People who show remarkable courage and dedication have been recognised for their incredible achievements at the Peterborough Telegraph’s annual Pride in Peterborough Awards.
Community champions of all ages were presented with their prizes in an emotional ceremony at the Holiday Inn on Monday night (December 10).
The awards was hosted by BBC presenter Melvyn Prior and Miss Peterborough Laura Bailey.
Healthcare Professional /Carer of the Year Award, sponsored by Coloplast: Winner: Julie Holroyd
Julie Holroyd flew into action to save the life of a fellow airline passenger. Julie was on her way to Sri Lanka on holiday when a passenger on board her plane became seriously ill. Julie quickly identified that the passenger was suffering a cardiac arrest. With limited medication and equipment, she quickly administered pain relief, IV fluids and tried to increase his blood pressure, but the flight had to continue with five hours still left on the journey before reaching Sri Lanka.
Julie said: “There were two doctors on the flight, but their experience was as a paediatric oncologist and orthopaedic doctor. I was the most qualified to deal with the situation but they offered moral support.” Julie stayed by her patient’s side on the floor of the galley area for five hours and reassured his wife throughout the situation before handing over the reins to the emergency medical team in Sri Lanka where they confirmed the heart attack before transferring him to a local hospital.
Julie added: “I had an obligation that day and I knew that I was experienced enough to be able to diagnose the symptoms, but it is daunting without the equipment and your team around you. Knowing the best treatment for a heart attack is to have an angiogram as soon as possible after the symptoms start, the pressure is on you to make sure that you do everything you can to help until the plane is able to land.”
Highly commended was Carer/Co-ordinator Laura Judd, who works at Avery House Care Home and creates “magic moments” for residents with dementia. The home’s Wishing Wells programme enriches the lives of people in Laura’s care, enabling them to feel valued and special. For some, it encourages them to look back over their life, perhaps reminding them of a happy experience they would like to repeat. Laura has helped many of those she cares for take a trip down memory lane which has been seen as a key to keeping dementia at bay.
Also highly commended was Amie Woodruffe. Her nominator said: “Amie is my daughter’s community nurse. Amie has seen us weekly since my daughter came home from the Neo-natal ward in April 2016. My daughter is a surviving twin, back in Jan 2016 we had to make the heart-breaking decision to turn of our daughter’s life support. When Ava came home, after an extremely rocky 4 months, things were a blur. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t leave the house, I couldn’t care for my daughter properly. I had post natal depression and was struggling so much. Amie noticed this, she popped out to see us regularly, helped out with anything she could, I was worried beyond belief about my daughter and she always put my mind at rest by going above and beyond for answers. I eventually wrote down exactly how I was feeling and Amie got me immediate help. For the next two years, Amie was there for us as a family through everything. She provided immense support for a further pregnancy and always asked how me and my partner were really doing. Without Amie, I honestly don’t know how I would have coped the first few minutes. She really was my lifeline and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Caring Neighbour Award, sponsored by Savills and Weston Homes: Winner: Mel Briston
Mel’s nominator said: “I have only recently met Mel though I have heard a lot about her and was so inspired by her hard work and constant cheerful disposition when I met her that I felt she needed to be recognised as an exceptional person. I recently helped a friend to move house who was making four trips in two vans from Baston to Carlisle over 1 weekend.
“This friend has 3 teenage boys, 2 dogs, 2 horses and a partner who had only recently moved all of his stuff in to the house. So there was a lot of work! Mel spent the weekend cleaning, packing, painting (the landlord had insisted this was done by the tenants before they left) and still found time to cook a roast dinner for the family that were moving. Now, this may sound like a very “nice” thing to do but not necessarily exceptional. Until you consider Mel’s circumstances. A few years ago her son Ryley had a seizure and lost consciousness after an injury playing football. He was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation - a severe, life changing brain injury, leaving him unable to walk, talk or eat.
“The whole family’s life was turned upside down and they have had such a difficult time over the past few years adapting to their new life, raising money to adapt the home to Ryley’s needs and trying to make sure this had as little affect as possible on their other son. I was so inspired that someone who had gone through this horrific experience could still be so cheerful, friendly and find the time to go above and beyond for a neighbour.”
Highly commended in this category was the Peterborough Neighbourhood Watch scheme which brings the community together for the purpose of Crime Prevention and Safer Streets.
Family of the Year Award, sponsored by McCain: Winner: The Ince family.
The Ince Family’s nominator said: “I first met the family in September 2017 when my daughter was born 13 weeks prematurely weighing 1lb 13oz.
“My daughter spent a long time in NICU and Julie Ince was one of our regular nurses. Thanks to Julie, I was able to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t have thought would have been possible. Julie passed me my daughter for the first time, aged 2 weeks, she helped me breastfeed for the first time, aged 4 weeks, she went over my daughter’s medical notes with me and made sure I fully understood everything that I was reading and did much much more. She soon became my family’s favourite nurse and also my daughter would react to her voice too. Unfortunately due to complications, 3 days after my daughter came home from the hospital at 11 weeks old, she had to be readmitted following resuscitation and Julie was the first person I called.
“She reassured me in a way nobody could, emotionally, medically and with huge empathy, but sadly Julie wasn’t able to care for Roux (my daughter) the second time round, as her father was admitted to hospital following illness. Seeing Julie go through such an upsetting and traumatic time was hard. She always reassured me when I was upset, but I couldn’t do the same for her. We met up for coffee etc following our admission, and when our daughter was discharged for the second time we still would meet up as friends, until I asked her to be my daughter’s godmother. Now we meet up as family. Julie’s dad recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital after a lengthy stay.
“But the happiness was short lived. Julie’s husband John was diagnosed with cancer in May 2018. It was everywhere. Lymph nodes, bone marrow, kidney, liver, spleen and many more places. Julie juggled caring for John, her dad and working as a NICU nurse while her and her emotions came second. John underwent harsh courses of chemotherapy and prepared for a stem cell transplant. Both remained so strong through this and continued to support everyone else. We grew incredibly close to the family, and we met Sarah, John and Julie’s daughter who works as a support worker for children in social services. Sarah also helps and cares for many people in the community whilst putting her feelings second. The Ince family have been through so much in just 1 year, and I think all of them deserve this award.” This is just a fraction of what has happened and what they have been through but I don’t have enough time in the world to be able to tell you the whole story.”
Highly commended was the Briston Family -Ryley Briston featured in the Young Achiever category and mum Mel won the Caring Neighbour award.
Also highly commended in this category was the Hardy Family. Baby Benjamin featured in the Child of Courage category. His family have been incredibly stoic dividing their time between the family home in Orton Goldhay and the Newcastle Freeman Hospital. The transplant is the last scheduled major operation Benjamin will need,although the transplant is not a cure. And he may need to go on the transplant list again in the future, but he might not - this heart could last 30-40 years.
Community Spirit Award sponsored by Cross Keys Homes: Winner: Ruth Brinkler-Long.
This year the Peterborough Telegraph were overwhelmed with nominations for this popular category
Our winner Ruth Brinkler-Long, is chair of the Peterborough branch of Parkinsons. Ruth was diagnosed with Parkinsons four years ago and the day she was diagnosed she vowed to work hard to make life better for all Parkinsons sufferers. She works tirelessly organising fundraising events to provide exercise classes for members as well as arranging social events to get people out of their houses and meeting like minded people. Once a month she arranges a guest speaker as well as being editor of the group magazine called ‘The Shaker’. In September she organised a sponsored walk which raised over £3000 to help to pay for all the classes.
Highly commended was Danny Goodman, who works for Co-op Funeralcare in Peterborough and does community work in Eye. One of his involvements is putting together a memory box of items to present to an older generation of people in care homes, giving them a walk down memory lane and remembering a time before.
Also highly commended were husband and wife Margaret and Jerry Wilson who are known across Peterborough for their commitment to the Royal British legion. They attend events and parades and support the Poppy Appeal, giving up several nights a week of their time to carry out a range of tasks from running the RBL’s stores to organising events and parades and maintaining uniforms.
The Amazon Fulfillment Centre at Fletton was also highly commended in this category. Since 2014 the Amazon team in Peterborough has been making donations to schools and charities in the area as part of its “Amazon In The Community” programme. Between 2014 and 2018, the team has donated over £94,000 to over 114 charities and schools. In total, they’ve donated more than £35,450 to schools and education (38% of the total amount).
Another highly commended winner was chef Damian Wawrzyniak at House of Feasts who feeds a party of homeless people each week at his restaurant in Peterborough Road, Eye Green. Damian, who taught Mary Berry the art of Polish baking, pledged to open one day a week for homeless people in the surrounding areas. Damian said he was inspired to give homeless people a culinary treat because his nominator said: “He was fortunate to be able to chase the dreams and work in lovely places all over the world. However many people have no luck.“So he decided to start running weekly free dinners for homeless from Peterborough and surrounding areas.”
Also highly commended was FoodCycle Peterborough which serves a delicious three-course meal every Monday lunchtime at Park Road Baptist Church . The team at FoodCycle Peterborough collect a staggering amount of surplus food every week, and account for 13% of the total food collected by FoodCycle as a whole. They have a dedicated team of drivers who work with local retailers, saving over 11,000 kg of food in 2018 - that’s an average of 310kg every week. Foodcycle Peterborough, through using food waste from local supermarkets and other organisations, feeds between 60-80 people every Monday at Park Road Baptist church. Many of the guests are homeless and some are rough sleepers as we have a considerable homeless problem in this city. The event not only provides nourishing vegetarian food, but also an enjoyable social experience with other people. Other guests include elderly and those living alone who enjoy the friendly, sociable atmosphere. On Christmas Eve, Foodcyle Peterborough will be opening their doors as usual on a Monday for a festive Christmas dinner where everyone is welcome. Foodcycle Peterborough is run entirely by volunteers.