Pride of Shropshire Awards 2014 - meet the winners
Dozens of outstanding finalists in the Pride of Shropshire Awards were recognised for their courage, determination and generosity at the celebration evening at Shrewsbury Town Football Club on Monday, July 14.
And nine extraordinary characters were presented with prizes for their heartwarming tales of inspiration.
Hosted by Dicky Dodd, radio presenter for Signal 107, the evening began with a speech from Richard Langton, chairman of the Georgia Williams Trust. He told of how the community-spirited 17-year-old from Wellington, Telford suddenly lost her life and a legacy was born out of the overwhelming desire from her community to take something positive from the tragedy.
It was an appropriate introduction to the awe-inspiring tales of all three finalists in each category, which were shared before the winners were announced.
Winner of the Learner Award, sponsored by Telford College of Arts and Technology was Shane Bennett. After failed attempts at college, Shane is now thriving after being taken under the wings of a haven, The Crowsmill Craft Centre in Alveley, for youngsters struggling at various levels.
Leanne Rawlinson, from Telford collected the Special Young Person Award sponsored by Shrewsbury Town Football Club. She showed maturity beyond her years when she comforted an extremely vulnerable woman who had been attacked in a stairwell.
The Carer Award, sponsored by Advantage Healthcare Group went to Sue O’Neil who was nominated by Frank Fuller of Market Drayton. She works at the Beech House Nursing Home in Wollerton, near Hodnet. Frank, whose wife is a resident there, said Sue is a great motivator and manages to strike up a caring relationship with each of the home’s 48 residents as well as their families.
Carys Jones was awarded the Youth Community Award sponsored by Total Response. The A-level student from Llanfyllin High School, was inspired to act following the tragic death of April Jones. She developed Invizzilead – an alarm which uses radio waves to notify parents when their child goes beyond a pre-defined distance.
The Courage Award, sponsored by Pure Telecom went to the Dunderdale family from Market Drayton. Father Nayman along with sons John and Josh showed immense courage and rescued their elderly neighbour from a house fire.
The Environmental Champion Award, sponsored by Denso went to Judy Coleridge who has been active on green issues for a long time but her efforts on producing the Shrewsbury Green Guide is to be particularly commended. Judy told people to visit www.shrewsburygreenguide.org.uk for tips on how to be more environmentally friendly.
Carmen Culliss won the title of Good Neighbour sponsored by Shropshire Housing Group. A neighbour wrote in to say Carmen is a caring and compassionate lady who makes time for people despite having her own problems. She has been described as Frodesley’s Good Samaritan.
The Local Hero award sponsored by Precision Colour Printing went to Ben Taylor from Shrewsbury. A reservist with The Mercian Regiment, he received the Queen’s Gallantry Award last year following his actions on his first operational tour in Afghanistan. He rescued eight comrades in complete darkness from a vehicle that had overturned into a canal during a mission.
The Shropshire Star’s People’s Champion Award was presented to Julie Duhra by editor Martin Wright. A community stalwart and familiar face in Hadley, Julie runs Jule’s Convenience Store on Haybridge Road. One notable act of kindness was to raise money to help pay for the funeral of nine-year-old Jayden-Lee McIvor who was knocked down and killed outside her shop.
The crowning accolade of the overall champion was awarded to Carys Jones by last year’s overall winner Katyia Johnson and Bev Jackson from TCAT.
List of winners:
• Overall winner: Carys Jones
• Youth Community Award: Carys Jones
• Special Young Person: Leanne Rawlinson
• People’s Champion: Julie Duhra
• Local Heroes Award: Ben Taylor
• Learner Award: Shane Bennett
• Good Neighbour: Carmen Culliss
• Environmental Champion: Judy Coleridge
• Courage Award: Nayman, John and Josh Dunderdale
• Carer Award: Sue O’Neil