, checking in on neighbours to ensure they don’t need anything.  She is sociable and friendly, making the smaller community in which she lives a friendly happy one.  Francess is artist and over the years her artwork has been used in various areas around the village including the bus stop near the train station, the Twinning Association have used it and thoroughout the pandemic she used her artistic talent to write quotes on her house to lift spirits.  For a long time (we understand it to be around 30 years) she has been instrumental with the Little Shelford Panto, making scenery, and encouraging the budding talents of children and adults attending the painting sessions to get everything ready.  She has been described as having enormous energy and a passion for the community.


Also nominated for awards were:

  • Angela ‘at the Station’
  • Bridget Hodge
  • Brie Lury
  • Cara Coffee
  • Charlotte Smith
  • Claire Schofield
  • Kirsty Lothian
  • Lucy Barlow
  • Mike Paduano
  • Paul Ellum
  • Seamus Fegan