As we inch closer to the winners of the Stars of Suffolk Awards being announced at the end of the month, we can now reveal the finalists.

The Stars of Suffolk Awards are designed to pay tribute to those who work tirelessly behind the scenes, making our county the wonderful place that it is.

The event has been sponsored by Mediterranean Shipping Company (UK) Ltd. 

You have all been busy nominating your community heroes – and now, we have our finalists.

East Anglian Daily Times: The full list of finalists can now be revealed.The full list of finalists can now be revealed. (Image: Matt Potter Photography)

East Anglian Daily Times: The awards are sponsored by Mediterranean Shipping Company.The awards are sponsored by Mediterranean Shipping Company. (Image: Newsquest)

Who has been shortlisted?

Carer of the Year

Sandra O’Grady, from Holmwood Care in Bungay, was nominated for her outstanding leadership and her commitment to care.

Gloria Besley from Highfield House in Halesworth, was nominated for being a highly valued member of the care team who motivates and inspires, giving the best person-centred care possible for all residents.

Lifetime Commitment to the Community Award

James Perks, who has dedicated his life to the wellbeing of adults with additional needs since the age of 18.

Jason Alexander, who works tirelessly to clean up Suffolk’s streets.

Verity Jolly, Director of Patient Services at St Elizabeth Hospice.

East Anglian Daily Times: We will announce the winners of Stars of Suffolk 2024 on March 21.We will announce the winners of Stars of Suffolk 2024 on March 21. (Image: Matt Potter Photography)

NHS & Emergency Services Personnel of the Year

Steve Murrow, a paramedic of over 32 years

Carl Coughlin, who has volunteered for almost 10 years to build up NSFT’s Personality Disorder Strategy

Michael Pereira, a Detective Chief Inspector with Suffolk Police

Team/Community Group of the Year (Sponsored by Sizewell C)

Dora Brown Charity, which helps reset the homes of struggling families in Ipswich, Woodbridge, and Felixstowe.

University of Suffolk Legal Advice Centre, led by Eleanor Scarlett and her team.

Voices for Gainsborough Library, which run multiple services to the community throughout the week.

Unsung Community Hero of the Year

Amy Turlington, who supports people starting their own small businesses.

Carl Shemmings, who coaches youth football teams in Woodbridge.

Zoe Willingham, who rescues animals in need.

East Anglian Daily Times: Hawks Express Cabs has sponsored the Young Person of the Year category.Hawks Express Cabs has sponsored the Young Person of the Year category. (Image: Hawks Express Cabs)

Young Person of the Year (Sponsored by Hawk Express Cabs)

Charlie Crawford, who began fundraising for the family of his best friend after he was diagnosed with leukaemia

Ellie Nicholl, who raised over £700 for the RNID by doing a skydive aged 16

Oliver O’Neill, Charley Bridges, Alfie Hunt, three Stowupland High School students who came to a fallen man’s rescue when they heard his shouts for help.

Charity Hero of the Year:           

 Kayleigh Simpson - Kayleigh has been manager of the pre-school charity for five years and is dedicated to providing the very best for the setting, her staff team and the children who attend. 

 Mark Ling - As Chair of the Broomhill Pool Trust, Mark and the team have campaigned tirelessly for over 20 YEARS to deliver funding and keep Ipswich’s iconic lido at the forefront of the local political agenda.

Motin Khan - Motin’s commendable efforts and dedication to community service, particularly through the establishment of the Ipswich Cycling Community Club, exemplify the true spirit of selflessness and altruism. 

Judges Special Award and the Overall Star of Suffolk & Waveney – both to be announced at the awards.

Stay tuned for March 21 when the winners will be announced – we are delighted to be hosting a special awards ceremony at Ipswich Town Hall where all of our finalists will be welcomed.