As your local Member of Parliament, I am always overwhelmed by the absolutely fabulous work done by people in our community to make Hitchin and the villages a better place to live.

In this month’s column I wanted to pay tribute to one such person – Sarah Graham, a Hitchin-based artist whose Samarivans campaign saw her receive a Points of Light award from the Prime Minister earlier this month.

I saw first-hand the fantastic amount of hard work and dedication that went into the Samarivans effort.

Everyone from major national celebrities to the good people of Hitchin – and even me! – got involved in submitting their best artistic efforts at a “Samarivan” camper van painting to be auctioned off to raise money for the local Samaritans.

Sarah’s efforts paid off. Samarivans has raised over £43k for the North Herts Samaritans, an organisation who work so tirelessly to support people in Hitchin and the villages when they need them most.

We all know how far that money will go to make a real difference for local people.

I was delighted when I learned that the Prime Minister was intending to award Sarah with a Points of Light award.

It is thoroughly, thoroughly deserved and I am so looking forward to seeing Sarah again in early February to present her award on the Prime Minister’s behalf.

Sarah is one of the many, many good Samaritans in Hitchin who do some tremendous work to make our town and villages an even better place to live, work and spend time.