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High Sheriff of Hertfordshire award for Women of Grace

The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire has recognised Women of Grace for outstanding community service.

The charity, founded by Takeley activist Valerie Lolomari to stop FGM (female genital mutilation) and support survivors, received the accolade from Liz Green for supporting the vulnerable.

In all, she rewarded 10 Hertfordshire voluntary organisations at the 29th High Sheriff Awards.

Women of Grace founder Valerie Lolomari with High Sheriff of Hertfordshire Liz Green
Women of Grace founder Valerie Lolomari with High Sheriff of Hertfordshire Liz Green

This year’s event focused on recognising and celebrating voluntary groups and charities working with people within the High Sheriff’s theme of “reading, writing and rehabilitation”.

Liz said: “I feel extremely privileged to have represented Hertfordshire as High Sheriff during my year in office. Many of us take reading for granted and I decided to highlight the problems faced on a daily basis by those with low literacy.

“From trying to read instructions on a medicine bottle to understanding a utility bill or navigating a bus timetable – seemingly easy tasks, yet over 20% of Hertfordshire residents will struggle.

“It has been an enlightening and rewarding year, and I have met many wonderful charities and voluntary groups across Hertfordshire who do so much to help vulnerable individuals.

“Members of the judging panel were inspired by all the nominations we received, and it was an extremely difficult job to select the winners of a 2024 High Sheriff Award. I am delighted to have been able to celebrate some of the very special people and organisations for the outstanding work they do in our county.”

Valerie, a married mother of three, is an FGM survivor who has taken the fight against the practice to Westminster, the Swedish parliament and the United Nations in New York.

She said: “This esteemed award serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

“Through our tireless efforts and compassion, we have worked diligently to uplift and empower individuals facing trauma stigma and adversity, providing them with the support and resources they need to thrive.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Liz Green, for this incredible honour and for their steadfast commitment to championing causes that matter.

“Their leadership and support have served as an inspiration to us all, fueling our passion to continue our mission of empowerment and impact.

“As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we look forward to many more collaborations and opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organisations.

“Together, we can continue to create positive change and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.”

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