Harpur Centre has introduced the first Harpur Community Awards, to recognise those who have made significant contributions within the town. The winners were celebrated yesterday at an award ceremony held at Harpur Centre.
After successfully winning 2 national awards with REVO, who oversee the shopping centre industry in late 2022, The Harpur Centre and its Landlord wanted to next recognise the dedicated members of our local community in Bedford so, they launched the first ever Harpur Community Awards.
The three categories that the Bedford public were asked to vote on were Lifetime Achiever, Green Award and Young Achiever. Voting took place both through the centre’s social media pages and at the Centre for individuals who had gone above and beyond in their respective categories. The judging panel reviewed the entries and attended the award ceremony held at the Harpur Centre on Tuesday 24th January to personally present the awards. Samantha Laycock, Harpur Centre Manager, Amy Jones, Head of Planning at Tellon Capital and Councillor Vann, Town Centre Councillor handed out the awards to the worthy winners.
Samantha Laycock, Harpur Centre Manager commented, “It has been so important for us to recognise those in our community who go above and beyond every day to make our town a better place for everyone. The Harpur Community Awards were set up following the centres own success’ in winning two industry awards in the past twelve months. These awards were hard earned by the wider centre teams and it became very apparent to us that hard work and dedication deserve recognition. We couldn’t be prouder of our winners and are so thankful for the positive contribution they make to our community”.
Amy Jones from Tellon Capital commented, “It was an honour to present the awards today to three incredible individuals who are a real credit to their town. We are so proud to have the Harpur Centre in the heart of Bedford. It is a Centre that is well embedded in the local community and involved with everything that goes on in the town. As such, it seemed only right to honour those dedicated individuals within the community who strive every day to make a positive difference. “
Councillor Vann, Town Centre Councillor commented- “I was very pleased to represent the town in judging the Harpur Community Awards this year, all of the winners were very worthy and it was a fantastic occasion to celebrate their contributions to the town.”
The Young Acheiver Award went to Urban Judge. Urban leads the company as CEO and volunteers at Youth TV which is a local community project based in Bedford. He is responsible for Programming and Volunteers and is the lead on outreach and engagement. Community Engagement is at the heart of what Youth TV wants to achieve by bringing television for Young People. Urban presents The Show throughout the year and is fabulous at putting the spotlight on famous speakers whilst teaching and supporting his presenters and crew. He brings fun to features and education to young people worldwide.
The Green Award was presented to Cory Walker. Cory is the Community Lead for Plastic Free Bedford and brought a national campaign Refill to Bedford. He ensured that the centres water fountain was famous on the Refill App so people know where in Bedford to refill for free when on the go. He co-ordinated Bedford’s Great Big Green Week by organising a variety of events and activities aimed at engaging local people with the environment and he led Bedford’s first Sustainability Week taking further action on this important issue.
The Lifetime Achiever Award was awarded to an individual who has dedicated their life to the betterment of the Bedford community, Sharon De Leonardis. Sharon’s energy and enthusiasm and contribution to her community is truly valued. She is motivated by the fact that, what she does, brings out the best in people, empowering them to be the best people they can be. With a passion for the Arts, and having a focus on supporting the local community, Sharon successfully set up and became CEO of SpectaculArts’ in 2019, whose main objective is to create events to enrich and enhance its local community by being a one stop destination for all diverse and inclusive events for Bedford.
All three worthy winners took home £100 worth of vouchers from our stores as well as their award.
Urban Judge, Young Achiever commented “I was thrilled to pick up the Young Achiever Award today and would like to thank everyone who nominated me for the award, it’s really heart-warming that people went out of their way to put me forward.”
Cory Walker, Green Award winner commented “The environment is such an important cause and so it was great to be recognised for the work I have been doing in the community to take us towards being a plastic free Bedford”
Sharon De Leonardis, Lifetime Achiever winner commented “My goal has always been to enrich and enhance the Bedford community. It was wonderful to be recognised for dance, helping launch careers and my years of hard work today at the Harpur Centre.”