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High Sheriff collaborates with Voluntary Action LeicesterShire to recognise 'Real-Life Heroes'

Two events will celebrate those in Leicestershire and Rutland who made a positive contribution during lockdown.

Kevin Allen-Khimani
VAL Awards hosts Kevin Allen-Khimani and broadcast journalist Rupal Rajani.

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) and Mehmooda Duke MBE DL – the High Sheriff of Leicestershire – have announced two events that will recognise and celebrate the inspiring individuals, groups, organisations and charities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Kevin Allen-Khimani, Executive Manager for Public Sector Contracts and Projects at VAL comments:

"This partnership creates a perfect opportunity for recognition of our local communities at either or both awards, therefore shining a larger spotlight on our incredible local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) and volunteers."

"There are some distinguishing factors between both awards," Mehmooda adds. "This shared approach is a great opportunity for Unsung Heroes to get recognised through either or both awards channels."

Mehmooda Duke MBE DL (centre right)
Mehmooda Duke MBE DL (centre right).


Mehmooda Duke MBE DL has placed community at the heart of her term as High Sheriff of Leicestershire, and will announce the recipients of her awards at the upcoming Charity Cricket Match and Communities Festival on Tuesday, September 6.

The Community Awards Reception will take place at the home of Leicestershire County Cricket Club (Upton Steel County Ground) Charles Palmer Suite at 7.30pm on September 6, 2022 and will be headline sponsored by Anand International Ltd.

The role of High Sheriff has been around for at least 1000 years; the High Sheriff used to be in charge of Law and Order. Today it is an independent, non-political, Royal appointment for one year. It is an entirely voluntary role, and supports the criminal and legal justice system, police, emergency services, probation and prison services, charities and any agencies focused on crime prevention.

It also supports the Voluntary and Community Sector who help keep communities safe. Mehmooda says: "Each High Sheriff brings their own unique stance and priorities to the role. My aim whilst I am in this role is to connect communities and make the role more visible, relevant and accessible to the diverse communities that I serve."

Nominations are now open. The High Sheriff of Leicestershire invites you to help her find individuals who deserve recognition for their contribution to community life, and embody the values of Mahatma Gandhi’s motto: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

The individuals must have made a significant impact in the communities of Leicester or Leicestershire and must be from the city or county.

The judges will be looking for impact made in the following categories.

  • Sport

  • Education

  • Health

  • Law and Order

  • Charity

  • Disability

  • Women and Girls

  • Children and Young People

If you know if anyone who you might nominate and who you think is deserving of an award, nomination forms can be found on the high sheriff’s website.


Meanwhile, Voluntary Action LeicesterShire will continue their acknowledgement of the ‘real heroes of lockdown’ in highlighting and rewarding the exceptional work by the Leicestershire and Rutland voluntary sector and its volunteers, especially throughout lockdown.

The annual VAL Awards 2022, which takes place on Friday, September 16. Nominations are now open.

"We want to hear from the public and encourage them to nominate the ‘real world’ heroes of the pandemic," Kevin explains. "We're looking for the people, organisations and businesses that went above and beyond to help those more vulnerable in our society."

The ticketed event will take place in the Grand Hall at Leicester’s The Mercure Grand Hotel. The awards are made possible by the generous support of local businesses which include headline sponsor, Morningside Pharmaceuticals.

"The past couple of years have been incredibly tough," said Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Morningside’s Chief Executive. "I know that there are some unsung heroes who battled through the pandemic and provided unwavering support to those who needed it the most.

"Personally, I am very much looking forward to celebrating the achievements of these organisations, groups and individuals at the awards and giving them the praise they very much deserve."

Monies raised allow the event to run without charge to nominees. The nomination process is now open and organisers ask for all nominations to be submitted by Thursday, August 25, 2022.


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