Mayor’s Pride Award Winner 2020

The annual awards aim to celebrate the achievements of inspiring individuals, hard-working community groups and public-spirited businesses.


The Winter Beds Project was nominated for the Voluntary Sector Award and we were thrilled to be awarded the winning spot in this category!


The Award came with special commendation to Kerry Pollard and Lucy Gaygusuz; trustees of the Charity.


St Albans Mayor Cllr Janet Smith said:


“We were determined that the COVID-19 emergency would not stop us honouring our community heroes this year.


“All of the nominated charities, businesses and individuals have done a huge amount for our community over the past year and I am proud to have been able to recognise their efforts with these awards.


“I’m sure that during this pandemic, we will all be even more appreciative of the great things that our community activists do for us.”

Not only did we win, but one of our longstanding volunteers -Doretta Hogan came runner up in the same category.


Doretta has worked incredibly hard for the charity. Establishing a well organised team and working closely with the local food bank, collecting, and delivering essential food items and restocking the night shelter. Well done Doretta.


We’re grateful for the nomination and delighted to see that the hard work of all the volunteers involved in this project has been acknowledged by receiving this wonderful award.

Housing Justice Award

Housing Justice, a Christian organisation, was created in 2003 in response to the homelessness crisis in London. One of their aims has been to establish common values and ways of working that ensure night shelters are effective and safe places of support for those in need – and the volunteers who staff them.

The St Albans Winter Beds Project was set up in 2017 with assistance and guidance from Housing Justice. We became members of the organisation, which entitled us to their Quality Mark appraisal. This is a means of sharing best practice among night shelters across the country. Crucially, the Quality Mark is a recognised assurance to funders, local practice authorities, insurers, shelter guests and the local community that our shelter is run to the highest standard.


In January 2019 we arranged for the appraisal to start. This involved an inspection of the premises and scrutiny of our documentation and procedures. Five months later we heard that we had been awarded “Excellent Practice for the Quality Mark accreditation”

Winter Beds Project

The annual High Sheriff Awards provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate some of the fantastic individuals and voluntary organisations who are helping to make our county better.


Last year, in addition to the traditional social justice and crime prevention themes, the awards reflected the current High Sheriff’s interest in promoting stronger communities.


Throughout her year as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Sarah Beazley focused on honouring organisations that were working to build stronger communities, promote integration, or work across faiths.


Open Door’s Winter Beds Project was one of 14 charities and local organisations who were winners at the 2020 High Sheriff’s Award Ceremony held at County Hall on Thursday, 12th March 2020.


Every Year the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire recognises the work of outstanding voluntary organisations around the county. Last year, Sarah Beazley presented an award to Open Door’s Winter Beds Project, which provided a warm and safe space to sleep for six people on most nights from December 2019 to March 2020.


The Winter Beds Project was nominated for faith based community Project award and we’re grateful for the recognition that the Winter Beds Project received.

Simon Carver – Open Door Trustee said:

The High Sheriff’s Award is recognition for the many winter beds volunteers who have faithfully served the most marginalised members of society over the last three winters”


Kerry Pollard – Open Door Trustee said:

“All of us at Open Door are really pleased and proud to have received this award from the High Sheriff – an acknowledgment of our work with rough sleepers over many years”

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