Meet the Pride of Peterborough

Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2016. Young Achiever  award    Leo Waites EMN-161207-235507009

Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2016. Young Achiever award Leo Waites EMN-161207-235507009

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Local heroes, acts of bravery, kindness and generosity were recognised in this week’s Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards ceremony.

Hundreds of people packed into the glittering evening at the city’s Holiday Inn where awards were presented by Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpin - who plays Fiz Brown in the hit soap.

Awards were made to people from all walks of local life - PT Editor Mark Edwards said: “The awards show just how many truly remarkable pople there are doing great things quietly in their communities. We are pleased and privileged to be able to recognise some of that great work.”

The Young Achiever of the Year Award was won by Leo Waites who underwent surgery five years ago to help him walk after being diagnosed with cerebal palsy. Leo beat the odds and his condition when he took part in the 5km Anna’s Hope Fun Run which was part of the Great Eastern Run in October last year.

Mum Joanne said: “We are so grateful for this award - I’m so proud of him and what he’s achieved.”

Leo added: “When the awards were being read out I closed my eyes and when they said my name I was really excited.”

Highly commended was Victoria King who has suffered since childhood with autism. At a young age Vicky, struggling with her condition, began drinking and missing school. At the age of 11 she moved in with her aunt and slowly but surely things improved for Vicky with the love and guidance of her aunt and she left school with good GCSE grades and is now 20 and lives independently.

Aimie Owens was nominated by her Aunt Tina who said: “My niece Aimee is 15 and the nicest, toughest girl you could get. She is the epitome of what a true super-hero is. She has suffered with acute migraines for three years now, they are 24/7, non-stop, the migraines are agony and torture but she refuses to give in to it.”

The Child of Courage award was won by Rico Dunwoth from Farcet. Rico, aged eight, was healthy until earlier this year when he contracted Meningitis B. He was placed into an induced coma for five days. His feet would not heal he had to have his right foot and part of his left foot amputated.

Rico’s dad Del said: “He fought for his life for three-and-a-half days; we were eventually told he would survive but that his quality of life may not be what a well healthy eight year old would enjoy but Rico’s still smiling.”

Highly commended in that category was Anneliese Owens, aged four, who attends Little Caterpillars Day Nursery in Sawtry with her twin brother Samuel who suffers from epilepsy. Anneliese is always one of the first to get to her brother when he is having a seizure . She is not only there for her brother but also reassures the other children at the day nursery. Anneliese has recently picked up an award at the annual Young Epilepsy Champions Awards. Mum Suzie said: “Her compassion and reassurance to her brother and others brings me to tears.”

The Family of the Year Award went to the Dunworth family for their incredible care and support for Child of Courage winner Rico.

Dad Del said: “Until you’re actually staring there for days watching your little boy fight for his life, words can’t describe it. My wife was by his side every night.”

Highly commended were Cecilia and Neil Hammond who were nominated by Peter White. His nomination said: “As well as working full time, they have raised their own family and numerous foster children. They have spent a decade organising the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children charity. They do an amazing job.”

Also highly commended were Dorothy Paling and Victoria King who were featured in the carer award.