Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2020 finalists revealed!

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

It has been weeks in the making but the finalists of this year’s Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards can finally be revealed.

Joshua Hopkins, Hopkins Homes, left, with John Gordon-Saker, Open Youth Trust, right, at OPEN Norwic

Joshua Hopkins, Hopkins Homes, left, with John Gordon-Saker, Open Youth Trust, right, at OPEN Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Organised in-house by the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News for the very first time, the awards honour those from Norfolk and Waveney who go the extra mile and deserve recognition.

Editor David Powles said: “The task of choosing this year’s finalists and winners was even harder than before because we had a record number of entries.

“With almost 300 nominations of people, teams, communities and organisations, it really shows how alive and well community spirit is in the region.

“In this toughest of years, people’s desire and drive to help others has really shone through and let’s hope that can continue once the virus has been combated.

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney 2020. Pictured is the logo. Picture: Archant Library

EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney 2020. Pictured is the logo. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant


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“I want to thank our main sponsor Hopkins Homes, our respective category sponsors and all of our judges, in particular deputy lieutenant Paris Back, who diligently sifted through every single nomination form.

“I also want to thank the Theatre Royal Norwich and Norwich Playhouse who have agreed to be our prize partner this year and will make sure each winner receives a very special trip to a show of their choice, once these things are running as normal again, of course.”

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The awards will be slightly different this year and determined by the latest Covid situation. The winners will be revealed on Friday, December 11, but a special winners’ supplement will be published in the EDP on Tuesday, December 15.

The Overall Star and Judges’ Special Award will also be announced then too.

Kayleigh Griggs (right). Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year.

Kayleigh Griggs (right). Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

The Overall Star category is sponsored by headline sponsor Hopkins Homes. 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.

“There are so many people who deserve the recognition for going above and beyond for others, especially during this difficult time. Choosing just one winner this year was incredibly difficult.

“While the awards ceremony will be very different, we are very much looking forward to celebrating the efforts and achievements of our unsung heroes.”

While the Judges’ Special Award, sponsored by Hopestead, takes the finalists from the runners-up of other categories, but whom the judges felt deserved special recognition.

Louise Gasparro. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Picture:

Louise Gasparro. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

So without further ado, meet our finalists...

Carer of the Year

This category is sponsored by Castlemeadow Care.

Ragna Page. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Picture: SUPP

Ragna Page. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Kayleigh Griggs, 28, of Brundall, has worked with children with disabilities in both a professional and voluntary role since she was 14. She currently provides respite care for five young people and recently got approved as a foster carer for children with disabilities.

She said: “I am shocked and feel very honoured to be even nominated for this award, let alone become a finalist. I love my job and the children I work with, which makes the hard days and long nights worthwhile.”

Victoria Trattles. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Pictur

Victoria Trattles. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Carer of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Louise Gasparro, 48, of Swanton Abbott cares for her daughter, Emily, who has suffered from anorexia for the past 10 years. She has spent most of this time in hospital and recently the past 18 months in Glasgow as this was the closest specialist bed that would accept her.

She said: “I couldn’t of done any of this without my husband Tony, who has been both mine and Emily’s rock.

“I am very touched to have been given a position as a finalist. I think my daughter is the most amazing person who has this battle every day yet she still manages to continue to fight and keep cheerful.”

Anna Perkins. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Charity Hero of the Year. Pict

Anna Perkins. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Charity Hero of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Ragna Page, 61 of East Winch, cares for her friend Sue, who has dementia, and her husband to ensure that they can both continue to live in the home that they jointly created. Her work allows him regular breaks from the otherwise constant pressures that come with caring for someone with dementia.

She said: “I’m please to give recognition for every person who is or has cared for a loved one with dementia. Not glamorous, but sad and frustrating as we search for the person we knew in the stranger who now shares our life.”

Victoria Trattles, 47, of Norwich, is a carer for her disabled, and housebound, parents. Her son and daughter also have complex and additional needs including autism. As well as this, the married mum fundraises for charity, and also volunteers at places including The Hamlet Charity. She runs accessible/special educational needs sessions too and also a blog about autism.

Clive Evans. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Charity Hero of the Year. Pictu

Clive Evans. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Charity Hero of the Year. Picture: Priscilla Bacon Hospice - Credit: Archant

She said: “I am amazed to be nominated. It’s been a horrible year for all of us and every one of us have been a hero, one way or another.”

Charity Hero of the Year

This category is sponsored by East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Robert "Bob" and Angie Cossey (pictured seated in the cente). Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and W

Robert "Bob" and Angie Cossey (pictured seated in the cente). Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Charity Hero of the Year. Picture: STEPPING STONES - Credit: Archant

Anna Perkins, 40, of Norwich, is a married mum-of-three, with two of her children having disabilities. She wanted to do something to help other people so started Smile Shop C.I.C. Her aim, as a family with special needs children, was to give something back for the help they have had over the years, so set up the small, independent shop called Smile. They have raised more than £5,000.

She said: “I am totally overwhelmed with being nominated for this award. It has not been easy with the current times and has been a lot of tears but I cannot believe what we have achieved in such a short time.”

Alex and Lizzie Brake behind the bar. Picture: ALEX BRAKE

Alex and Lizzie Brake behind the bar. Picture: ALEX BRAKE - Credit: Archant

Clive Evans, 61, of Surlingham, is passionate about the provision of end of life care and since retiring has enjoyed being able to volunteer more. He is an ambassador for the Priscilla Bacon Hospice charity. He also shops for neighbours, edits the village newsletter and supports the website, is a lay reader and coordinates delivery of the church magazines. This year he has co-ordinated volunteers to assist during the lockdown. He is also a full-time carer.

He said: “I’m really grateful and honoured by this nomination. Essentially, I try my best to help anyone who needs it.”

Robert and Angie Cossey, 72 and 70 respectively, of Norwich, are co-founders of Stepping Stones, a charity dedicated to working with adults with learning disabilities. Mrs Cossey managed the charity for 25 years, until 2013 when she retired but still works part time. Mr Cossey, or Bob as he is known, has been a trustee throughout.

Helen Brook. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Community Hero of the Year. Pic

Helen Brook. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Community Hero of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

He said: “We are proud of what has been achieved over the past 31-plus years of Stepping Stones and it has been a humbling experience for us. It’s important to realise that none of it would have been possible without the many other dedicated people who have been, and still are, involved,”

Community Hero of the Year

This category is sponsored by Hopestead.

Melanie Lord. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Community Hero of the Year. Pi

Melanie Lord. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Community Hero of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Alex and Lizzie Brake, 36 and 39 respectively, of the Bird in Hand, Wreningham, served more than 7,000 takeaway meals to their local community during lockdown. To help “give something back”, they also gave away their remaining beer supply in return for charitable donations, which funded 200 fruit and vegetable boxes for frontline Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital staff. They also matched a donation to fund approximately 100 takeaway meals for NHS workers.

They said: “We are over the moon to be finalists in the community hero category and would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to whoever nominated us. Without our local community the pub wouldn’t be here.”

Zoe Wood. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Education Hero of the Year. Pictur

Zoe Wood. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Education Hero of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Helen Brook, 63, of Mattishall, set up Mattishall Volunteer Hub (MVH) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to provide practical and social support to vulnerable residents in Mattishall and Welborne. With the support of the volunteers and the local community, and with guidance from Community Action Norfolk, she is now establishing MVH as a permanent Good Neighbour Team.

She said: “It’s a huge surprise to have been selected as a finalist. I feel very humbled.

“Being able to help local residents is extremely rewarding - this is a lovely bonus.”

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards finalist Tracey Hales. Picture: Tracey Hales

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards finalist Tracey Hales. Picture: Tracey Hales - Credit: Archant

Melanie Lord, 31, of Lowestoft, is a parent of a young son on the spectrum. She strives to show other how to make her community a little more inclusive for others and achieves this by raising money to help support local charities and organisations. During the pandemic, she created free printable social stories to help individuals with additional needs to understand the changes surrounding the impact of Covid-19. She also donates gifts each year at Christmas to local charities and organisations.

She said: “I feel overwhelmed to be a finalist. I always said ‘I don’t want my son to change for the world, but I want him to be the one to change it’ and together I think we are making a positive change in our community, which I hope may inspire others to.”

Education Hero of the Year

Emma Chamberlain. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 NHS Person of the Year. Pi

Emma Chamberlain. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 NHS Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

This category is sponsored by City College Norwich.

George King, 25, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, in Gorleston, has developed ambition and confidence in his students and is determined to ensure their learning goes beyond the classroom - whether it is a trip to Parliament, empowering them to speak in front of hundreds of people, or participating in elections and meeting councillors and MPs. His goal is to create a learning environment where students feel safe, happy and free to express their opinions.

He said: “Teaching is hard work, it’s tiring, and, in all honesty, there are thousands of teachers that deserve this award.

Jessica Brunet. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 NHS Person of the Year. Pict

Jessica Brunet. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 NHS Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

“I feel humble, honoured and privileged to be recognised for my efforts, it means the world knowing my students see value in what they do.”

Zoë Wood, 45, from Mousehold Infant and Nursery School, in Norwich, is passionate about being an Early Years teacher, nurturing children at the very start of their educational journey. She often spends her days covered in mud or glitter. She also works as a specialist leader of education, supporting teachers in their classroom practice. Part of this role is facilitating a community to inspire teachers to drive improvement across many Norfolk schools.

She said: “Being selected as a finalist for this award is deeply humbling and is in fact a tribute to every child that I have taught over the past 18 years. They have made me a better teacher.”

Susan Jones. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 NHS Person of the Year. Picture

Susan Jones. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 NHS Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Tracey Hales, 51, from Halesworth, works with children who have special needs. She often stays up late at nights working on special projects for them, using her imagination to create things to help the children learn. Her nominator said: “She really cares that all children should be able to have the best life that is possible for them. Tracey has worked in this field for many years and she still has as much enthusiasm as when she started. Wanting the best for her children is always her aim.”

She said of her nomination: “I feel proud and honoured that someone has recognised how much I care and value children.”

Colin Plummer. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Outstanding Bravery Act of th

Colin Plummer. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year. Picture: PAUL DAMEN - Credit: Archant

NHS Person of the Year

This category is sponsored by ProStyle tile and bathroom specialist.

Emma Chamberlain, 45, from Reepham and Aylsham Medical Practice, qualified as a nurse in 2005. Her role is to care for people, despite whatever else is happening in the world. She is passionate about women’s health and promoting this at every opportunity, together with training more nurses to provide excellent care to support ladies in their physiological changes during their lifetimes and to ensure every woman has the opportunity to live a long and healthy life.

Jack Bonham. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Outstanding Bravery Act of the

Jack Bonham. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

She said: “I am proud to wave the NHS flag that says ‘all women’s lives matter’.

“I am both surprised and humbled to have been nominated for doing my job. I feel blessed to enjoy my work and to have the ability to impact on people’s lives in a positive way.”

Jessica Brunet, 33,from the Community Paediatrics ADHD Nursing Team at Norwich Community Hospital, is an advanced nurse practitioner in clinic at the Norwich Community Hospital. She leads the ADHD nursing team and works with children and young people with neurodevelopmental differences. She is also a children’s mental health nurse and during the pandemic has supported families well-being. While some families would normally be seen six-monthly, she has checked in weekly.

Kelly Cartwright. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Outstanding Bravery Act of

Kelly Cartwright. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year. Picture: JARK NORFOLK LTD - Credit: Archant

She said: “It’s really overwhelming and exciting to be nominated. I wasn’t expecting it. I had tears of joy as it’s such a kind thing for someone to do. I’m incredibly grateful to have been nominated, it truly means so much.”

Susan Jones, 54,of North Walsham Community Hospital, has been a nurse for over 30 years - 15 of them for the Royal British Legion as a nurse at Halsey House, Cromer. After two major hip replacements, she decided to transfer to the nurses hub just in the other end of the building. After a week of starting there, she decided to get back on the ward and work through the pandemic instead.

She said: “I am completely overwhelmed with emotion, and a little bit embarrassed my face will be in the paper. I was nominated by youngest daughter Georgie, who did this without my knowledge. She has seen me from my high points to my low and the mentally challenging parts of working through the pandemic and the strain it puts on your health emotionally. I am very grateful to be part of this and to even become a finalist.”

Jamie Barnes. Picture: Courtesy of Jamie Barnes

Jamie Barnes. Picture: Courtesy of Jamie Barnes - Credit: Courtesy of Jamie Barnes

Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year

This category is sponsored by the Big C.

Amelia Moreland. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Police/Fire Person of the Y

Amelia Moreland. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Police/Fire Person of the Year. Picture: NORFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

Colin Plummer, 49, of Bacton, is a partner in family-run garage in his village and has also served on Mundesley lifeboat for 28 years. On September 26, he helped, along with police officers, a young village resident and two nurses, helped Elsie Wild and her daughter, Jean, from their house when it caught on fire. He entered the burning building to help them, assisted by the police officers. He carried out resuscitation on Jean and managed, with the help of a nearby nurse, to keep her breathing until the air ambulance and paramedics arrived. She passed away two days later.

He said: “I feel humbled by the nomination and extremely grateful to the lifeboat service for giving me the training to be able to assist Elsie and Jean. I am also devastated that Jean sadly passed away.”

Jake bonham, 27, of Mundesley, has always had a passion for the sea. This evolved to an interest in surfing and becoming a beach lifeguard for the RNLI. He now works as a PE teacher and head of year at Cromer Academy, as well as running a surf school in the summer at Mundesley with Glide Surf. This has allowed him to pass on his passion to others, as well as educating them about surf lifesaving and water safety. Recently, he helped with an incident where someone got into trouble on the coast.

Verity Holmes. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Police/Fire Person of the Yea

Verity Holmes. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Police/Fire Person of the Year. Picture: NORFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

He said: “The beach lifeguards are trained to such a high standard and do an astonishing job at keeping our beaches safe in the summer. I feel lucky to have had this training and privileged to help others where I can,

when the situation arises.”

Kelly Cartwright, 28,of Norwich, works for Jark Norfolk Ltd and volunteered throughout lockdown to provide the NHS with vital ‘Face Fit Testing’. Working in the construction industry, focusing on dust inhalation, she is a trained face fit tester and has conducted more than 100 face fit tests for construction business in the region. She volunteered to help around 300 to 400 people across various hospitals and dental clinics throughout East Anglia to help people that were risking their own health to save others.

The Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Tea

The Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Group of the Year. Picture: Charles Burrell Centre - Credit: Archant

She said: “The sense of achievement from the experience itself was enough, let alone to be recognised for my volunteering by multiple local ambassadors is incredible. My time spent within the NHS, solidifies my amazement of their staff, their selflessness and their dedication, especially through the pandemic.”

Police/Fire Person of the Year

This category is sponsored by Breckland Council.

Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Gr

Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Group of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Jamie Barnes, 30, is a retained firefighter based in Holt, as well as a groundsman at Greshams School. The married father-of-two has been in the service for 12 years and was nominated for his overall work, but also his efforts to try and contain last year’s devastating blaze at Budgens in the town.

On being nominated, he said: “It feels amazing to have been selected as a finalist. I had no idea my wife had nominated me so it’s come as a surprise. I never expected any recognition as for me its part of the job that I love doing. A massive thank you to my wife for the nomination and the patience she has with me being on call 24/7.”

SENsational Families. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Group o

SENsational Families. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Group of the Year. Picture: SENsational Families - Credit: Archant

Police Constable Amelia Moreland, 40, of Hunstanton Police Station, has been promoting this year’s Sandi Starfish campaign to prevent children and parents becoming separated on Hunstanton’s beaches, while maximising opportunities for a swift emergency response in a search for a missing child. The town was divided into six Sandi Zones, and with the support of local partners, several large posters were erected in high profile locations. These encouraged parents to make a note of their zone number so they can be located quickly in an emergency, and further important advice, such as taking a photo of their child in the clothes they are wearing that day.

She said: “I am stunned by this nomination. The scheme is named after much-loved PCSO Sandi Greenacre, who sadly passed away in 2013. Like me, Sandi was passionate about child safety, and I am delighted and honoured that we can continue to promote the scheme in her name.”

Detective Constable Verity Holmes, 44, of the Joint Major Investigation Team at Norfolk Constabulary, was involved in Operation Congo, an investigation into a prolific paedophile. Initially two victims came forward to police, but after further investigation she established the extent to which the defendant had committed his offending across the UK, spanning as far back as the 1980s. All of these victims had one thing in common – afraid of not being believed, some even told so by their parents, and targeted because of their vulnerability. The strength of evidence she put together, with the support of colleagues, proved their case, so much so the defendant entered a guilty plea to all indictments.

The Feed Cafe, Norwich. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Group

The Feed Cafe, Norwich. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Team/Community Group of the Year. Picture: THE FEED - Credit: Archant

She said: “The nomination came as a real surprise. Just knowing I was able to get the right result for the victims was reward enough, being told by each of them individually they could start to move on with their lives, knowing other children would now be safe.”

Team/Community Group of the Year

This category is sponsored by Norfolk Community Foundation.

Karen Fulcher. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Ye

Karen Fulcher. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

The Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, closed during lockdown but its volunteers continued to distributed the contents of the community fridge, walked dogs, picked up prescriptions, and put chocolate Easter eggs on kids’ doorsteps. They helped more than 250 households with food and basic essentials, providing virtual activities to more than 350.

A spokesperson said: “It’s important to stay socially connected even whilst being physically distanced. With strategic input from Breckland Council and amazing people like Sharon up the road who’s given away more than 6,000 free lunches, we made sure no-one went without.

“We’re absolutely chuffed, humbled and proud to be nominated. For us, it’s just about doing what’s needed but it’s nice that people appreciate our help.”

Mary Merrick. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Yea

Mary Merrick. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers, based in Norwich, grew from nothing in March 2020 to encompassing a wide range of volunteers. More than 1,000 makers throughout Norfolk sewed scrubs with area leaders managing sewers, a despatch team at the hub who checked, packed, and delivered the finished products, and volunteer drivers. Items made included 5,000 scrubs sets, 2,000 scrub hats, staff laundry bags and 2,000 fabric masks. These were distributed to the healthcare community in Norfolk. The project was managed by Julia Wheeler, Gillian Francis, Claire Wyatt, Emma Bradley, Diana Cripps.

A spokesperson said: “We are surprised, but pleased to be nominated. The nomination recognises the generosity and hard work of the people of Norfolk, who rose to the challenge when the call went out.”

Trevor Saunders. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Unsung Hero/Heroine of the

Trevor Saunders. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

SENsational Families, a charity founded in 2015, has worked hard to support SEND families this year by using technology to reach out where face to face contact has stopped, including virtual coffee groups and children’s activities, Facebook support group, and grocery hunt group. It has also worked one-to-one with families and sent out 750 SEND children a sensory smiles box, 200 parents a carers box, and worked with statutory services to feedback the lived experiences of SEND families and updated families.

A spokesperson said: “As a team we love the work we do and feel very honoured to be part of families lives and will continue to support those with SEND and their carers. We are so grateful to those who have nominated us and thrilled to be selected as finalists.”

The Feed Cafe, in Norwich, stepped up during the first lockdown to provide extra support to some of the people in Norwich who needed it most. Between April and June, the team distributed over 4,500 lunch bags and made 350 phone calls to keep in touch with people. It then launched a Community Fridge in August to provide food to those struggling to buy their own. Fresh food, tins, and meals cooked in-house are all available on a no questions asked basis every Monday to Friday. It has given out over 4000kg of food since then.  

Cley. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Village/Town of the Year. Picture: CLE

Cley. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Village/Town of the Year. Picture: CLEY PARISH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Chief executive, Lucy Parish, said: “We are delighted our team is receiving this recognition for adapting their roles, working hard and keeping positive in a tough year. Our efforts have continued our aim to tackle poverty, hunger and homelessness in Norwich.”

Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year

This category is sponsored by Norwich Research Park.

Halesworth. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Village/Town of the Year. Pictur

Halesworth. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Village/Town of the Year. Picture: Phillippa Welby/Halesworth Town Council - Credit: Archant

Karen Fulcher, 57, of Newbegin Road, in Norwich, has a son who works for a local hospital charity. He mentioned they were in need of scrubs and after she ran out of her own materials making them, she put out a plea on Facebook for quilt covers. The response was overwhelming. The community pulled together and she filled her living room. She turned these into 164 sets of scrubs and, with some help also made over 500 washbags and masks. All were donated to various NHS organisations around the county and London.

She said: “When I got the call to say that I was a finalist, I was taken by complete surprise. I have been so absorbed working through my list of requests that the thought of something like this happening never once crossed my mind, but now that it has settled in, I am overcome with emotion and feel truly honoured.”

Hethersett. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Village/Town of the Year. Pictur

Hethersett. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Village/Town of the Year. Pictured is St Remigius Church. Picture: Maurice Gowen - Credit: Maurice Gowen

Mary Merrick, 57, of Norwich, works in a nursing care home as bank staff and joined a team of volunteers in her community during lockdown - the Thorpe Helping Hands. She helped with packing donated groceries and delivering them to homes. She also assisted with little errands to the shops, picking up medications, Post Office runs, giving lifts to clinic appointments, and whenever else she was needed.

She said: “I want to say a big thank you to my team for always being up and ready when we get a call out. I joined this service not to get anything back but to simply do what is right, for we all to be there for one another in any situation. This has come to me as a big surprise that I have been selected, and so it does give me joy to know that I am being appreciated.”

Trevor Saunders, 54, of Great Yarmouth, brought together a fantastic team of volunteers to help people in need. He continues to network and build relationships with stakeholders and respond to community needs with immediate practical support utilising relationships to maximise the impact they have.

Connor Root. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Pictu

Connor Root. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

He said: “I basically don’t say no and always say thank you.

“It’s lovely that someone has taken the time to recognise the work we, as a team, have carried out in the last eight months, and as a team we can hopefully celebrate our achievements knowing we have not gone unnoticed.”

Village/Town of the Year

Holly Porter. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Pict

Holly Porter. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

This category is sponsored by Lovewell Blake.

In Cley, the parish council and the community have united to provide support to vulnerable residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. A rota has been drawn up with over 35 local volunteers registered to provide assistance for every day of the week. Tasks range from delivering food from the local Spar shop, collecting, and delivering prescriptions, mowing grass, chopping wood and checking on empty properties on behalf of holiday homeowners, who were unable to travel due to lockdown restrictions. Also, at a time when public toilets were closing, Cley Parish Council built and opened up a brand-new public disabled toilet.

Cley Parish Council is thrilled to be nominated as a finalist, and is keen to acknowledge the hard work of the local community through the recent challenging months.

Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED

Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

On behalf of Halesworth, its town council said: “Halesworth Town Council is honoured that the town and its people have been chosen as a finalist in this category. The response of our community to the pandemic has been amazing. Many different organisations in the town have come together to ensure that help is there for those who need it. The people of this caring town have watched out for, and helped their neighbours, friends, and family during this period of crisis. It is reassuring that through adversity we have found that positive action within our community has reaffirmed our belief that Halesworth is a wonderful place to live.”

Hethersett is the size of a small town but has the heart of a village. During 2020, this has been shown in many ways as residents have pulled together to help each other. Whether it be collecting prescriptions, running an errand or just lending an ear the community has helped each other with care, tolerance and compassion. Hethersett has seen development but there is no ‘them’ and ‘us’ - only one community. Hethersett has been home to many generations of the same families and young families are now returning to raise their own children.

Liam Kelly. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Pictur

Liam Kelly. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Picture: DEENA'S IMAGES - Credit: Archant

The parish council said: “We are delighted that residents have taken the time to nominate Hethersett in the best village category. It’s very much in keeping with the attitude of the village - not just to think about doing something, but to make the effort to ensure it is done.”

Young Person of the Year

This category is sponsored by Ashtons Legal.

Molly Monk. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Pictur

Molly Monk. Nominated for a Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award 2020 Young Person of the Year. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

Connor Root, six, of Harleston, heard Banham Zoo was going to have to close due to the coronavirus. He decided to raise money to help feed the animals so came up with the idea of cycling 100 miles throughout June. A Just Giving page was set up with a target was £150. Before the cycling started, he had raised £1,000. By the end of the month, he raised £8,000 with gift aid.

He said: “I feel good and happy to be selected. I would love to win.”

His mum, Kerry, added: “Connor’s dad and I are so proud of what he has achieved at such a young age. We are so touched at the award he has been nominated for.”

Logos of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney 2020 sponsors. Picture: Archant Library

Logos of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney 2020 sponsors. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

Holly Porter, 14, of Ormesby St Margaret, was challenged by her scout leaders to sleep out to gain a nights away badges during lockdown. After night 25, she decided to carry on for charity Nelson’s Journey - a charity close to her heart as she had received its support after her dad died suddenly in 2019. She had counselling with Nelson’s Journey.

She said: “They are an amazing charity helping children with loss and wanted to give something back as thanks for them helping me so much. On my 100th night, my scout group and scouts from all over Norfolk joined me for a ‘Hollyday’ in their gardens and paid a fee and to camp. I reached £3,000 in donations.

“I’m proud to have raised so much for a worthy charity. Last year I walked 87 miles Hunstanton to Hopton for prostate cancer. It’s my goal to do good for a charity every year.”

Jacob Gravestock, eight, of Dereham, has been raising money for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Cancer Care Centre because they helped to look after his grandad, to help them create memories together. He wanted to help others who have cancer to feel better so he cycled, walked, and scooted 188 miles in 70 days to raise money.

He said: “It was hard but fun. I also bought the nurses and patients biscuits with my pocket money as I wanted to make them smile. I like helping others and in the past have asked for donations to NSPCC and St Martin’s Housing Trust instead of receiving Christmas presents, and gave items to Break.

“I feel really happy to be nominated. I feel proud and excited about being in the newspaper. I am happy that I have helped people. I hope the other finalists are all okay and well. This is exciting and I am lucky.”

Liam Kelly, 10, of Happisburgh, wanted to raise £50 for the NHS because they helped him and his dad, a veteran with PTSD. He decided to bike 181 miles locally around the perimeter of Norfolk in 45 days.

He said: “Because of lockdown people were home and wanted me to bike to their villages so they could cheer me.

“A little into my challenge, my granddad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My family said I could stop and it would be okay but I didn’t want people to know and I knew how happy they were to see me. We kept it secret and I finished my challenge.

“It’s very surprising to be nominated but amazing as I didn’t even know I had been nominated. Thank you to anyone who did nominate me since I think it is very kind.”

Molly Monk, 16, of Norwich, is senior captain of Dereham Otters and decided to do her best to keep the swimming club active, connected and engaged during lockdown, through regular online sessions. Once pools were able to reopen, the club had the devastating news that its pool was unable to open due to maintenance. This meant that seeking other pool locations was near to impossible, and pool hire costs were unmanageable. To help the club, she set up a crowdfunding page, with a target of £10,000, to help towards pool hire costs. In September the £10,000 target was met and the club was able to continue.

She said: “I am thrilled to have been selected as a finalist, I just wanted to do something for the swimming community while we were unable to swim, as I know how much swimming improves mental well-being for so many, I am very grateful for those who have nominated me for this award.”

And finally, a huge well done to all of our nominees...

Anne Hale / Danielle Bullent / Donna Hole / Jane Edge / Kayleigh Griggs / Lilac Lodge and Lavender Cottage / Louise Gasparro / Melania Dragomir / Mike Cooper / Munhaven Care Home Team / Ragna Page / Sara Pearce / Shaun Sidell / Stephanie Durham / Victoria Trattles / Alice “Betty” Gerturde Brown / Angie and Robert “Bob” Cossey / Anna Perkins / Clive Evans / Colin and Linda Harper / Colin Plumber / Elisabeth Louis / Hannah and Amy Harvey / Janet Money / Jasmine Pearce / John Potter / Lesley Bradfield / Liam Kelly / Matt Emmerson / Matthew Scade / Melanie Sturman / Naji Malak / Roberta Lovick / SENsational Families / Team St Martins / Thecla Fellas / Andrew Francis / Anna Marie Sterne / Carla Smith / Colin Seal / Debi Haden / Elisabeth Louis / Emma Spagnola / Gary Blundell / Hannah Wilde / Helen Brook / Ingrid Henry / Jane Gary / Jason Alexander Collins / Jenna Bedwell / John Hodgson / Judith Gardiner / Julie Douglas / Kate Clodd / Kate Jackson / Kelly Cartwright / Kirsty Fielder / Kumar and Jamuna Velummylum / Lauren Reid Edwards / Lily Lancaster / Lizzie and Alex Brake / Marcus Pearcey / Marion Millership / Matt Emmerson / Melanie Lord / Mike Smith-Clare / Nathan Liberman / Peter Purdy / Phil Aves / Sharon Kelly / The Feed / Tina Clements / Trevor Saunders of Mandalay Well-Being CIC / Wendy Fredericks / Carl Brooks / Deborah Richardson / Demetrios Symeou / Erin Patel / Frances Bainbairn-Harvey / George King / Hannah Warnes / Jill Cossey / Kirsten Remer / Linda White / Mark Pilmott / Michelle Read / Mrs I Carter / Mundesley Infant and Junior School / Sian Barker / Sylvia Newton / Tom Pinnington / Tracey Hales / Zoe Wood / Ashleigh and Jason Hunt / David Green / Jake Bonham / Janna Clark / Kelly Cartwright / Lily Lancaster / Patrick Keely / Aylsham Parish Church / Bacton Coastguard / Breckland youth advisory board (YAB) / Charles Burrell Centre / ChetChat / Cringleford Lunch Club / Gissing Covid-19 Action Support Group / Gorleston Emeralds U13s girls / Halesworth Volunteer Centre / Hethersett Heats / Hug in a Mug / Match of the Dads / Paul Godfrey / Mundesley Medical Centre / Namaste Village / NARS First Responders / Nicky and Graeme / NIHCSS Norfolk Integrated Housing and Community Support Services / Norfolk Scrubs Volunteers / Norwich AOC - Ambulance Operations Centre / Sarah Yendell / Sheringham Virtual Carnival Committee / Soul Foundation / Stalham and Smallburgh Community First Responders / Stradbroke Court Care Home / Sunbeams play / The Lloyd Court Team / Therapyaid / Thetford River Group / Twinkles SEN Activity Days / Aylsham / Cawston / Cley-next-the-Sea Parish Council and volunteers / Halesworth / Hethersett / Shelfhanger Village Hall and Social Club / Cromer MIU / Emma Chamberlain / Jessica Brunet / Rebekah Mann / Susan Jones / Detective Constable Verity Holmes / Jamie Barnes / PC Amelia Moreland / PC Paula Gilluley / Volunteer Specials Blofield Heath Police / Anna Cliffen / Dionne Parker / Josephine “Josie” Boddy / Karen Fulcher / Mary Merrick / Matt Emmerson / Melanie Lord / Trevor Saunders / Sarah Atkins / Brook Sprawling / Calvin Smith / Connor Root / Evie Sansom / Holly Porter / Jacob Gravestock / Joshua Freemantle / Liam Kelly / Lily Lancaster / Molly Monk / Myah Willett / Nesta Phillips-Fry / Oliver Gregory / Tommy and Eva Monument

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