Local heroes recognised at PT’s Pride in Peterborough Awards

Child of Courage Award sponsor Dave King from Peterborough Garden Park and special guest actress Paula Lane, present Effie Hadmanand her family with their award.
Child of Courage Award sponsor Dave King from Peterborough Garden Park and special guest actress Paula Lane, present Effie Hadmanand her family with their award.
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Actress Paula Lane - star of TV’s Coronation Street - was the special guest at this year’s glittering Pride in Peterborough Awards.

The event held at the Holiday Inn in Thorpe Wood saw people from all walks of local life recognised in the Peterborough Telegraph’s annual awards ceremony.

Paula - who plays Kylie Platt in the popular soap - was the special guest presenter on a fantastic night of celebration.

She said: “It is a wonderful night. It just goes to show how much some people are prepared to do for their communities and how much courage some people show. The awards were an emotional and humbling experience.”

The awards are organised by the Peterborough Telegraph and readers nominate people they think deserve special recognition.

Editor Mark Edwards said: “It is always a superb night. The awards mean so much to people because they have been nominated by members of the local community. It a great privilege for us to help recognise some of the extraordinary things achieved by local people of all ages.”

The Young Achiever of the Year Award, sponsored by Stanair had some remarkable finalists.

The Contenders, a local street dance crew scooped the silver medal at the European Street-Dance Championships in Germany in May this year. The 11 highly talented street dancers were selected through an audition process at Peterborough Regional College. They won second place out of 16 crews in the over-18 intermediate category.

Peterborough Sea cadets were nominated for winning an award which puts them in the top 25 ‘best performing’ units in the country.

Members of the unit were handed the Burgee Award at the cadet’s annual ceremony at Customs House in Peterborough in January.

Further honours were presented to individual members, including Marine Cadet Corporal Rickinson, who was awarded the Top Corporal from the Eastern area prize. Chairman of Peterborough Sea Cadets, Andy Tannock said: “It’s absolutely brilliant and a real achievment not only for the cadets but the staff as well.”

The category winner was Sarah Pimohamed, a former Arthur Mellows and Thomas Deacon Academy student, who achieved a First Class Honours degree and also won two prizes for her outstanding work. She was awarded the Dean’s Prize at Huddersfield University graduation day in July for achieving 95 per cent in her dissertation which is the highest mark ever awarded by the university.

Sarah has also won the British Pyschological Society Prize for achieving the highest marks across all three courses; her dissertation will be published in the Psychological Journal and she will be the first student to present it to an international conference in London. Sarah’s mum said “We are so proud of her.”

The Young Person of Courage and Achievement award, sponsored by BGL Group was won by Maddison Hunter (11) a pupil at Ormiston Bushfield Academy. In April she helped save her mum, Samantha, from a potentially life-threatening epileptic fit. Maddison, who had seen her mum have epileptic fits before, realised that this was not a normal fit and telephoned the ambulance service who told her to keep mum breathing.

Maddison said: “I was crying and really shaking. It was the first time I had seen her have a fit this big”.

Samantha, has no recollection of the incident, but said without her daughter’s intervention she could have ended up seriously injured.

Judges could not split the nominees in the Child of Courage Award, sponsored by Peterborough Garden Park. All four finalists were declared joint winners and received equal prizes.

Jack Rickard, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was bornand his parents, Shona and Stephen were told he would struggle to even stand unaided or ride a bike.

Amazingly, Jack has proved the doctors wrong and can now do those things and has surprised those doctors and his family even more with his fighting spirit by beating the odds again at his karate class – gaining his red belt! Dad Stephen said: “Getting his red belt was an exceptional achievement, and myself and his mother, Shona, are always amazed by him.”

Maya Ratcliffe was born prematurely in October 2011. Now three years old, Maya was disagnosed in the womb with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and was not expected to survive.

She developed meningitis at just one-month-old and had five major life-saving brain and spine surgeries in the first two months of her life, and 15 overall.

A fundraising event took place in August to raise £2,500 for a new lightweight wheelchair for Maya.

Mum Fay said: “Maya is unable to walk and is a full time wheelchair user. My dream is to have to chase off after her down the street because she will be so fast!”

Effie Hadman is five years old and has Late Infantile Batten Disease, a rare, fatal, neurodegenerative disease which affects young children. Effie, an energetic toddler, began suffering seizures in January 2013 before being diagnosed with the condition. Her mum Carly said: “Effie was a bright, bubbly girl until for no apparent reason she suddenly forgot all of her numbers, colours and people’s names.”

In January 2014, when Effie was three and a half, the family received the devastating news that Effie had the disease with a life expectancy of five to 12 years old. Currently, there is no treatment and no cure for Batten disease.

The family is being supported by EACH children’s hospice providing her parents with much needed respite, and they are providing Effie with music therapy which she loves!

Mum Carly said: “We’re grateful for every day we have with her.”

The fourth winner, five-year-old Xanthe Peacock who suffers from debilitating seizures, was unable to attend the awards night. Xanthe loves the film Frozen so much that it inspires her to fight her rare condition.

Xanthe from Stilton has benign tumours in her brain, kidneys, eyes and skin, suffers from two forms of epilepsy which can leave her up all night with seizures.

Xanthe visits three hospitals for treatment for her condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, eats a special diet and is involved in a clinical drug trial. Xanthe attends the Stilton Church of England Primary School and can be heard singing the film’s hit song ‘Let It Go’ to help her overcome her fear of needles while doctors take blood.

The Healthcare Professional and Carer of the Year Awards were sponsored by Coloplast, with Paramedic Claire Squires taking the Healthcare prize.

Claire has worked at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EAST) for eight years and is based in the city. Last May she was called to the home of Tracey Goodacre. It was not the first time paramedics had taken Tracey to A&E after she experienced weeks of severe pain, weakness and confusion but on each occasion she was sent home.

As a result Tracey was reluctant to return to A&E, but Claire gained her trust and convinced her to go. There, doctors found the cause of her pain – bone cancer. Surgeons acted quickly and Tracey’s condition has improved.

She said: “Claire was the only one that listened and got me sorted out. It was such a relief.”

Winners of the Carer of the Year Award were Kate (69) and Phil Gilbert (66), who live between the city and Whittlesey, and have fostered over 600 children. Some children were fostered for a few hours and some for a few years, but the couple have enjoyed having a full house for the last 29 years. Kate said: “I cannot say we were not worried about how it would work out but it’s worked out well.”

The Caring Neighbour Award, sponsored by the Luminus Group was won by Deborah Slator founder of the charity Whittlesey Defibrillators For All which has raised more than £25,000 to provide 19 machines at shops and outside houses across the town.  Runners up were Zoe Williams and her neighbours from Deeping St James who went to the aid of a man trapped under a car, and tried to jack it up while paramedics attempted resuscitation. They were unsuccessful but Zoe’s actions were praised.

The Family of the Year Award, sponsored by the Peterborough Telegraph was won by sisters Kerry Ann Kitchener and Amy Wilkinson from Woodston.

They are in their 13th year of fundraising for people like Kerry Ann’s husband Darren who suffer from cystic fibrosis and have raised £20,000.

The Community Spirit Award, sponsored by Cross Keys Homes was won by Sophie Wilson who works at Diligenta and has raised over £30,000 in the past three years for the British Heart Foundation.

Sophie lost her cousin and also work colleague, local footballer Ando Todisco to heart conditions, and raises money in both their names. Sophie is also a Charity Ambassador for Diligenta, helping raise £100,000 for Macmillan in the last two years.

Runner-up Jaden Cole-Hales (11) became Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, and collected some of her unopened toys, books and games to donate to the Children’s Ward at Peterborough City Hospital. She presented the bulging sack of goodies to delighted Amazon Ward staff to give to patients on the big day.

The second runner-up was the 1st Sensory Legion, which was the brainchild of Jonathan Lucia Wright who, with his friend Simon Howard, founded it as part of Extreme Clowning CIC in August 2013.

The charity’s objectives are to develop implement and advocate for the uptake of methods to enable disabled people and sensory impaired people to access film and television.

The final runner-up was Karen Lawrence, the inspirational Communities Team Leader for Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). Over the years, Karen has launched numerous community projects that have revolutionised the city’s social and environmental landscape. Her projects include Greeniversity, Forest for Peterborough and Love Local.

The Outstanding Act of Bravery Award, sponsored by Queensgate recognised triumph through testing circumstances. It was won by Craig Green who has Poland syndrome which resulted in him missing two fingers on his right hand, and his others underdeveloped.

Craig was told at school he would never get a skilled trade because of his disability. After some mundane factory jobs Craig went down the wrong path and ended up in prison for four years. There he re-evaluated his life, and started volunteering at the prison gym.

After a year he was allowed to volunteer at the local YMCA gym. After his release in July 2012, he carried on volunteering and in January 2013 became the manager.

Then he discovered an event called Sportsfest which showcases all the Paralympic sports and invites disabled people to try out. Craig is now aiming to be picked for Team GB cycling team at the Paralympics in Rio 2016

Battling tot Leland Newhall who has Turner’s Syndrome – a condition which normally only affects females - was runner-up. Leland may be the only boy in the country with the genetic condition and he has needed continual care at Peterborough City Hospital. He weighed less than a bag of sugar at birth and required oxygen which he will still need when he leaves hospital. Despite the uncertainty over his long-term future mum Melissa is desperate to get him home for the first time. She said: “He gives us joy and he never cries. Bringing him home will be a dream come true. ”

The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Coca Cola Enterprises was won by Station Commander Martin Boome who has spent more than 30 years with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

He established the Arson Investigation Unit with Safer Peterborough Partnership in 2009,and developed relationships with the police to combat arson.

Martin said: “Firefighting has been a huge part of my life but I couldn’t have done it without my family who have supported me all the way.”

The Senior Citizen of the Year Award, sponsored by Wiltshire Farm Foods, was won by 100-year-old Win Vine from Northborough who grew up at Wildereness Farm in Deeping St James.

During the war she took in girls working in the munitions factory and later worked at Peterborough District Hospital and Baker Perkins. She celebrated her birthday at her “local”, the Blue Bell in Glinton.

Runners up were Ivy and Den Hobbs from Whittlesey who are both 88 and celebrated their Platinum Anniversary last November. They have two sons, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren

This year’s Special Recognition Award was presented by Chelsea Scannell from headline Sponsor Costa.

Darren Grigas, who works for Access in Lynch Wood took part in the Marathon des Sables, the toughest footrace on Earth with 1,000 entrants racing six back to back marathons, a total of 156 miles, across the Sahara in heat topping 50 degrees centigrade.

He raised just over £18,000 for local children’s charity Anna’s Hope which helps children with brain tumours, and founder Carole Hughes said: “Darren is a remarkable person I am so grateful that he has chosen to help our charity.”

The Pt would like to sincerely thank all our Pride in Peterborough Awards sponsors:

Headline Sponsor: Costa

Category sponsors:

BGL Group

Coloplast

Coca-Cola Enterprises

Cross Keys Homes

Luminus Group

Peterborough Garden Park

Queensgate

Stanair

Wiltshire Farm Foods