Indies awards: Community champions Twig and Annabel invite fellow winners to music festival
Annabel Cowley and Twig Smith showed exactly why they are worthy of the Indies' Community Champions title - by pledging tickets for next year's Stortford Music Festival to all the other award winners.
By day Annabel is the lead social worker in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Hertfordshire while husband Twig is a data analyst for an independent travel company.
Together the Apton Road couple are the driving force behind the May ‘Bish Bash’ festival, overseeing a committee of anything between 12 and 20 people, while on the festival weekend itself there are around 100 volunteers to manage. Their nominator, Jane Peck, said that they were well overdue some recognition.
Annabel told the audience their aim was to showcase local talent and bring national names to the town at a low-priced event for all the family to enjoy. None of the volunteers who organise the festival take a penny for their hard work behind the scenes.
After she and Twig received their trophy from Bishop’s Stortford College’s head of pre-prep, Belinda Callow, Annabel said: “I feel humbled to be part of this. I think this is the most amazing event and I love that people are being recognised for the great stuff they do.”
They will be able to take a busman’s holiday next June thanks to Down Hall with tickets to its picnic concert featuring Jools Holland.
Category runner-up was charity worker Jo Gill, of Cedar Park. Earlier this year she set up the Welbeloved Club, named after her own great-grandmother, Doris Welbeloved, to help combat loneliness in the elderly.
Each month her team of volunteers serve Sunday lunch to around 80 people who would otherwise be spending yet another day on their own.
She was nominated by mum Gill, who said: “As part of Jo’s commitment to help the lonely she insists that every person calls her each month to book in for the following lunch. This way, she gets to speak to them and ask if they are OK.
“I couldn’t hope for a better person to be recognised for the selfless way she has gone about setting up and managing this project.”
Gill accepted the Highly Commended certificate on Jo’s behalf as the former Birchwood High School student was unwell.