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Brave schoolboy and courageous and dedicated volunteer are our Suffolk stars

PUBLISHED: 22:38 19 November 2015 | UPDATED: 23:20 19 November 2015

Stars of Suffolk awards.

Stars of Suffolk awards.

Sarah Lucy brown

Thomas Cotton tonight stole our hearts as he was named joint Star of Suffolk 2015 along with St John Ambulance volunteer Bryony Charles.

The winners of the Stars of Suffolk 2015The winners of the Stars of Suffolk 2015

The seven-year-old, who underwent major brain surgery, raced onto stage, and proudly told us all about his operation.

He won the Young Person of the Year award before being named an overall winner.

Ms Charles, St John Ambulance volunteer, was joint overall winner - the first time the award has been shared by two equally deserving candidates.

The Volunteer of the Year was injured in an accident at Foxhall Stadium on June 13 while on duty.

She was thrown in the air like a rag doll and suffered a fractured ankle, two broken vertebrae, a lacerated liver, bleed to the kidney and the ligaments in her right leg had to be reconstructed.

The 23-year-old said: “I can’t remember anything from about 10 minutes before until I got to intensive care. I have a few vague memories of A&E.

Thomas Cotton on stage receiving his award for Young Person of the YearThomas Cotton on stage receiving his award for Young Person of the Year

Far from being put off volunteering, Ms Charles soon returned to duties, working in communication as she is still unable to walk without the aid of crutches.

AS she was named overall winner, Ms Charles said she was in shock, admitting she had seen so many deserving winners throughout the evening, and didn’t think she was even in with a chance of winning.

Ms Charles, from Bury St Edmunds, was presented with a voucher for a cruise with Fred.Olsen Travel.

Thomas told us that thanks to the doctors who performed his surgery, he believed in “magic” - and he was given an apt prize of a family holiday to Disneyland Paris.

 

• Read more in tomorrow’s paper plus see all the photos in our special eight-page supplement on Monday.

 

Firefighters worked overnight to quell the flames of a blaze involving 500 tonnes of straw on farmland between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

A man in his late 20s has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after he crashed his car in Ipswich.

A woman in her 30s was rushed to hospital after two men dressed in black hoodies threw a mystery liquid into her face during a “random” attack.

The family of Corrie McKeague will today be out on the streets of Bury St Edmunds talking to members of the public to mark the year anniversary of his disappearance.

A teenager who had to be freed from the wreckage of a car by firefighters following a crash in Essex today is fighting for his life in hospital.

As the deadline for Stars of Suffolk nominations approaches, organiser Mick Parker is looking ahead to the “emotional and wonderful” annual ceremony that brings together the county’s unsung heroes for one night of celebration.

An 18-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Essex has been found safe.

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