Revealed: All 46 finalists in the Stars of Suffolk 2019 awards
- Credit: Gregg Brown
This week, the Stars of Suffolk 2019 awards winners will be named. Today we reveal the finalists in every category – who do you think will win?
The ceremony takes place at Greshams Ipswich, in Tuddenham Road, on Thursday November 7 and will be hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy.
Among the special guests at the event will be four Suffolk D-Day heroes - James Perry, Tony Pyatt, Francis Grant and Douglas Smith - who all played a role in the landings. This year marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and Stars of Suffolk organisers wanted to include our local heroes in this year's ceremony and invite them as very special guests.
The awards, supported by the EADT and Ipswich Star, were launched by Mick Parker 13 years ago to honour Suffolk's bravest, most dedicated and caring individuals.
Category: Community Group of Champion of the Year
Alex is 25 and only started the registered charity Project 21 UK last year. She has a passion for, and has devoted her life to, helping those with Down's Syndrome lead active, fulfilling lives through innovative community activities, particularly musical theatre. Alex has changed so many lives for the better. Alex encourages people with Down's Syndrome to socialise and showcase their talents, including dancing 'flashmobs', West End musical trips and music videos. Alex is described as a human dynamo.
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After the Suffolk Hidden Needs Report revealed serious issues faced by many people in the county - including social isolation among older people - the Communities Team at East Suffolk Council worked with schools in Beccles on projects to bring together young and old people. Free school events were held for older and vulnerable people. These events were to become known as 'Muncheon Mingle' inter-generational events and has seen five separate events take place over the last two years.
They have proved hugely successful.
Pauline Walker and Jeanie Ingram
Pauline and Jeanie have worked tirelessly as volunteers for The Co-op Junior Theatre Company virtually all their lives, supporting three major shows per year and running outreach academies across Suffolk. Thousands of young people have benefited from affordable recreation plus some have gone on to enjoy a career in theatre. Their work has been a lifelong commitment, building on an organisation originally set up to take children's minds off the war.
Pauline and Jeanie are described as inspirational and much-loved people dedicated to providing training and a stepping stone for young people.
Category: Unsung Hero of the Year
As founder of Families In Need (FIND), Maureen has seen it all over nearly three decades of helping Ipswich people who need support, including through the charity's ever-expanding foodbank. When she meets struggling families at the end of their tether, unable to feed or clothe themselves without help, she steps in. She and the team she works with - who are all volunteers - have helped the homeless, elderly, children and single-parent families survive with personal support and donations of food, bedding, cookers and vital household items.
Bev has set up an alternative provision in Suffolk supporting children with mental health and behavioural difficulties back into mainstream education. She has put everything into this and provided a huge amount of children with hope and a future. She takes time to listen, and boosts the self esteem of youngsters.
By opening her alternative provision she has not only given children hope, but also kept them on a positive path in life.
Although registered blind, having undergone brain operations for hydrocephalus, and only just finishing treatment for aggressive breast cancer, teaching assistant Hannah continues to be an inspiration - particularly to young people.
At the age of 25 Hannah had a mastectomy and began chemotherapy. During nearly four years of treatment, she took only one day away from work and tried to keep to as many of her normal activities as possible - remaining relentlessly positive. At Ravenswood Primary School, parents and children with disabilities have been encouraged by how Hannah has managed to cope with her challenges in such an inspirational way.
Category: Search and Rescue Award
Andy has been the chairman of Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue, known as SuLSAR, for the past 8 years and has taken this voluntary organisation to a different level. The rescue group now has its own purpose-built HQ. This was largely down to Andy's determination to get the project off the ground.His nomination states that Andy's commitment to the group cannot be measured - keeping down a high profile job in London whilst being SuLSAR chairman and an active search manager within the team.
Jamie and Diesel Ketteridge
Jamie and Diesel have attended many searches since joining the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Diesel, a black Labrador, has been responsible for assisting the team in finding four missing people and giving a direction of travel for many others. Diesel is one of only two or three dogs of his type in this country. The training and dedication of Jamie is amazing, always willing to break new boundaries - such as following a 12hr old trail through West Suffolk Hospital to locate a missing person whilst in training.
Their nomination, from fellow team members, is a reflection of their extraordinary dedication.
Category: Fire Service Award
Sally Hammond and Alice Guyett
Sally, a station commander, and Alice, a firefighter at Bury, have established the Suffolk Women in Fire Together network - also known as SWIFT. The operational uniformed arm of the fire and rescue service is still male-dominated, but the service is working hard to be more representative of the communities it serves and to be a fully inclusive place for women to work. Sally and Alice, entirely off their own back and in their own time, have established the SWIFT network. It has funding, a committee, access to the senior fire service management team, is influential in informing policy direction and is playing a significant role in positive action and recruitment.
Ken has worked for over 40 years in the fire and rescue service, both as a full time and on-call firefighter, and he will be retiring in 2020. In his current role he is responsible for supporting the recruitment and retention of Suffolk's 400 on-call firefighters. Alongside this, Ken founded the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Car Draw in 1987, with is an important part of Suffolk's fundraising commitment to the national Firefighters Charity.
Ken is a dedicated firefighter and works tirelessly to promote the recruitment of on-call firefighters and support the Firefighter's Charity.
Paul has been in the fire service for 18 years, is always there in times of need, and always there to help. He runs and bikes in from home and work to the station. He has run races for the fire service charity, and also competed in the World Firefighters Challenge.
Paul covers Princes Street fire station in Ipswich and is on call 365 days a year. His nomination says he is totally dedicated to being there for Suffolk and its fire and rescue service.
Category: Outstanding Bravery of the Year
Quick thinking Harry saved the life of his friend, who had been cycling on the promenade wall near Ness point in Lowestoft when he lost control of his bike and fell 15ft into the sea. Without hesitation, the 15-year-old jumped into the choppy conditions to keep his friend alive by keeping his head above the rising sea water until the emergency services arrived. It was a very dangerous situation, but without his heroic actions, his friend would have almost certainly died.
Lexi-May is an extraordinary young girl who despite living with cystic fibrosis, continues to live life with a smile on her face. Lexi-May has to have medication daily and a two week stay in hospital every two to three months for IV treatment.
But her nomination says she is an exceptional and inspirational young girl who never lets having Cystic Fibrosis get her down.
Former RAF serviceman David Norris risked his own safety when he stepped in to stop an attack on a 15-year-old boy in Stowmarket. The victim was unconscious and a build up of blood was stopping him from breathing normally. He used his first aid training to put the boy in the recovery position, while trying to disperse youngsters from the scene.
David said after the incident: "For all I know, he could have died being hit in the head so hard. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself." The attacker was jailed for nine years.
Category: Hospital/ Ambulance Person of the Year
Dedicated Sue is responsible for planning radiotherapy for patients and ensuring they start their treatment on time. Despite working in a busy and stressful environment, she always shows the greatest professionalism and is an amazing colleague to her team. Sue goes the extra mile to make sure the needs of patients are met and is always respectful and kind to everyone she meets. She is hugely dedicated and provides the best possible care for her patients, performing her job to the very highest standard.
Sue is an unsung heroine of Ipswich Hospital.
Consultant anaesthetist Helen works hard to make sure people with learning disabilities receive equitable treatment when they go into hospital. As well as setting up a one-stop clinic for patients having surgery, she has also created bespoke day plans to make sure this vulnerable group receives stress-free, person-centered care.
Helen leads the way in how people with learning disabilities should be treated in a hospital.
NHS key worker Kate went the extra mile to accompany a patient with dementia to hospital after she started choking at Aldeburgh Hospital Day Centre. Kate was worried about her being scared, so accompanied her as a friendly and familiar face and stayed with her until a relative arrived.
Kate went over and above her job role to offer constant reassurance to the distressed patient throughout the ambulance journey. Her nomination says Kate is extremely dedicated and understands the highly complex needs of dementia patients.
Category: Carer of the Year
Wyatt is 13 years old and helps to care for his mother, who has had MS for 30 years, and his big brother Devin, who was paralysed at the age of nine months and is now 16. His mum Marie says that without him, they would struggle to function as a family. He is described as a great cook, an agony aunt and a comedy act - a teenager who lifts walkers and wheelchairs out of cars every day - not the normal thing a boy of his age does.
Rita Harris is an extraordinary woman. Since her mum died over 30 years ago at the age of 51, she has been the main carer for her eight siblings, who all have learning difficulties, medical needs or personal challenges. She is available 24/7 on the telephone or in person if any of them need her - and nothing is ever too much trouble.
To make Rita's attitude all the more incredible, she has also been diagnosed with cancer. Despite her own serious illness she continues to care for them all day or night as well as caring for her huge network of friends.
Meg and Denis Goodwin
Meg and Dennis are an incredible couple who have fostered hundreds of children and babies for over 40 years. This non-stop dedication to looking after children, many with additional needs, speaks for itself. But they are so modest they would never expect to be put forward for an award like this - their nomination says it is time they were recognised for being such special people.
Category: Team of the Year
Heritage Open Days are an amazing success story for Lowestoft - ranked 13th nationally in terms of venues and activities open. Last year, there were around 10,000 visits to a site or activity across the two weekends. In two years the event has grown from 1 to over 70 venues being open in the town. It is run by a team of dedicated volunteers, who enable buildings that are usually closed for visitors and where there is a entry charge free access to explore, be inspired , discover and enjoy.
Fresh Start, New Beginnings
The amazing team at Fresh Start, New Beginnings provides invaluable support for children who have been sexually abused, helping them to rebuild their lives. They go above and beyond every day, and will spend hours helping not just the young people, but also their families.
Most people would find it too difficult to hear what some of the children have been through, but the team has the skill and determination to do whatever they can to support the victims of such horrendous crimes.
Beccles carnival is run by three ladies who work round-the-clock to put on the event for the community. Not only is it a really popular spectacle in the town, it raises hundreds of pounds for local organisations and charities each year.
The small team has been running the carnival for 15 years, and in that time it has gone from strength to strength. The team is described as amazing, dedicated, and community-focused.
Category: Volunteer of the Year
Julie has volunteered for around five years with Home-Start, which is dedicated to helping parents and families in Suffolk. She is a delight to work with and always flexible and accommodating in her attitude. One of the families Julie supports summed it up. They said: "As a family with two autistic children we have had access to a wide range of professional support including paediatricians, psychologists, dieticians and many more but the person who stands out most of all as a caring influence on our lives is our Home-Start in Suffolk volunteer Julie. Julie has made the single biggest difference to our family."
Ipswich Transport Museum
This brilliant museum is run solely by volunteers who give up their time to staff all aspects of it. They offer and run fantastic educational visits for schools as well as catering for individual visitors, always with a smile.
The volunteers always go out of their way to support and inform every customer and are keeping alive a valuable local historical resources by giving their time.
Tina Vickers has been involved with Scouts and Cubs in Ipswich for over 30 years. She gives up so much of her time to run groups all over Ipswich, giving opportunities and learning experiences to so many young people. She is described by friends as selfless, motivated, and a go-getter, who always puts other people first.
They say that despite facing tragedy in her life - losing her son aged 21 and then her husband to Alzheimers - she is rarely seen without a smile and dedicates her time to the happiness of others.
Category: Armed Services Award
Former soldier Nigel Seaman, from Ipswich, set up Combat2Coffee - a pop-up coffee shop in his caravan - after experiencing mental health issues when he left the Army. The former Royal Anglian drives his shop to events across the east of England and gives veterans and their families a chance to openly talk about their problems and issues such as PTSD. It proved so successful he kitted out a second mobile hub to help even more people. It's a brilliant idea which also results in a percentage of his takings goes to charity Combat Stress.
Staff Sgt James Johnson
Whilst on clinical placement from RAF Lakenheath, Staff Sgt Johnson played a major part in a prolonged resuscitation.
He worked tirelessly to support the team and the patient fully involving himself in the resuscitation. Sadly the patient did not survive but with the support, knowledge and skills he demonstrated did give them the best possible chance. Sergeant Johnson showed so much resilience and courage during this very challenging situation.
Category: Outstanding Sporting Achievement of the Year
The Ron Harrod Foundation
The Ron Harrod Foundation is an initiative created by sports equipment manufacturer Harrod Sport in Lowestoft, to help fund young sportspeople from Suffolk and Norfolk as they try to keep up with the increasing costs of competing at higher levels. Founded in 2018, the altruistic foundation is named after founder of Harrod Sport, Ron Harrod. It began by awarding £3,000 to two local athletes. In 2019, the RHF awarded funding to three outstanding young athletes from the Suffolk and Norfolk region.
Helen Davies has been one of the country's top female distance runners for many years - and her success has continued in 2019, when she won a world silver medal in the 50k running championships in Romania in September, completing the race in just three hours and nine minutes. Helen has proved inspirational to so many. Having previously run in two major championships - the European Championships and Commonwealth Games - she took a break to a start family.
But she returned to racing by winning the Brighton marathon in 2017 - a race she went on to win in both 2018 and this year, setting a new PB of 2:34:06.
Category: Police Person of the Year
PCSO Teresa England is the Southern Area Schools Liaison Officer, and she carries out outstanding work to support our young communities and divert them away from crime. Teresa's responsibilities include promoting joint working between police and educational establishments, delivering input to schools, building relationships with staff and pupils and removing barriers within the relationships. Her role is diverse, with necessity for Teresa to be first point of contact for all issues affecting young people including sexual exploitation, cybercrime and knife crime.
Pc Matt Kidd-Stanton was travelling on the A14, just after midnight on February 9, when he spotted a stationary Ford Transit van in the nearside lane of the opposite carriageway. Noticing torchlight weaving away from the open driver's door, Pc Kidd-Stanton doubled back to find the abandoned van's engine still running. He saw a faint light at the top of the Orwell Bridge and as he approached, he saw a male with one leg up over the side.
The officer grabbed hold of the man by his clothing - mindful he could also have been pulled over. Matt suffered injuries as a result of this incident and is awaiting restorative surgery this month. He acted bravely, quickly and put the best interests of another before himself.
Mick has worked for Suffolk Police for 52 years, first accepted as a Cadet in February 1966 before becoming a regular officer in September 1967. He has worked across a range of departments including local patrol, in CID, in Rural CID, with the Drugs Squad, and now works in the Major Investigation Team in a civilian role.
Throughout his career, particularly as a supervisor, Mick has always taken a keen interest in his staff, always willing to assist their development. Mick Rainbird is described as a shining example to all police officers and his dedication and commitment to serving the people of his Suffolk knows no bounds.
Category: Young Person of the Year
Daring to do a skydive at several thousand feet would be enough of a challenge for anyone. However, for brave Georgia Wood, the few steps she took out of a plane really were a giant leap - as it marked just how far she has come in recovering from a devastating crash which left her severely brain damaged.Just a few years ago, Georgia was unable to walk or talk after a road accident. Doctors were not sure she would even survive - let alone speak and move around by herself. However in a remarkable show of determination, Georgia has slowly but surely learned how to walk and talk again with intensive physiotherapy - and capped it with a skydive to raise money for East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Eva has helped to mobilise support to raise awareness and call for action over climate change. She helped to lead a protest held in Ipswich town centre in May this year, which focused on the need for action from the government on this most important of issues.
Eva finished her speech, outside the town hall, by saying: "We are here today to say no. No subsidising fossil fuels. No more excuses. No more feeble emissions targets. Politicians need to start acting like adults."
Quick-thinking Scarlett Neill became a hero when her mother Sam fell downstairs at home and was knocked unconscious. The cool-headed from Glemsford, then aged five, calmly contacted the emergency services, alerting them to her mum's accident.
Sam said: "Scarlett was amazing - the front door was locked so she even had to tell the ambulance the best way to the back door. It surprised me how calm she kept but I think she knew I needed help."
Category: Special Recognition of the Year
Alan Clapson and Ben Robinson
Sue Clapson was having lunch in Cheries coffee shop in Halesworth when she suffered a cardiac arrest. Husband Alan and Ben, who worked at the coffee shop, stepped in to provide immediate medical help, along with another man whose identity is not known. They performed CPR and saved her life.
Kerry Dunnett is a lifesaver. When well known county bowls player Colin Long collapsed on a bowls green in Felixstowe, she had to step in before the ambulance service arrived. Kerry is a first aid trainer and had already provided free CPR training in her spare time to bowls club members, so she was well equipped to deal with such a serious medical emergency. She had even instigated the purchase of the defib at the club just four weeks earlier.
After the incident, she was inundated with requests to train more people to do CPR as they were so shocked at what had happened - and she's done that, giving her time selflessly. Modest Kerry is known to brush off any praise, but she is a lifesaver.
James Brewer and Johnathan Rawlings
These two heroic salesmen dealt with a cardiac arrest victim in the middle of a busy car show room at John Grose in Ipswich. James and Johnathan sprang into action, using a defibrillator and carrying out CPR on the patient - ultimately saving his life.
Their immediate actions and response is described as extraordinary by those who witnessed it. Credit must also be given to other team members who called the emergency services and assisted where they could.
Daniel Challenor was on the first day of a new job as front of house manager at Wagamamas in Bury St Edmunds when he was faced with a life and death situation.
Trevor Boughton, 68, had been having lunch with his daughter and grandchildren when he slumped on to the floor and was unresponsive.
As emergency services were called, Daniel went over to reassure the family when Trevor's daughter noticed her dad was not breathing and starting to turn blue. Daniel, who is first aid trained, knew he had to start CPR immediately.
With help from a colleague, Daniel continued the CPR and used a defibrillator for 15 mins before the East Anglian Air Ambulance from Cambridge arrived at the scene.
The sponsors this year are Flagship Group, BBC Radio Suffolk, Greshams, JLS Catering, RFT, Gasway, Ipswich Town, Ipswich Hospital, East of England Co-operative Society, Suffolk County Council, Hudson Group, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, Greene King, Elmy Cycles, Cipher Crystal, Iain Ross, Ipswich Building Society, Hintlesham Hall, and Cottages.com.