Pride in Peterborough Part three: Family pride and stars of schools and sports

From charity fundraisers to school dinner ladies, people who have made a great contribution to our city picked up awards.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 12:00 pm
Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2019. Sporting Achievement Award winner Marco Sementa with Mark Edwards with runners-up Rosie Graver and Frankie Fordham EMN-191012-002447009


Winner: Marco Sementa

Finalists: Frankie Fordham and Rosie Graver

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Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2019. Best School Star Audrey Cooper with Mark Edwards EMN-191012-002459009

A choked Marco Sementa told the audience: “I hope I make my family proud. I just want to help others, as many people as I can.”

Football fundraiser Marco put on his 100th charity match in March – a five-hour epic featuring more than 100 players – and hopes to have passed the 150 mark in 2020.

The 39-year-old raises funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, the favourite charity of his mum, Shayne. When she passed away, he knew it was his fundraising which made her most proud, so he decided to carry on with even more determination.

He has now raised more than £31,000 in three years from football matches, which has been distributed to a number of good causes.

Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2019 EMN-191012-002511009

He said: “After the initial plan of a handful of games and a £500 target in memory of my mum’s passing, it has turned into something alot bigger.

“We’ve had people aged 17 to 72 playing football. I’d like to put on my 150th next year and I’d love to get Tommy Robson involved.”

The two men met after the awards to begin the process.

Junior drag racer Frankie Fordham (see Young Achiever award for details) was a finalist again, alongside Rose Graver, who lost four stone in weight at the end of 2017 and began an incredible journey.

Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2019. Lifetime Achievement Award winner Annette Beeton with sponsor Emily Taylor EMN-191012-002522009

She has inspired many women to join the gym she is sponsored by, Horsepower Gym in Yaxley, as she continues to build a formidable reputation and record in strong women competitions.

She has won numerous contests such as East of England’s strongest women and London’s Strongest Woman, having once been self-conscious about her body and who she was.

Her can-do attitude and perseverance means she has powered on despite setbacks and she has set her sights on bringing the title of Britain’s Strongest Woman back to Peterborough next year.


Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough Awards 2019. Lifetime Achievement Award winner Annette Beeton with runners-up Denise Lewis and Louise Nicholls with sponsor Emily Taylor EMN-191012-002539009

Winner: Audrey Cooper

Finalist: Casey Hill

Retirement was on the menu this summer for School Star catering manager Audrey Cooper, who has dedicated 31 years to Orton Wistow Primary School.

She has worked there since it opened in 1988 and retired in July, hanging up her apron after decades of plating her famous Wistow Sausage Roll, followed by chocolate fudge brownies.

She said: “I enjoyed every day working at the school. It was my life. We used to make more than 300 sausage rolls and we had to do some of them the night before, but it was worth it.

“I have a few orders for Christmas already!”

The other finalist was Casey Hill and her nominator commented: “Casey has health issues, but gets up every morning to help around the house and then puts all her efforts into being a high achiever and doesn’t ask for anything in return.

“She has put up with alot over the last six years, but she always puts everyone else first.

“I have never seen a child like her.”


Sponsored by BGL, presented by Emily Taylor

Winner: Annette Beeton and the Burghley Park and

Peterborough Ladies Society

Finalists: Denise Lewis, Lee Rayment and Louise Nicholls of No Gain, No Pain UK!

There are a million-plus reasons by Annette Beeton and the Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies’ Society deserved this award.

Annette, aged 77, has been chairwoman of the society for over two decades, which has raised £1m after 45 years of fundraising.

She got her charitable inspiration and drive from her career in nursing when she was looking after children with cancer at a time when survival was unlikely.

Her nominator commented: “It was the memories of those children that gave Annette the determination and passion to do whatever she could to beat cancer.”

Annette said: “It has been wonderful.

“We have been lucky to be involved with the Burghley estate and be able to put on so many events there.

“We have put on hundreds of events, from coffer mornings to music events and it all goes to Cancer Research UK.

“When you go to the big research centre in Cambridge to see what they do and you are made to feel so involved, it is all worthhile.

“What they are doing there is mind-blowing.”

Denise Lewis is well known with the city for her work within services to support people in the community to live independently, especially those at risk of offending, substance misuse or becoming homeless.

She is incredibly passionate about supporting people in those situations and is highly thought-of by them.

Her nominator commented: “I cannot begin to think about the amount of people Denise has supported and housed over the years.

“She is such an inspiration with her infectious personality. She has been a hidden hero in the city for years and deserves recognition.”

Louise Nicholls set up a charity to provide syringe drivers in Whittlesey after her father died at Thorpe

Hall Hospice because there were not enough of them in the area to allow him to die at home.

The No Gain, No Pain UK charity has provided syringe drivers for Eye, Thorney, Stanground and Wansford as well as Whittlesey.

Her nominator commented: “My father died in 2016 and was able to die at home because Louise had raised money for these syringe drivers. Many more people are now able to live their final days at home, thanks to her.”

The other finalist was Lee Rayment (see Outstanding Act of Bravery for details).