As we look back at previous winners - who do you think should be recognised as a Star of Suffolk?

The Stars of Suffolk 2018 award winners Picture by: SONYA DUNCAN

The Stars of Suffolk 2018 award winners Picture by: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

With nominations coming in thick and fast for this year’s Stars of Suffolk Awards we are looking back at some of the previous winners from the county’s armed forces and Search and Rescue Teams.

2018 Stars of Suffolk
Search and Rescue award winner Kevin Waterson Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

2018 Stars of Suffolk Search and Rescue award winner Kevin Waterson Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The glittering awards ceremony is set to be held at Greshams in Ipswich in November, shining a light on the unsung heroes who make such a difference to our county.

There are more than a dozen categories for nominations and organisers are keen to encourage the public to put forward people they think deserve to be commended.

Among those recognised for their outstanding contribution to the county are members of the armed forces and search and rescue teams across Suffolk.

Last year, Kevin Waterson was handed the Search and Rescue Team of the Year award having founded most of the Search and Rescue groups in the Eastern region.


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Mr Waterson trained countless search and rescue (SAR) dogs and SAR personnel in Suffolk and beyond and worked tirelessly with the police as a volunteer SAR dog handler for over 20 years.

The year before, the award went to John Cresswell, who since 1997 has given countless hours of his spare time to run Felixstowe Coast Patrol Rescue Service.

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As well as sea rescues, the group, under John's command, also helps with flooding incidents and even attempted suicides.

In 2017, Corporal Gary Croot was handed the Armed Services Person of the Year for his leadership of the RAF Honington First Response Team, which provides crucial support for paramedics and the ambulance service.

Search and Rescue Person of the Year, John Cresswell with Brad Jones. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Search and Rescue Person of the Year, John Cresswell with Brad Jones. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Following his award win, Corporal Croot said: "I'm very humbled,

"As a team 18, 19-strong, it means a lot to them to be recognised for the hard work they do in their own time.

"For the last year I have been working tirelessly with the ambulance service, not just purely the military, so together we've come this far.

"We've helped loads of people, which is a privilege."

John Cresswell from the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

John Cresswell from the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Do you know anyone who deserves to be nominated for a Stars of Suffolk Award?

Nominations can be made through the online form above.

Armed Services Person of the Year, Gary Croot receiving his award. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Armed Services Person of the Year, Gary Croot receiving his award. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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