Pride of Peterborough Awards Part One: Inspirational children and carers
After the glitter and glamour, tears and tales, there was silence at the end of the Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards on Monday night.
The silence came as the winners and finalists lined up for an end-of-evening picture by PT photographer David Lowndes.
As David stepped aside, his work complete, the room exploded into life as countless numbers of camera phones recorded the moment, bathing the group in the white light of their flashes.
There was admiration and respect all around the room as the nominated people, who make our community the place it is, sat still in the moment.
The spellbinding moment must have lasted 20 seconds, but it felt more like 20 minutes as these remarkable people deservedly spent their time in the spotlight.
Emily Taylor, CSR and sponsorship manager of the awards headline sponsor BGL, told the 160-plus guests she was delighted her company was involved in the community-focused awards. She also outlined how BGL employees gave up their time to help various community and charitable causes in and around the city.
PT editor Mark Edwards opened the evening at the Holiday Inn West, Thorpe Wood, by saying these community awards were reckoned to be the longest-running in the country.
He went on to thank the sponsors for their continued support, before introducing the host, BBC presenter Melvyn Prior who said: “I have read all the nominations and I can promise you there will be tears tonight.”
And there were.
Here is the list of award winners and finalists:
Sponsored by Anglia Ruskin University, presented by Professor Roderick Watkins.
Winner: Alex Braybrook
Finalists: Sindie Sigola, Frankie Fordham and Shaan Mahmood
Teenager Alex Braybroook is doing everything he can to achieve his ambition of flying jets for the RAF.
An air cadet with 115 (Peterborough) Squadron, he has already received 35 hours of flying lessons from the Royal Air Forces Association, one of only 11 young people nationally to receive the award for his commitment to the charity the Royal Air Forces Association. Among his achievements as a volunteer have been helping shoppers pack bags, demonstrating First Aid and teaching children at Hampton Hargate Primary School how to swim.
Alex said: “I have always wanted to fly, ever since I was little. And, preferably, I’d like to fly as fast as I can.
“It is great to be able to help other people while working towards that aim.”
Student Sindia Sigola is a hospital hero, having been nominated for the care and compassion she showed to a teenager and her family while working on Amazon Ward at Peterborough CIty Hospital. The youngster described how meeting Sindie inspired them to complete their science GCSE and helped with mental health issues.
Brave Shaan Mahmood was aged 13 when he witnessed a violent attack when a man attacked a pensioner with a brick and left the victim in a pool of blood. Shaan chased the man for 15 minutes, making sure he could not hide in undergrowth and pointed police to where the man was hiding. He later gave evidence in court.
Shaan said: “I made sure he did not get away with it. I was pretty sure I’d done the right thing.”
Frankie Fordham (14) began drag racing at the age of nine, so he is alredy a veteran in the sport, hitting speeds of up to 80mph and racing at venues from Santa Pod in Bedfordshire to Hockenheim in Germany.
Frankie said: “My parents and grandparents bought me a drag racing experience for my birthday and from that day I was hooked.”
He has won an event in Bad Sobernheim in Germany and finished 11th in the junior national finals
CHILD OF COURAGE
Winner: Isaac Fell
Finalists: Hannah Thompson and Maryum Younis
A Year 8 student at Stamford School, Isaac Fell was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in February, aged nine years, when suffering back pain after an athletics training session. He now required daily, weekly and monthly drugs treatment to stay in the maintenance stage of the condition.
Throughout his treatment, Isaac and his family took part in a host of sporting and running events to raise money for Children with Cancer UK, Clic Sargent, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
After more than three years of treatment it was a highly emotional moment when, just before National Cancer Survivors’ Day, Isaac rang the end-of-treatment bell at Peterborough City Hospital.
Isaac said: “I am very proud to receive this award. I have enjoyed the awards and listening to the stories of many brave people. I am very proud to be part of it.”
Previous Pride winner Hannah Thompson has had multiple health issues for the last six years, but refused to let them get her down, throwing herself into fundraising for four charities.
Last year, her dad, Gary Thompson, was taken critically ill suffering from a rare genetic condition, and Hannah thought there was a connection between her years of fainting, dizziness, severe headaches and fatigue which had lead to severe weight loss and anxiety issues, which, in turn, lost her the majority of her friends, who thought she was too depressed to be around.
Her brothers backed out of having a gene test, but Hannah went ahead. The test confirmed she had the same gene as her father, but she picked herself up to obtain her Level Three diploma in childcare and education and hopes to become a primary school teacher and music therapist.
Maryum Younis was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 10 and has taken it in her stride, with daily blood checks up to seven times a day and injecting insulin every time she eats.
When she left primary school she amazed her teachers by exceeding expectations in her SATS to make the school proud, and in her secondary school she has been named student of the week and has a 100 per cent attendance record to be proud of.
Maryum also has anxiety disorder, but will not let anything define her and will fight to get over every hurdle, taking positive in the face of whatever life presents to her.
CARER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Lesley Day
Finalist: Haleema Sadia
There were tears in her eyes when ambulance care assistant/driver Lesley Day walked to the stage to receive her award, having been nominated by her wife, Charlotte, who has been disabled for four years.
Charlotte said: “Lesley goes above and beyond to make sure every thing I need I have. She works 12-hour shifts and before leaving she showers, dresses and medicates me. Most nights, after hardly any sleep because I’m in too much pain and she tries to get me comfortable, she does it all again.
“She is my rock, my best friend and soulmate and at no time has made me feel like a burden, even though I am.”
Lesley said: “Winning this is just amazing, but I do it because I love her and it is what I do. It is my life.
“When I get a day off work, we just chill and enjoy ourselves.”
Haleema Sadia is a mum of three disabled children who for most of her life has been caring as a single mother as the children’s father has needs as well and is rarely able to help out. Haleema gets the children ready for nursery and school, does the food shopping and cleans the house.
Her nominator wrote: “I have never seen this woman upset or moaning about anything, and she never misses any meeting or appointments. Hats off to this lady – I am so proud of her.”