Courage and carers at Local Hero Awards 2017
Acts of courage, outstanding achievements and inspiring individuals were all recognised during last week’s Cheshire East Local Hero Awards.
The award ceremony was held at Crewe Hall Hotel, and local heroes were awarded in 12 different categories, with three-year old carer Maxx Whitham receiving the overarching ‘Pride of Cheshire’ award.
The infant carer from Crewe was recognised for his outstanding life-saving actions when phoning for help on two occasions after his disabled mother had fallen and injured herself in the family home.
This is alongside his astonishing commitment to caring for his mother every day, despite his young age.
Maxx’s mother, Kerri-Louise Whitham, said: “I am so proud of Maxx and he continues to amaze and impress me every day. He is a truly inspirational little boy, who has had to grow up so quickly and I just don’t know what I’d do without him.”
Further life-saving actions were recognised during the ceremony with the ‘Act of Courage’ award, which was presented to forty four Norman Belfield.
Norman bravely confronted a man who held a woman at gunpoint at Nabb’s Quarry, in Macclesfield, deterring the attacker and risking his own life to save another.
Alongside life-saving actions, other recurring themes on the night included the selfless motivations of Cheshire East residents, whose fundraising, determination and resilience helped to make 2017 a year with some truly memorable receipients.
Cllr Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Once again The Local Hero Awards have highlighted how many fantastic and inspirational people there are within Cheshire East.
“The stories we’ve listened to tonight have been incredible and it was an honour to have met some of the nominees and winners this evening.”
In attendance on the night was the mayor of Cheshire East, Cllr Arthur Moran, Cheshire East Council’s acting deputy chief executive, Frank Jordan, alongside Cllr Paul Bates, cabinet member for Finance and Communications.
The winners of the other awards were as follows:
Champion Child: Bethany Glover has single-handedly supported her mother, who has dementia, while taking care of the cooking, cleaning and caring. This is in conjunction with raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society through the ‘Race for Life’ challenge, despite further hardships such as the recent loss of both her grandfather and father in the space of five months.
Young Achiever: Molly Jarrett, 12, from Bollington, has been awarded with a Rotary Award for her contribution to school and community life. She is also a member of Stockport Youth Orchestra and is an outstanding gymnast, who coaches and inspires others. Molly has made significant contributions of more than £800 to charity, raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and even shaving her head and donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust.
Neighbour of the Year: Kay Evans, from Bollington, consistently cared for a neighbour who had suffered from a stroke for several years, repeatedly visiting her in hospital and cooking her meals once she had become bed-ridden. Following her neighbour’s death, Kay has continued to look after another 70-year-old neighbour, who has undergone hip and knee replacements.
Volunteer: Jackie Davies, 73, from Crewe. Jackie is band manager of the youth wind band in Crewe and has dedicated her life to giving people the opportunity to showcase their talents, through music and by taking members of the band to perform at the Royal Albert Hall. A teacher for 40 years, she has been described as an inspirational and dedicated band leader, who has committed 22 years of her life running the band to help encourage local talent.
Teacher: Lisa Cotterill, 49, from Macclesfield, is a sufferer of multiple sclerosis and goes above and beyond to help pupils reach their potential, despite the battles she faces with her own health. Her students describe her as ‘one of the most inspirational people they have ever met’.
Carer: Sophie Goodman, from Macclesfield, is a young lady who has selflessly taken it upon herself to help a single parent, who has to solely care for her two young boys who suffer chronic health problems. These can include epilepsy, learning difficulties, global developmental delay and result in the brothers suffering with up to 200 seizures a day. Sophie supports her family via helping to cook, clean, look after and take the boys to hospital appointments, returning to care for them during and after her university studies.
Sports person: Carla Glider, of Carla Glider Fitness, of Bollington, has raised more than £10,000 for the East Cheshire Hospice through charity work, while making extraordinary achievements in both county and international netball. Carla also inspires individuals of all ages and sizes, improving their lives through movement and exercise.
Business: Wilmslow-based firm Tyler Grange is a firm of planning consultants with an ecological ethos, one that encourages voluntary initiatives from its staff to provide local help to schools, the homeless and general public. Employees from the firm have created sensory gardens and helped to clear the local environment. In aid of such community work, employees are granted a day’s leave to carry these out, on full pay.
Social Enterprise: Cheryl Simpson, 50, from Poynton, runs Space4Autism following her own son’s diagnosis with the syndrome. This charity offers a lifeline for sufferers and their families – offering day trips, employment assistance and overall support for the carers of people with autism.
Parent/Guardian: Couple Mike and Lucy Carroll, have four children, two of which have the life-limiting illness Batten disease. Despite the regular visits to Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, and the round-the-clock care, both parents have also set up a special charity to fund research into this incurable disease.