Tributes to headteacher as local heroes are honoured at Luton & Bedfordshire Community Awards

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Many are recognised for exceptional work during the pandemic

A much-loved headteacher who died in September was one of many heroes recognised during Friday night’s Luton & Bedfordshire Community Awards 2020/21.

Sarah Owen, Luton North MP, led the tributes to Sarah Pollard, headteacher at Southfield Primary School, after she lost her life to breast cancer.

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Sarah was widely respected for her community efforts following the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, in March last year. She was posthumously awarded the ‘Inspiration in Education’ honour which was presented to her mum by the MP.

The winner, Imam Qazi Aziz, and nominated candidates for the Mayor's AwardThe winner, Imam Qazi Aziz, and nominated candidates for the Mayor's Award
The winner, Imam Qazi Aziz, and nominated candidates for the Mayor's Award

Also recognised on an emotional evening was Daniel Pallett, an engineering teacher at Chiltern Academy, who made 14,000 visors as part of the local response.

Along with the Luton & Dunstable Hospital COVID Crisis Team, Daniel was the joint recipient of the Winner of Winners Award.

Imam Qazi Aziz, a widely respected community and faith leader, received the Lifetime Achievement Award,

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Mostaque Koyes, founder of the Luton & Bedfordshire Community Awards, paid tributes to the winners.

Daniel Pallett with his awardDaniel Pallett with his award
Daniel Pallett with his award

“Through the challenges and adversity of the past 18 months have emerged heroes, people from our communities that have shown love, care and compassion,” he said.

“We are proud that, with these awards, we have been able to share these inspiring stories. I want to congratulate all those that were recognised on the evening by the judges.

“I also want to thank all those that made the awards possible, including our sponsors. They enabled us to tell these stories of ordinary people performing acts of extraordinary kindness.”

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Since their inception 12 years ago, the awards, organised by Community Interest Luton, have recognised hundreds of people for their efforts in the region, and in the process, raised many thousands of pounds for charities.

Sarah PollardSarah Pollard
Sarah Pollard

Other winners included: Imam Qazi Aziz (Mayor’s Award), Molly’s Lewsey Farm (Step Up and Stand Out), The L&D Hospital COVID Crisis Team & Shri Guru Ravidass Sangat (Response Team Champions - joint), Anoosha Zafar Malik & Joy Stock (Young Hero – joint), Discover Islam (Charity Fundraiser), Nicola Davis & Duncan Stirling (Service with a Smile), Nikhil Dodhia (Role Model), Niis Beauty (Community Business), The Big Trunk Trail (Community Project), Daniel Pallet (Exceptional Achievement), Imrana Mahmood (Arts Award), Sanjeev Kumar (The Mark West Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Award), Kevin Poulton (Helping Hand), Dr Amir Reyahi (Masked Hero), Lisa Woodisons (Masked Angel), Musthafa Hussain (Volunteer), Collette Simpson (Educator).

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