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Heart and soul: Pride In Fenland awards

They put their heart and soul into helping others. They do it with a smile and without any thought of personal reward. But last week they got the recognition they richly deserve at the 2016 Pride In Fenland awards.

Pride In Fenland winners 2016

Nearly 200 people gathered at the Wisbech St Mary Sorts & Social Club for the ceremony, organised by Fenland District Council and the Fenland Citizen newspaper.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, FDC's Cabinet member responsible for communities and host for the night, told them: "It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to give up their personal time for the benefit of others whilst their own lives become busy and stretched.

"Doing something selfless for other people is something to be recognised and that is why we must celebrate such commitment and say a big 'Thank You' to all those here tonight. Without your dedication and commitment to helping improve the lives of others, however it is done and in whatever way, Fenland would not be as vibrant and thriving as it is today."

Here are the winners and runners-up in the annual scheme's four categories - plus the judges' special award.

YOUNG PERSON

The nominees for this award were introduced by Charlotte Brenchley, chair of the Youth District Council, together with vice-chair Sarah Bennett and finance officer Ben Martin.

She said: "What a privilege it is to be in the company of so many inspirational people from across Fenland. Having read the nominations, we have been inspired by the commitment, courage and dedication shown by so many in our community.

"The young people here this evening have overcome personal issues, have given of their time freely and generously and have made positive differences in the lives of many others.

"Some have made personal sacrifices, some have achieved against overwhelming odds and some have taken their own experiences and used them to help others in similar situations."

Winner: Bethany West (pictured below receiving her award). Nominated by the Carers Trust for not only her carer's role within her family but also for all her voluntary work and her achievement in gaining offers for places at two universities. She is determined to pursue her ambition to become a counsellor

The runner-up was Ben Harvey, nominated by the Locality team as someone who has overcome a number of personal issues to go on and help others with the same sort of problems. He has produced a self-help booklet for professionals who work with other young people similar to Ben.

Other nominees: Cosan Ahmet, Ross Bennington, Katie-Ann Jardine, Billy Griffiths, Lewis Watson, Ross Usher.

 GOOD NEIGHBOUR

Winners: Margaret & Dave Gibbs. Nominated by nine people for the massive difference they make to people in Newton-in-the-Isle by organising Just Sing and Just Walk groups and numerous social events, Christmas lights switch-ons and much more. "They take pride in their village and community. Every village needs a David and Margaret," said one nomination

Runner-up: Ann Cross, a keen supporter of the Eddies charity and "someone you can rely on to put a smile on your face".

Other nominees: A R Watson, Val Rawlings, Dee Potter

GROUP

Winner: Justin Cross MacMillan FC. Mr Cross has raised more than £40,000 after forming the team two years ago to raise funds after his father was diagnosed with cancer. He dedicated the award to Ady Peck, a player who sadly died of cancer last year.

Runner-up: Gorefield Gang Youth Club. Organises a wide range of activities for the 61 people on its books, including table tennis, snooker, kurling, art and drama.

VOLUNTEER

Winner: Jayne Denby. Founder and driving force behind the Welcome 2 Our World group, which provides support to families with at least one child who has special needs or a learning disability. She has helped more than 200 families in Fenland.

The nomination said: "It is an amazing lifeline for so many families for their mental and physical wellbeing, as well as being able to have fun where they don't feel judged on their children's behaviour."

Runners-up (two in this category): Colin Martin and Pam Freer. Among many other charitable activities, Colin has raised money to buy defibrillators and to help an elderly lady who had lost her Christmas money, Pam has worked tirelessly to support the Alzheimer's Society

Other nominees: Penny Hicks, Steven Hubbard, Pat Brushett, Ann Cross, Peter Goodey, Jan Feekins, Tracey Milner, David Settlefield, Jane Groves, Geoff Wilkinson, Barbara Kingham, Adele Wright and Edward Dore.

JUDGES' SPECIAL AWARD

Winner: Adele Wright. Chosen for her amazing amount of charity work, which includes volunteering for Age UK, Home Start, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Trussell Trust food bank in Wisbech. The nomination said: "Adele always puts her heart and soul into everything she does and has developed lasting friendships in her work for charity. She would not seek recognition but she truly deserves it."

Runner-up: Ross Bennington, who volunteers with various community groups supporting elderly people, including the Salvation Army. "Without being asked to, he will often draw alongside lonely elderly citizens and make them feel worthwhile and loved."

Pride In Fenland - Bethany West

 

Article added March 23, 2016