D-Day heroes and brave ex-serviceman inspire at emotional Stars of Suffolk awards
- Credit: Archant
Four heroes of D-Day were among the inspirational winners to raise guests to their feet at this year’s Stars of Suffolk Awards.
The ceremony, which was launched 12 years ago, honours the county's bravest, dedicated and caring individuals - from firefighters, to charity workers and life-saving teenagers.
And what a reception they received at the glittering ceremony at Greshams Ipswich tonight.
Hundreds of nominations were put forward, before the final 46 men, women, organisations - and even an heroic Labrador - were selected as finalists in the 13 categories.
Among them were James Perry, Tony Pyatt, Francis Grant and Douglas Smith - four heroes from the county who played vital roles in the D-Day landings in 1944. Marking the 75th anniversary this year, organisers were honoured to hand them the Judges Special Award.
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Ex-RAF serviceman David Norris' story of bravery, compassion and selflessness earned him the overall Star of Suffolk award.
The Stowmarket man broke up an attack on a 15-year-old boy in a park, where a build up of blood was stopping the victim from breathing.
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After putting the boy in the recovery position, David protected him from further attack until paramedics arrived.
Other winners included charity Fresh Start, New Beginnings, which provides invaluable support for victims of child sex abuse and remain dedicated on improving their lives after hearing their horrendous stories. They took home the Team of the Year award.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house when extraordinary woman Rita Harris took home the Carer of the Year award.
The selfless sister has cared for her eight siblings for more than 30 years since the death of her mother - who all have learning difficulties, medical needs or personal challenges.
Her story is made yet more incredible in that despite having been diagnosed with cancer, she continues to work for them 24/7.
The Armed Services Award went to former serviceman Nigel Seaman, who after facing his own battle with post-traumatic stress disorder set up mobile coffee shop Combat2Coffee.
The former Royal Anglian soldier works with ex-service people to train them as barristas in an attempt to combat stress.
Although not all went home with an award, they certainly left the evening knowing the county and its people will never forget their acts which help make Suffolk a fantastic place to live.
Full list of the Stars of Suffolk award winners:
Carer of the Year: Rita Harris
Young Person of the Year: Georgia Wood
Outstanding Sporting Achievement of the Year: The Ron Harrod Foundation
Fire Service Award: Sally Hammond and Alice Guyett
Community Group of Champion of the Year: Muncheon Mingle
Outstanding Bravery of the Year: David Norris and Lexi-May Angel (joint winners)
Hospital/ Ambulance Person of the Year: Sue Downes
Team of the Year: Fresh Start, New Beginnings
Search and Rescue Award: Jamie and Diesel Ketteridge
Volunteer of the Year: Tina Vickers
Armed Services Award: Nigel Seaman
Police Person of the Year: Matt Kidd-Stanton
Unsung Hero of the Year: Maureen Reynal
Special Recognition of the Year: Alan Clapson and Ben Robinson, Kerry Dunnett, James Brewer and Johnathan Rawlings and Daniel Challenor (joint winners)
Overall Star of Suffolk: David Norris
Judges Special Award: Veterans James Perry, Tony Pyatt, Francis Grant, Douglas Smith