People and businesses who have put others before themselves and gone the extra mile to help those in need in a community are again being celebrated.

Rebecca Yusaf set up South Oxhey Community Heroes last year to celebrate the community spirit in the area. She initially intended it to be a one-off, but decided to organise the awards again to showcase those who have acted selflessly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nominations were sought via Facebook and voting is now open for the 11 people and businesses on the South Oxhey Info page. It will close at 6pm on Sunday.

There will be an award for the winner and six bottles of prosecco have been donated by Oxhey Jets Football Club.

Rebecca, who is a photographer and took these pictures of the nominees, said: “It was such a successful event; bringing the community together. It was a day of celebration and one that I will never forget.

“My intention at the time was to make this a one-off event. However, this year so many people are giving their time to focus on the most needy during Covid-19.

“It has also demonstrated that one small act of kindness, can trigger a domino effect. Hence, we are now seeing people and businesses helping people in the community on a very large scale.

“It made me think that again I should be asking the Facebook community to share stories of people and businesses that actively help each other through this difficult time.

“I thought that I wouldn't just make this about people from South Oxhey, but also recognise people from outside South Oxhey who are helping our community.”

The nominees are:

Deven Vekaria - Deven runs Londis on Little Oxhey Lane. He has been nominated for supporting people who have struggled to get their essentials during the pandemic. He has also delivered essential items to people who have not been able to get out. More recently, he has offered support to children who may be struggling as a result of no school lunches during half term. As others have remarked ‘I think he truly deserves to be recognised for this’. ‘He has a tremendous community spirit at all times and even more so now’.

Ashley O'Sullivan at the Dick Whittington pub - Ashley has successfully got the pub up and running again and has actively gone out of her way to support the most vulnerable. Ashley is currently fundraising for children and OAPs to ensure that they have a memorable Christmas and that they have essential items. Ashley was born and bred in South Oxhey and always tries to make it the best place to live. She is described as always helping others and she is such a big part of this community.

Watford Observer:

Brown Box Bakes run by Dani Bavester - Brown Box Bakes have only been running a month and during half term offered ten lunches per day to struggling families over the holiday. Dani has demonstrated the importance of being community spirited even during these tough times for small businesses.

Watford Observer:

Colin Ingham and The Food Hub - Colin and his co-workers are coordinating the food hub at Ascend. The aim is to ensure that the most vulnerable and needy do not go without food.

Watford Observer:

Ronan McManus - Ronan is a talented local musician. He has endeavoured to try and keep live music alive throughout the lockdown, as well as setting up a YouTube channel to raise money for the NHS. Ronan has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to further Switch Box TV. This is an exciting time and Ronan has created a platform to support the arts at this difficult time.

Watford Observer:

Kerri Rose Cupit - At the beginning of the lockdown, Kerri was delivering food parcels to the vulnerable. Kerri also set up a crochet group to make mask relief bands for essential workers. Kerri has actively shared information in relation to support groups in the local area. She is an active support to those who are struggling with their mental health. Despite her own health issues, Kerri continues to be an active support to others.

Pathfinder Practice - Local people have remarked upon how the GP service has excelled despite a lack of staff to provide goods service to many. One particular patient who has a disability and long-term degenerative illness, states that she has received the best support to keep her going. She describes the team Pathfinders as ‘just amazing’.

Prestwick Pharmacy - Described as being amazing and supporting the community, again through a difficult time. One particular customer remarked upon how one of the pharmacists dropped an urgent prescription to her on the way home. The pharmacy is described as ‘going the extra mile’.

Dawn Lewis from Kitty Kat rescue - Going above and beyond to assist cats and kittens who have been dumped and abandoned during the past six months or so. She works tirelessly to help them and local people feel that she should receive an award for the work that she does.

Jane Ross and the team from Ascend - Jane has worked solidly through Covid from the start, organising and putting together zoom courses and meetings to help people of all ages and from all walks of life to try to maintain their mental health and beat depression due to loneliness and illness.

Watford Observer:

Ana and the staff from Medivet Carpenders Park - Ana and her team work tirelessly for the animals, big or small, domestic or wild. The veterinary practice was open for the whole pandemic making sure that animals got the treatment that they needed. Although the practice ordinarily closes at 7pm, often the team do not leave before 9pm. Their dedication is amazing. Not just helping domestic animals, but also protecting our wildlife, as you can see from the photo with the fox.