The Peterborough Telegraph’s Pride in Peterborough Awards saw incredible feats of bravery recognised - and a couple who have spent decades helping youngsters hit by a terrible disaster on the other side of Europe won a special award.
Outstanding Act of Bravery Award, sponsored by Integral and Queensgate. Winner: Shazad Ali.
Shazad Ali went to the rescue of a man engulfed in flames man walking into the street and dashed to to his aid, using his jacket to pat the man to put out the fire. Shazad said: “I was ‘shocked’ by what I saw. I was in my car at the corner of Wellington Street and Star Road when I saw the man about 50 metres away. He was covered in flames head to toe. The man was walking across the street.
“I quickly started the car and got to him as fast as I could.
“He had his back to me but he was engulfed in flames. I could see the blisters on his skin - I knew I had to help him.
“I took my jacket off and started gently patting the fire out. It only took about 10 to 15 seconds and it worked. I had to be careful as I didn’t want to do more damage to his skin.
“A lady came to help me and we got him to lie down on the ground. He was not shouting or screaming, but he was awake.
“We covered him up to protect him from the elements. Passers by called the emergency services.”
Cambridgeshire police, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the East of England Ambulance Service and Magpas Air Ambulance were all called to the scene to help give first aid.
Shazad added: “I am honoured in receiving this award. In all honesty it was a surprise to even be invited to such an event even more so to be awarded with an award. I often do still reflect on what happened that Thursday morning and still can’t put it into perspective. I think about what made him do what he did. But I would have loved to speak to him and say that the world around you regardless of being in your circle or not, the world still cares.
“Humans are amazing being that can achieve greatness in this world on a large scale or in the household. I would like to say to those people who feel down and out if you are still here breathing you can still achieve something that you yourselves think you weren’t capable of. I would never have thought myself in that situation and to even do what I did to the best of my ability if not beyond my capability. I would like to also give a special thank you to Jackie Mckenzie who was the lady who helped me assist the man. She did an amazing job keeping us calm until the emergency services arrived. I was very optimistic at the time regardless of how much damage was done to have a chance to speak to him but it wasn’t meant to be (the man sadly died). My condolences and love to his friends and family.”
Highly commended was PCSO Sallie Luness, who prevented multiple deaths by running after a driver who pulled a U-turn on Peterborough parkway. She bravely ran along a Peterborough parkway chasing a car travelling the wrong way before pulling the keys from the ignition and has received a Chief Constable’s Commendation.
Also highly commended were two brave Police Officers Jess Farchica and Natalie Hines, who tackled a man wielding a 12-inch knife during a domestic incident. Before being tasered and arrested, the assailant grabbed PC Hine by the hair and walked towards PC Farchica with a 12-inch carving knife. Both officers have received commendations from Cambridgeshire Police Chief Constable Nick Dean at a ceremony at police HQ in Huntingdon.
Senior Citizen of the Year Award Winners: Margaret and Jerry Wilson
Margaret and Jerry’s outstanding work was also featured in the Community Spirit Award.
Highly commended was Bryan Smale. At the age of 77 Bryan Smale was determined to find out whether he could manage a 26.2 mile run when he took part in the Brighton Marathon this year, and not only did he complete it in four hours and 40 minutes (which he claims is the same time as the average marathon run in America last year), but he came first in his age group and even felt fine afterwards. The former butcher, who lives in Orton Waterville, said: “I have always run and done half-marathons and 10ks. I do a lot of cycling as well.
“I just wanted to do a marathon to see if I could do it. Twenty-six miles seemed a long way but it was not too bad.”
Unsung Sporting Hero Award. Winner: Clifton Findley.
Our winner is Peterborough’s martial arts guru Clifton Findley. Peterborough is a real hotbed when it comes to martial arts. City clubs regularly produce national and international champions and that has much to do with master and mentor Clifton Findley. The former world karate champion and Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee has devoted more than 30 years to the sport and is still as active as ever. He is now a top coach with the Peterborough Freestyle Club and runs classes in several local schools. He is also the team manager of the GB kick-boxing team and many members of that GB team are from Peterborough clubs where Clifton has had a major input either as a coach or adviser.
Highly commended was Coiln Day, a Peterborough Sports Football Club stalwart. Colin is one-club wonder. He is Brotherhood’s football through and through. He joined them as a player when he was 16 years-old and 50 years on he is still a big part of the club, who are now known as Peterborough Sports. He’s served as manager, treasurer, secretary and chairman and is their life president.
“He’s always there at home games two hours before kick-off and makes the teas. He’s a true unsung hero, “ said a Sports representative.
Also highly commended was Vicki Baker, Peterborough Police Amateur Boxing Club coach/adminstrator).
Chris Baker founded Peterborough Police Amateur Boxing Club in August 2013 and is a very successful head coach. But also playing an equally important role is his wife Vicki. She not only helps the club tick over efficiently as the main administrator but also plays a big part as a coach as well.
This year she set up a female-only boxing project in Peterborough aimed at ‘really hard to reach’ groups and it’s been a tremendous success with over 100 females taking part in boxing fitness sessions. And it’s a community project that has changed so many people’s lives for the better.
Volunteer of the Year Award. Winners: Steve Thorpe and Sam Downing.
Winners Steve and Sam were nominated for their dedication, commitment and selfless endeavour to the Free Kicks Foundation charity. Free Kicks Foundation provides football-related activities for ill, bereaved and disadvantaged children, to give them a day to remember with their favourite football club. Steve and Sam administer the foundation around their full time jobs and family commitments. Steve runs the fundraising, administration and social media side of the organisation, and Sam co-ordinates all the ‘Kicks’, liaising with other charities, families and football clubs to ensure each experience is memorable and runs smoothly.
Highly commended Sylvie Wheeler has worked tirelessly as a Volunteer for Peterborough Association for the Blind for many years. She has been Chairman for three years and during this time has worked with the Committee to introduce numerous activities for blind and partially sighted people in the Peterborough area. The Society has been in existence for over 100 years and provides help and support in many ways for people with sight loss and sadly fills the big void that the state in unable to provide for people at this difficult time in their lives. They provide emotional and practical help as well as social activities all with the help of unpaid volunteers and a small team of part time staff whose salaries are paid by funds raised by the committee and volunteers. Sylvie herself does all this in spite of being partially sighted herself and is ably assisted by her wonderful husband Fred who is a vital chauffeur and volunteer. PAB really is an unsung hero in Peterborough but if anyone attends their twice monthly Coffee Mornings you will see how much they are needed.
Also highly commended was Jasmine Kirk - recognised as “going the Extra Mile” and recognised for her priceless contribution to Sue Ryder at Thorpe Hall Hospice.
Jasmine is just 17 years old and volunteers twice a week on the wards at the hospice – including Christmas Day. Jasmine is willing to lend a hand with any task on the ward and has been involved with creating ‘What Matters to Me’ boxes for patients, full of cards, banners and mementos to decorate patient rooms.
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Headline Sponsor Solstice. Winners: John and Rosie Sandall.
John and Rosie have dedicated their lives to helping the families of Chernobyl. The Peterborough couple have spent years helping families hit by the worst nuclear disaster in history and this year have made their 45th trip across Europe.
Our winners have made dozens of trips to the Ukraine where they met children and teenagers who are still feeling the affects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. On their Summer trip they visited all the families they support at a sanatorium, a centre for disabled young adults and a small Age Uk group.
They first went to the Ukraine in 1997 and have been made Freemen of Peterborough for their work in helping the families. They visit Ukraine twice a year and raise money to help through regular sales held in Peterborough. They support many individual families who struggle through with poor health and very little money.
John said: “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to have received such a prestigious award. We certainly did not expect it.
“We have been 44 times to Ukraine - twice a year - and we are getting ready to go again in January.
“We have completely rebuilt a sanitorium (children’s hospital) and we are delighted to have found another centre for teenagers with mental health problems. We started on that last year.
“It feels very good that we have improved the quality of life over there, and apart from the sanitorium and new centre we support 15 families. If you do not have any money in Ukraine you don’t have anything.”
The couple’s next fundraiser is a ‘carols by candlelight’ at their home in 51 Apsley Way, Longthorpe, from 6pm to 8pm on Saturday.
People can sing carols while enjoying a mince pie and mulled wine, while there will also be a tombola and raffle.
Entry is £5.