HEREFORDSHIRE'S unsung community champions have been honoured at a gala dinner.

The awards ceremony, held last night at Hereford Town Hall, commended the time and commitment made to local communities by 11 Herefordshire people and four local groups.

All finalists were invited to the formal dinner and the Lord Lieutenant, the Dowager Countess of Darnley, presented the winners with £500, a personalised trophy and certificate – all made possible by sponsorship from Avara Foods.

The awards were established by the chairman of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Brian Wilcox, to recognise the exceptional community contributions made by individuals and groups across the county.

Community Champion: Angela Tyler

As founder of the ELY Memorial Fund, Angela showed tremendous courage and bravery following the death of her daughter Emma in a road traffic accident.

The charity provides financial condolence support to Herefordshire families who may face unexpected funeral costs following the death of their own child in a road traffic accident.

Angela has worked tirelessly to promote road safety and now aims to offer 15 to 17-year-olds a road driving experience before they learn to drive, covering road safety, vehicle checks and driving skills.

She was also named overall Herefordshire Community Champion at the dinner.

Volunteer Champion: Cart Shed

The Cart Shed volunteers were recognised for their work providing tailored support to people who may be facing mental health challenges or difficult episodes in their lives.

The beautiful woodland setting is a starting point to improve people’s physical and mental health, with wellbeing walks, woodland craft courses and veteran mentorship just some of the inspiring therapeutic activities on offer.

Caring Champion: Tina Lloyd

It’s fair to say that caring is in Tina's her blood. She cared for her dad who had a stroke when she was aged just nine.

She then worked in a nursing home before becoming a long-term foster carer.

She cares for children with a vast range of special needs on top of raising her own family, and has fostered about 25 children full time, for short breaks and respite care.

Environment Champion: Matthew Taylor

A serving member of the Armed Forces and founding member of the Wye Float charity event, Matthew is devoted to his local environment and organises a team of volunteers to clear up objects, metal and other rubbish from the river Wye that have the potential to cause harm to river users and wildlife.

He can even be found snorkelling the Wye to find items on the river bed!

Youth Champion: Stephen Gow

Stephen was nominated for his dedication to the Army cadets.

Through his involvement with the Royal British Legion he has shown a compassion for elderly veterans, hearing and learning from their experiences.

This year, Stephen made Royal British Legion history as the first youth member to carry the Bromyard branch standard and represent Bromyard Army Cadet Force at county level. He always gets fully involved and volunteers himself with style, vigour and confidence.

  • More pictures and full report to follow