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Local heroes

There are people from many different walks of life who make a real difference in our community. They dedicate their time and energy to helping others, proactively take measures to protect our environment or lead and inspire through their approach in the face of adversity.

Between 2006 and 2013, we teamed up with Harrogate radio station, Stray FM, to recognise some of these amazing people through their Local Heroes campaign.

Take at the fantastic achievements of the 2013 winners:

Bravery award – Wesley MacKenna

Wesley was out with his children ‘trick or treating’ when he came across a house on fire. Wesley made a quick decision and decided to courageously enter the house. He found an elderly lady trapped inside with debris falling down from the ceiling and thick smoke all around.

Thankfully, due to his quick thinking, the lady is okay after he led her to safety.

“He is brave, fearless, courageous and heroic!”

Parent / guardian of the year award – Karen Russell

Karen spent most of 2012 and 2013 fundraising for her son Fraser who has Spastic Diplegia Cerebal Palsy. They needed to raise £60,000 to help Fraser lead a more normal life and not end up in a wheel chair. Although any Mother would do their best for their child, it takes a different kind of Mum to not only overcome the emotional strain of seeing their child through major surgery, but to also to do something about it herself and raise this level of money through organising endless events.

“Karen is brave, bold and determined as well as being a wonderful Mother”

Best charitable company award – EnviroVent Ltd

In 2009, this Harrogate based company set out to raise £25,000 for Saint Michael’s hospice by the end of 2012. Showing true team spirit, they formed an in-house fund raising committee to focus on the ‘EnviroVent £25K Challenge’. As well as the clever use of social media, the team completed numerous events from sky dives, sponsored walks, marathons, a “bake-off” and more traditional raffles and dress down days. They successfully met their £25,000 goal as a result.

EnviroVent is a successful British manufacturer who wants to share their success with the local community by giving something tangible back to it.

Sporting achievement award – Mike Hall

Mike is a record breaker after cycling around the world in 91 days and 8 hours; a total of around 18000 miles in total averaging 200 miles a day. Mike was just one of nine competitors to take part in the World Cycling event and finished several thousand miles ahead of his competitors. He finished the race on his 31st birthday feeling exhausted but happy and sporting long hair and a beard!

Mike also raised money for ‘Newborns Vietnam’ a charity which works to bring down neonatal mortality in South-east Asia.

Green school award – Western Primary School

Wesley was out with his children ‘trick or treating’ when he came across a house on fire. Wesley made a quick decision and decided to courageously enter the house. He found an elderly lady trapped inside with debris falling down from the ceiling and thick smoke all around.

Thankfully, due to his quick thinking, the lady is okay after he led her to safety.

“He is brave, fearless, courageous and heroic!”

Emergency services award – Cave Rescue Organisation

The Cave Rescue Organisation based in Clapham has been described as the ’4th emergency service’. The team are all volunteers who regularly give up their time to save lives both above and below ground.

They put themselves in dangerous situations to come to the aid of walkers, climbers, and potholers who have found themselves in trouble. The lady who actually nominated CRO was saved after falling 300ft from a hillside path. She was overwhelmed by the team work and commitment describing the Cave Rescue group as simply “awe inspiring”.

Child of courage award – Logan Durrance

Logan is just eight years old but he has spent over half his life in hospital and has had 23 operations and 37 bouts of pneumonia. He has to be regularly resuscitated by his Mum as his lungs collapse on a weekly basis but he never cries and he never complains. In fact, Logan is always smiling, and is just glad to be alive in the world!

“He is brave, loving, strong, grateful and courageous.”

Teacher of the year award – Ruth Watson

Ruth trains first aid to children and teachers throughout North Yorkshire. Her specialist paediatric first aid ensures all her students, young and old, are able to deal with injury or illness in schools. Ruth embarked on the voluntary role following experiences and skills learnt after 10 years in the Army. She also helps educate the Girl Guide and new mothers groups.

“Ruth is brave, funny, talented, determined and inspirational.”

Charity fundraiser of the year award – Alice Halstead

In 2009, Alice’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a unique form of diabetes and needed to spend over three years in hospital. After the children’s charity “Rays of Sunshine” helped her leave hospital for the first time to enable her wish to visit London, she became a dedicated fundraiser for the charity and has raised almost £50,000 to date.

She has now been promoted to “Special Wish Ambassador” in recognition of her work for the charity. In addition, Alice promotes the charity to schools, businesses and local groups to help raise awareness as well as much needed funds to help poorly children make their own dreams come true.

Armed forces award – 21 Engineer Regiment, Ripon

The 21 Engineer Regiment has been nominated for their services to the Nation. They have to date done two tours of duty for the safety of our population in the theatre of war in Afghanistan. As well as serving their Country, putting their lives at risk, they have been active in raising money for a new Army hospital that treats returning injured soldiers.

They have been described as “selfless in their commitment to protecting our safety”.

Community heroes award – Henshaw’s College for Blind People

Henshaw’s provide expert care, advice and training to anyone affected by sight loss, right where it’s needed the most. Each of their centres (based in Manchester, Merseyside, Harrogate, Knaresborough and Newcastle) offer different services and programmes – but they are all utterly dedicated to follow their Vision which is:

To enable people with sight loss and people with other disabilities to build the skills and independence they need, to achieve the future they want.

Sharing success with our customers today…

 

The progress made with our previous community initiatives has led to the formation of the Engage Foundation. Our customers matter most, so we want to support what matters to them.

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