Stars of Norfolk and Waveney 2018: The winners and why they won
PUBLISHED: 11:30 08 December 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
A selection of the region’s most selfless and committed individuals gathered on Wednesday evening at The Halls in Norwich for the EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2018.
David Powles, editor of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News said: “Every single day my team write about outstanding acts of bravery, selfless charity or voluntary work or heart warming examples of kindness and determination. And for my team and I these are some of the most satisfying stories to write, because it confirms that the community we live in is overflowing with good people.”
Organiser Mick Parker, of Parker Communications, said: “It’s the culmination of a year’s work. We spend approximately 400 hours organising this, because we genuinely love seeing real heroes in the community. Every kind of person, we can find a place for them so we can really recognise the wonderful people in Norfolk.”
Overall Star sponsored by Flagship Group and Unsung Hero of the Year, sponsored by Great Yarmouth Borough Council - John Nooney.
The 74-year-old scooped the main prize for his youth work spanning 50 years. In 2003 he founded Norfolk Youth Projects where he is now chief executive. The voluntary community organisation organised and participated in more than 50 cultural youth exchanges involving more than 3,000 young people from 35 countries funded by the European Union.
Mr Nooney, from Aylsham, was given a tour of Wembley Stadium with a meal and train fare for Hero of the Year and for Overall Star a four night VIP break at Potter’s Resort in January.
He said: “It’s something I wouldn’t have dreamt of happening.”
Other finalists for Unsung Hero were OPEN Youth Trust head of operations Alex Walters and Lowestoft not-for-profit centre Involve Active fouder Bev Patnell.
Lifetime Achievement of the Year Award, sponsored by Adnams Southwold - Janet Rope and Barry and Claire Watkins.
Janet Rope, 79, has volunteered throughout the past five decades in Acle. She has been Cub Scout leader for 40 years, a long-standing member of Acle Society, chairperson of the Blind Club, and is trustee for Acle Voluntary Aid. She was presented with a meal for two at Morston Hall Hotel.
Barry and Claire Watkins started volunteering with Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) in 1976. Mr Watkins became volunteer warden for Lower Wood, Ashwellthorpe in March 1992. In total Barry has given 42 years of his life to volunteering with NWT, with Claire’s ‘unwavering’ support.
Mr Watkins had to retire from volunteering in August to look after his wife, whose health had deteriorated. She died in September. Mr Watkins was presented with VIP tickets to the Old Buckenham Airshow.
Outstanding Sporting Achievement of the Year, sponsored by Break - Ben Bartram.
Ben, 13, has Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia with Myopathy. He took up wheelchair tennis two years ago and has since been selected as one Britain’s seven most promising junior wheelchair tennis players, joining the Tennis Foundation’s Junior Futures Potential (JFP) programme.
He successfully represented Britain in Holland at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup 2018 and British Open Junior Wheelchair Tennis Championships 2018. Ben also volunteers for Active Norfolk and at the University of East Anglia to help other children try adapted sports.
Robert Bradley, from the Castle Mall presented video-game enthusiast Ben with a £200 voucher for the Mall.
The runners up were 14-year-old Ruby Bishop, who plays wheelchair tennis for Great Britain, and Lauren Hemp, who plays football for Manchester City.
Inspirational Person of the Year, sponsored by cottages.com - Cassie Hill.
Miss Hill, 24, has trained in karate since she was four years old, 20 years ago. Despite having learning difficulties she holds the title of second Dan at the Chinto Karate Group and is a world champion with National Martial Arts Committee. This year she was selected for AMA England and recently competed at the world championships in Dundee where she became world champion in Kata.
Miss Hill put herself in foster care at the age of 13, and despite a hard upbringing has proved herself a survivor and a fighter. She has now been accepted at Chichester University.
Victoria Schofield presented Miss Hill with a cottages.com holiday.
The runners-up were Simon Kindleysides, the first paralysed man to walk the London Marathon, and Caroline Pocock, who fundraises for the Miscarriage Association.
Team of the Year Award, sponsored by North Norfolk District Council - Chatterbox Talking Newspaper.
Chatterbox is a free talking newspaper for the blind and partially sighted. It has been providing news for the blind community in Norwich and is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a local charity this year. The organisation is free and relies on more than 100 volunteers.
It has this year formed a series of new partnerships for Chataround, a quarterly magazine programme of ten minute interviews with local people in the news and covering a wide range of topics relevant to Norfolk.
Richard Lain-Smith from NorseCare presented Chatterbox with a hamper of alcohol and chocolate, and a cheque.
Runners-up in the category were Norwich Door to Door, a volunteer transport service for disadvantaged people, and Nelson’s Journey Youth Panel, who have created a smartphone app for bereaved young people.
Hospital/Ambulance Hero of the Year, sponsored by East of England Co-op - The Chedgrave Beast from the East Rescue.
When the Beast from the East hit, Rob, a duty locality manager for the ambulance service along with an ambulance crew, trekked through snow for nine hours to respond to an emergency call in Chedgrave.
The team had to pull their equipment on sledges across three miles of fields and received vital support from the Fire and Rescue Service.
They battled the elements, dangerous situations and long hours to save the patient, who had breathing difficulties, but had been cut off by gales and sweeping snow drifts.
A cheque of £200 towards a cause of their choice was presented to the group, who chose to split it between Nelson’s Journey and Finbar’s Force.
The runners-up were Ward Six at James Paget Hospital and James Paget bereavement worker Mirica Hatto.
Fire Service Person of the Year, sponsored by Gasway - Community Safety Volunteers.
Around 20 community volunteers ensure that Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service can promote public safety while staff can continue operational duties. Volunteers enhance the work of the service and are committed to making Norfolk a safer place to live.
Volunteers help to complete home fire risk checks, run community events and education children and adults across the county. They are described as a small team with a big heart who help to protect the people of Norfolk without asking for payment.
The Volunteers were presented with a cheque for a cause of their choice by Nick Conrad, BBC Radio Norfolk presenter.
Lydia Durrant was also nominated for the way she represents Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service in supporting Norfolk’s Young Prince’s Trust Team members.
Judges Special Award, sponsored by the Flagship Group - East Coast Truckers.
For more than 30 years the Truckers convoy has brought joy to the lives of disadvantaged children and receives strong support every year from the public on their Children’s Convoy on the August bank holiday. The charity, run by volunteers, organises day trips for disabled and underprivileged children within East Anglia and provides equipment for special schools and hospitals.
They also have two holiday homes on the Norfolk coast and were able to provide 64 families with a free holiday in 2013.
Founding member Shiela Sarsby, from Norwich said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to receive this. We do it just because of seeing the excitement on those children’s faces.”
The East Coast Truckers were presented with a ‘sizable’ cheque and a Norwich City Football Club shirt signed by the whole of the first team.
Carer of the Year, sponsored by Norfolk County Council - Joan Brooks
Joan Brooks is not only a full time carer for her husband but is ‘indispensable’ to her neighbours.
Each day she looks after up to eight dogs for her friends, which enables them to go to work or medical appointments, at no cost.
She cooks meals for several friends, mainly people who are unwell or elderly, and makes sure she spends time with a housebound neighbour, who appreciates her “chat, smiles and cheese straws.” To top it off Mrs Brooks looks after two young children every day for an hour.
Mrs Brooks was presented with tickets to Norwich pantomime by Simon Wright, chief executive of Nelson’s Journey.
Also nominated was Marilyn Palmer, who has ‘tirelessly’ cared for her husband Doug Palmer since his Dementia diagnosis in 2013.
Young Person of the Year, sponsored by Broadland District Council - Kiera-Lea Lain.
Kiera-Lea, 11, was inspired to change how society talks about death and its affect on children following the suicide of her father and grandmother’s death from Cancer.
She was helped by children’s bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey, and now fundraises, and also sends clothing to a Norwich shelter.
Kiera-Lea, who would like to be a police officer or judge, was given the opportunity to spend the day with Norfolk Constabulary by Superintendant Jason Broome.
EDP and Norwich Evening News editor David Powles offered runner-up Nadia Sparkes, otherwise known as Trash Girl for her environmental work, the opportunity to come to the Archant office in Norwich for a day and to publish her cartoons. Maria Sheperd, who achieved an A* A-level despite having PoT Syndrome was also a runner up.
Outstanding Bravery, sponsored by Norwich City Council - Maisie Lossau.
Wheelchair-bound Maisie Lossau astounded everyone at Stars of Norfolk and Waveney once again on Wednesday night by coming on stage to collect her award despite enduring chemotherapy just hours beforehand.
Norwich mayor Martin Schmierer presented the 13-year-old Disney super-fan with an array of Disney-themed merchandise.
Maisie has had a brain tumour since 2016. In February she developed Hydrocephalus and underwent two surgeries in less than 10 days. She now has weekly chemotherapy.
Maisie’s mum Dawn Lossau said: “All these surgeries are life saving and she deals with it all with such a high level of bravery! She is still battling against her tumour and still smiling despite everything. Her sheer determination is an inspiration to us all. Maisie’s attitude towards her battle has helped others see that there is always hope.”
Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Breckland Council - Mary Wiffen.
For more than 15 years Mary Wiffen has supported vulnerable parents and their children as their disabled children and babies undergo diagnosis.
Volunteer Ms Wiffen is described as providing joy, understanding and consistency for those that need it the most through her music and movement classes with charity Musical Keys.
The charity provides music and arts activities to people with disabilities and additional needs across East Anglia.
Ms Wiffen, a photography enthusiast, was presented with two overnight stays at Bawsey Hall in Suffolk to photograph the wildlife there.
Also nominated were Joanne Mountjoy-Dixon, who runs Thetford and District Dementia Support (TADDS) and Nova Millar, an 84-year-old Great Hospital Charity volunteer.
Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Flagship Group - Peter Pugh Norfolk Marshland Rescue 2018.
Peter Pugh, 75, had been walking with friends and family on Brancaster Beach on Saturday, 16 June when he became separated.
Norfolk police, assisted by HM Coastguard, Hunstanton and Wells Inshore Lifeboat and Norfolk Lowland and Search Service, began searches of the local area.
The team pulled Mr Pugh from deep mud on the Sunday and provided first aid. He was then taken by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with hypothermia.
Sgt Danny Leach from Norfolk Constabulary’s drone unit, who accepted the award on stage alongside around 30 other team members, piloted the drone that spotted Mr Pugh. He was presented with two tickets for the Royal Box at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
The team were presented with framed certificates, and a cheque towards a cause of their choice.
Police Person of the Year, sponsored by RFT Services - Sally Mack.
Sally Mack joined the constabulary as a volunteer four years ago to assist Road Policing Family Liaison Officers. She realised that witnesses of accidents could also be considered victims in need of support and became the first police volunteer in the country to support them, with the help of Steve Matthews, and Sgt Andy Hood.
Ms Mack has helped many people cope with the trauma of horrific incidents and is described as an absolute credit to the team providing excellent service and help to those in crisis. She recently won the Volunteer Award at the British Association for Women in Policing ceremony.
Ms Mack was presented with a meal for four at No 1 in Cromer by Warren Garraway.
Also nominated were PC Tom Rimmer for his work in Aylsham this year, and PC Nigel Robinson for his community work in Great Yarmouth.
Community Group or Champion of the Year, sponsored by Norfolk Community Foundation - The Outsiders.
The Outsiders team create innovative projects that encourage dialogue, cooperation and community cohesion. Much of their work takes the form of public events, but they also provide training, publications, talks, and consultancy.
One example of their work is the 12th Man Project. Norfolk has a high suicide rate, with men more likely to take their own life and likely to struggle in engaging with traditional services. The project offers men the training and support to communicate openly about mental health.
The Outsiders were presented with a cheque for a cause of their choice by BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad.
The runners up were Blofield’s Poppies community cafe founders Elizabeth and John Stokes, and pregnancy loss charity Time Norfolk.