It is not often that you see grown men cry in public but watch the 2017 Pride of Britain Awards and you can’t fail to be moved. So many truly inspirational people in one place. The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards in conjunction with TSB celebrates those people who have truly made a difference to people’s lives.
The winners of all the awards are nominated by members of the public, they come from all over the country, are a full range of ages and come from all avenues of life. These are people who have given up time to volunteer, who have acted selflessly, raised huge amounts of money for charity and been totally inspirational. We could all learn so much from these people and all that they have done. So many of us focus on the bad when we should be looking at these winners and celebrate with them for their remarkable achievements. From the thousands and thousands of nominations a shortlist is decided upon and the final winners are selected by a judging panel made up from celebrated people from public life.
The awards, hosted by Carol Vorderman at Grovesnor House in London, had lots of famous people from the world of politics, entertainment and sport there to present the trophies. The Duke of Cambridge was also there to present some of the awards.
One story that really links to our idea of positive news was that of Sarah Hope, who was awarded a Special Recognition Award. Sarah, her mother Elizabeth and her daughter were on their way to visit her twin sister who had just had a baby when devastation struck. An out of control bus mounted the pavement and careered into the family. Sarah’s mother Elizabeth was killed and her daughter seriously injured. As a result of her injuries Sarah’s two year old daughter Pollyanna had her right leg amputated below the knee.
After losing her mother and the severe and life changing injury to her daughter which would leave most of us struggling to deal with this, Sarah has made a difference to so many people. Sarah has fought long and hard to help child amputees both in this country and abroad. Prosthetics used to only be available to give children the opportunity to walk but no child just wants to walk and with Sarah’s persistence and lobbying an extra £1.5 million pounds has been provided to provide children with the chance of sports prosthetics which enables children to be children and do things like all other children. From a story so cruel and sad has come a story of true inspiration and one that has made an improvement to so many people’s lives.
Twenty year old Fraser Johnston set up a pioneering scheme where he takes the elderly residents of nursing homes out on a specially adapted bike called a trishaw . He has a seat for two fastened to the front of his bike. He takes his passengers on trips to visit local landmarks. To see the faces of the passengers as they enjoy trips out to the country was amazing and to hear these elderly people talking about how much difference these trips had made to their lives was truly inspirational. Many of the residents would otherwise spend all day indoors as they were immobile. Youngsters generally get such bad press and to see a twenty year old give so much to the community and make a real difference was inspirational.
Young Fundraiser of the year was George Mathias, who after seeing his baby brother desperately ill at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, decided he wanted to find a way to say thank you to the staff for saving his baby brother. George came up with the idea of a sponsored jog and the whole idea has snowballed. Celebrities run with George and as they finish they nominate another to run the next mile with George. To date George has raised over £35,000. The first £25,000 was used to buy four specially heated cots for premature babies. For such a young child to come up with an idea and to have the motivation to see it through is amazing.
Another true inspiration is Moin Younis who was awarded Teenager of Courage. Moin was diagnosed with Epidermis Bullosa when he was two months old and his parents were told he probably wouldn’t survive past his first birthday. Epidermis Bullosa means that Moin lacks the protein needed to bind the layers of skin together which mean his skin is so delicate it tears and blisters with even the slightest touch. Moin is now 17 years old and has been committed to helping others and has been Young Ambassador at Acorns Children’s Hospice. Moin was awarded a Pride of Birmingham Award and in that speech he said
“A lot of people take life for granted. While I am here I want to get the message out to people to enjoy life. Please, please get the most out of your life and make the most of what you have”.
To read about these and the other awards go to www.prideofbritain.com
Congratulations from all at Banana Crumble. You are all heroes and a true inspiration.