Unsung heroes celebrated at EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards
- Credit: Simon Finlay Photography
An intimate and poignant presentation to recognise the region’s unsung heroes took place in the heart of Norwich.
The EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, supported by headline sponsor, developer Hopkins Homes, were created to thank those in our community who have shown selfless acts of kindness, heroism, and bravery.
Featuring 13 categories - including outstanding bravery and charity heroes - businesses, foundations, educational services, and councils sponsored the awards.
Karen Fulcher, of Norwich, won the Overall Star of Norfolk and Waveney category, which was also sponsored by Hopkins Homes.
She was nominated for her exceptional efforts, making 164 scrubs and over 500 washbags and masks donated to various NHS organisations around the county and London.
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She described being nominated as “a complete surprise”.
“I am overcome with emotion and feel truly honoured,” she added.
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Held at Norwich Cathedral, in the city centre, the award presentations took place on Friday, December 11.
David Powles, editor of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, said: "In really tough circumstances, I'm delighted and proud that we were still able to put on a memorable Stars of Norfolk and Waveney 2020 event, that complied with all the relevant safety precautions, but also enabled us to give the winners the recognition they deserve.
"I give my thanks to our main sponsor Hopkins Homes, our category sponsors and their representatives on the day, the Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk Lady Dannatt, MBE, her deputy Paris Back, the Norwich Cathedral, the Norwich Theatre Royal and the EDP team who worked so hard on the event, for all their support.
“We had so many entrants this year, a testament to the many dedicated, thoughtful, brave, and brilliant people across the region. I can't wait for the event to return as normal in 2021.”
Other winners included carer Ragna Page, of East Winch, winner of the Carer of the Year category who looks after her friend Sue and her husband.
Clive Evans, of Surlingham, was crowned the winner of the Charity Hero of the Year award for his dedication and services to end-of-life care as an ambassador for the Priscilla Bacon Hospice.
And Melanie Lord, of Lowestoft, was announced as Community Hero of the Year for her outstanding work trying to make her local community more inclusive, especially during the pandemic when she created free, printable social stories to help those with additional needs.
Joshua Hopkins, of Hopkins Homes and The Hopkins Charitable Fund, said: "This year has brought about some of the most significant challenges for our communities in a generation. Yet, what it has highlighted is that there are heroes without capes on every street and that we can be very proud of the incredible community spirit that exists in our region.”
And while the awards ceremony was very different this year, he added, everyone had been "very much looking forward to celebrating the efforts and achievements" of the unsung heroes.
Theatre Royal Norwich is providing a pair of tickets for a show of each winner’s choice at Norwich Theatre Royal or Norwich Playhouse and a special VIP trip for four people to see the show of their choice for the Overall Star of Norfolk and Waveney winner.
Ashtons Legal is also giving the winner and finalists in the Young Person of the Year category a £50 voucher.
See Tuesday's EDP for an twelve-page special supplement from the event, featuring all the winners and their stories.
EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2020 winners:
Carer of the Year award, sponsored by Castlemeadow Care - Ragna Page
Charity Hero of the Year award, sponsored by East Anglian Air Ambulance – Clive Evans
Community Hero of the Year award, sponsored by Hopestead – Melanie Lord
Education Hero of the Year, sponsored by City College Norwich – George King
NHS Person of the Year, sponsored by ProStyle Tile & Bathroom Specialist – Jessica Brunet
Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year, sponsored by Norfolk’s cancer charity Big C – Colin Plummer
Police/Fire Person of the Year, sponsored by Breckland Council – DC Verity Holmes
Team/Community Group of the Year, sponsored by Norfolk Community Foundation – (remove The) Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers
Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year, sponsored by Norwich Research Park – Karen Fulcher
Village/Town of the Year, sponsored by Lovewell Blake – Halesworth
Young Person of the Year, sponsored by Ashtons Legal – Liam Kelly
Judges’ Special Award, sponsored by Hopestead – Bob and Angie Cossey, and Jacob Gravestock
Overall Star, sponsored by Hopkins Homes – Karen Fulcher