High Sheriff recognises heroes of the pandemic with awards

A number of individuals and community organisations are set to be formally recognised with awards by the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire for their service to Oxfordshire residents during the pandemic.

The awards have been set up to celebrate and thank those who have brought hope and heroism to many people in the county since March 2020 when COVID-19 led to the first lockdown.

Imam Monawar Hussain, High Sheriff for Oxfordshire, said: “When I took office in April, I announced that my year would be spent celebrating and recognising acts of altruistic kindness and generosity during the pandemic by individuals, voluntary groups, and businesses/organisations, drawn from all walks of life.

“I was therefore delighted to receive, for this first round, 60 nominations – all in their own right making contributions to Oxfordshire’s communities that were both humbling and hugely inspiring to read. Our county has so many people and organisations dedicated to the selfless service of others and this has been made especially clear through this difficult and demanding period.”

“There are 21 final nominees but in no way should this diminish the contribution of those who were not successful on this occasion. To all of these people, we owe our thanks and gratitude for all that they have done, and continue to do, to serve their communities in Oxfordshire.”

Award winner Natasha Barnes, Customer Services Centre Delivery Manager at Cherwell District Council, said: “I would like to thank those who took the time to recognise these individuals and organisations who have tried to make a difference during the pandemic. I’m sure I speak for all the nominees when I say we didn’t expect thanks or praise for our efforts, rather that we did what we did because it was the right thing to do – this award is a great and unexpected bonus!”

Award winner Tehmeena Ajmal, Director of COVID Operations at Oxford Health, said: “I was so delighted to receive the letter telling us that our vaccination team has been given the High Sheriff’s Award. A recognition like this means so much to everyone who has been working so hard for so long on the vaccination programme. The High Sheriff has seen our work in action numerous times and is an incredible supporter of all our staff and volunteers working at the Kassam Stadium and the other locations where we have teams giving jabs.”

The list of final nominees was selected by the High Sheriff, Michael Payne, Under Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Adrian Sell, Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Sophie Law, disc jockey at BBC Radio Oxford.

The award ceremony for this round will take place on 22 September 2021.

Click Sign up to hear from us and receive the latest news and updates thanks to our fortnightly newsletter, Your Oxfordshire.